In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.
Day 4 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge focuses on advice. Whether the advice we receive comes directly from the words and actions of family, close friends and colleagues or from books, TV and films, people in power or celebrities, I have taken advice from all areas of my life and am grateful for it.
Great Advice I Am Grateful For
Personal independence is important. One of the most significant pieces of advice my mother has ever given me is during a conversation we had many years ago, and I have never forgotten it: “Always make sure that you do what you want to do and don’t rely on anyone for anything.” I’m happily married and we have lots of fun together, particularly when exploring new places and taking long weekends away, but The Bloke and I have always maintained a level of independence from each other. I have been on holiday with friends on several occasions without him, he likes to go out by himself on a Saturday and we often meet up with our own family and friends separately. I’m grateful for the time that we spend apart as this allows me to appreciate the time that we spend together.
Living well is the best revenge you can ever have. Again, something my mum has said. Avoid getting stressed about what someone else is doing or waste time seeking revenge – living the best life you can will be far better revenge than anything you try and do to them.
Always be kind to everyone, regardless of their job. I’ve worked in many roles across multiple industries, but the ones where I was treated the worst by the general public were the minimum-wage jobs, particularly in a well-known fast-food chain where the customers assumed that I was stupid because I was selling them a burger. While it has never been specifically verbalised, those personal experiences have meant that I’ve always made a point of being super nice to everyone wherever I go – smile, manners, tip, thanks. I’ve made friends because of it.
Everything is relative. Another one from my mum – we all have problems, and those problems are relative to the individual.
We should concern ourselves, not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but with the happiness of pursuit. This was spoken by Christopher Plummer in the film Hector and the Search for Happiness and was one of the most profound things I have ever heard, to the point where I felt so empowered I had to write about it. I genuinely try to live my life with this in mind.
Material items mean nothing. My sister-in-law has been particularly inspiring in helping me to look at life in a more minimal sense, both in what she says and how she lives. I have used shopping as a form of therapy in the past when I have been feeling low, but now I only very occasionally buy anything that I consider to be a luxury item, and only as part of a reward system if I have achieved a goal.
Savings are important. During an episode of Friends – The One With The Prom Video – Monica finds herself in financial trouble after she loses her job and is reminded by her father to put 10% of her earnings in the bank. She hasn’t done so and is therefore forced to borrow money from Ross to pay her rent. This has always stayed with me, and while it took me a number of years to actually put it into practice I now make sure that at least 10% of my monthly earnings go into my savings account and I’m grateful to be able to do so. If anything, this year has shown that life can change in an instant.
Always be the hardest worker in the room. Thanks, Dwayne Johnson. I think about this almost every day.
Self pity stops all progress. I wrote about this a few years ago after watching an inspiring YouTube video from Terry Crews. “You’re not allowed to feel self-pity, because you are doing that to yourself. The only way to energise yourself is to think gratitude. Think about the things you got… Thank god I’m alive, I’m breathing, I’m healthy, I’m here – you can always find something to have gratitude about… Be graciously thankful for everything that you have.”
Work out whether something is actually a problem before reacting. I have done a lot of work with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist over the last year and when issues present themselves her voice appears in my head: “But is it actually a problem, Suzie? Is it something that you have control over and can do something about it?” Admittedly, I detest it when she challenges me, but that little voice has helped me to be more mindful during stressful situations.
Let people burn themselves out in a heated conversation before continuing. My sister shared this wisdom recently and it has been incredibly useful. When dealing with someone who is emotional and clearly wants a fight, allow them to rant until they wear themselves out, then carry on in a calm tone and bring it back to the initial point. I tried it out, it works.
For the Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 1: It’s the Little Things task, visit here.
For the Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 2: It’s All About You task, visit here.
For the Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 3: Moments and Memories, visit here.
Want to participate in the Daily Gratitude Challenge?
There are lots of ways in which you can participate in the Daily Gratitude Challenge:
- Write a blog post about the advice that you are most grateful for and share it in the comment section below.
- Share your posts in my daily link-ups on my Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #DailyGratitudeChallenge.
- Share your images for the topic of the day on Instagram, tag my Instagram account (@suzie81speaks) and use the hashtag #DailyGratitudeChallenge and I will share as many as I can on my Instagram stories.
- Join my Pinterest Group Board and share your Daily Gratitude posts.