In January I participated in the Indie Business Book Club and read Darren Hardy's "The Compound Effect." It's a small book that offers a lot to think about. Hardy writes that even small choices, when made consistently, become habits that have a huge impact on your life. Making smart choices one after another compounds and leads you toward success—in business as well as other aspects of your life.
Hardy shares lots of examples from his own life, and one that I loved described the "Thanks Giving" journal he created for his wife. For a whole year he wrote daily entries about her, sharing things that he appreciated about her.
Of course she was over the moon when he presented this gift to her a year later, but he says, "The funny thing was that the person most affected by this gift was me. All that journaling forced me to focus on my wife's positive aspects. I was consciously looking for all the things she was doing 'right.'"
Even before I read this part of Darren Hardy's book, I'd decided to start a gratitude journal, so I've been writing things down every day this year. At first I thought it would be hard to find enough good things. Wouldn't I run out after week three or four? How could I keep it up day after day?
What's interesting is that getting in the habit of writing down good things actually has made me see more of them. Maybe it's the pressure of knowing I have to write something down...or maybe it's just that I'm looking for good instead of looking for what is wrong. All I know is that being grateful for what I have right now brings more good stuff tomorrow.
What about you? Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? Did it have any effect on your life?