Acknowledge and write down 3 reasons to be grateful

1. The two chatty children on the bus ride home from work. I was unavoidably listening to their conversation with their mother and I couldn’t help but smile. Their imagination and energy were inspiring and although I can appreciate that to have that 24/7 would be exhausting I could also see how the mother responded so positively to them both. The girl, in particular, rabbited on about good foods versus bad foods, saying, “tick” to her mother if she listed a healthy drink and “wrong” when she said she liked Coke or coffee! She then talked with vivid descriptions and humorous anecdotes about various animals, including the two cats who “cuddled” and the next day had babies! The girl was desperate to talk to me; she had caught me smiling and was really playing for laughs. I thanked them for making my journey so enjoyable and told the mother that I thought she had two wonderful children. Some days I might think, “oh God, shut up!” but today I was glad that my response was positive because what came back to me was a lovely connection with 3 people who really brought some joy to the day.
2. The elderly, breathless man, who struggled to walk, and stopping beside me said, “Try to stop that, if you can mate.” He was talking about the cigarette I was smoking and I chose to hear what he wanted to say. “This is why I’m like this”, he struggled to say between deep, laboured breaths. I thanked him, I agreed, I acknowledged the kindness and concern in his words. He didn’t have to stop and talk to me. Something prompted him to give a slightly younger man a bit of advice. I respect that. I can’t say that I didn’t then buy a packet of cigarettes but I hope that in writing this down I will remember the kindness and see this man as an angel who wanted to help me. I want to stop smoking and I will. Maybe that will be my next challenge…

3. I am humbled when I can facilitate honest communication. I have one of those faces, or so I’m told, and one of those approachable personalities, or so I’m told, and people open up to me, often sharing deeply personal things. I have been judged and criticised a great deal but I quickly learned how destructive that could be, so my goal, and it comes easily, through years of practice, is to find the light and watch as students, friends, even complete strangers find a way to switch it on and become more authentically unique and unafraid of external judgement. Lighting another candle only makes the world brighter. 

On the surface I seem fine but I am just like you, dealing with the challenges that come my way. 
Life can be one struggle after another and you can begin to wonder why you bother. 
Do you ever feel that you invest too much time and energy in people and activities  where your efforts are unrecognised and, perhaps worse, taken for granted?
I don’t seek praise or validation but I do need to learn where best to focus my efforts.
In a bid to maximise my time and bring more positivity, I have been searching for inspiration online.
TED talks are consistently life affirming and there’s nothing better than pouring a glass of wine and settling down to catch a few of these talks on Netflix or YouTube. 
One of the talks recently was about changing your perspective and refocusing by finding and acknowledging the positives, whilst letting go and not dwelling on the negatives. 
So, in a bid to reprogram my mind, I will take the 21 Day Challenge. Apparantly, after 21 Days, this thinking will become automatic.

This is not to say that I’m a negative person, far from it, but I am like anyone else; when faced with a solid, constant barrage of challenges, I get exhausted and feel my motivation begin to drop.

So, here is what I will do:
Acknowledge and write down 3 reasons to be grateful – 21 Days
1 email or message of gratitude – 21Days

In addition, I will continue to watch TED Talks, spend time with people who Uplift me, focus on what is needed to move forward by assessing what it is I really need and prioritise positive thought over negative contemplation. 
The great thing about this initiative is that even before writing down my first reason to be grateful, I am buzzing as I mentally begin to consider all the many wonderful people in my life. 
Damn it, I have so much to be grateful for! 





About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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