Last night at my Krav Maga class, we were practicing sparring, meaning light fighting while wearing pads and gloves. This is a great way to learn movement and the skill of reading someone else’s body in terms of how they will attack without the danger of serious injury. My partner was new to this exercise and tended to get hit quite a bit. I noticed that every time I hit him, he would say “Thank you.” I stopped him a minute or so into sparring with him to ask why he kept thanking me. He replied, “You’re teaching me what not to do.”
Perspective. What an amazing way to look at something. He was literally getting punched in the face repeatedly and found a way to put a positive spin on it. Imagine how we would all view the world if we thought in this way.
After class, my partner told me that he was grateful for the opportunity to learn new techniques. It was a wonderful thing to hear. Clearly, he had learned to practice gratitude in his daily life because gratitude is not just a feeling, but a muscle that needs to be worked repeatedly to grow strong enough to be thankful for getting hit in the face.
Kayla, my wife, has begun to work her gratitude muscle. She’s doing this by writing down 3 things that she is grateful for at the end of each day. So far, it has improved her mood, her awareness of how lucky we are and most importantly, changed the tone of her inner monologue.
For example, if she were to mess up a recipe while making dinner, previously, she would have sworn at and blamed herself for not getting this new recipe exactly right on the first try. Now, she will say “That’s okay. Now I know better for next time,” and then she will look for a solution to whatever it is that didn’t go her way. The power behind this thinking is infinite.
Just imagine, looking at everything in life from a place of gratitude. It has the power to change the way we move through the world and how we react to every situation that comes our way. So, I recommend that you start, as I will, to work your gratitude muscles to see the opportunity in every situation.
How do you work your gratitude muscles? What are you most grateful for? Let me know in the comments below!