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­­­How to Awesome-ize Your Life in 3 Minutes a Day

photo: Jessica Tam on flickr

photo: Jessica Tam on flickr

When you think of your life, how often does the word “awesome” come to mind?

All the time? Sometimes? Never?

No matter where your life is on the awesome spectrum, you can make it even awesome-er. And it only takes a few minutes a day!

In spite of my current happy-peppy outlook on life, I wasn’t always this way.

In fact, one of my childhood nicknames was Eeyore. And it wasn’t because of my tail. Or my bulky grey physique.

eeeeeeeeyore!

It was because, no matter what was happening, I created a little rainstorm over it. The rainstorm was my mind, and my mind was determined to find all the bad, gloomy aspects of every situation.

As I got older, things didn’t get much better.

In my junior year of college, I overheard one of my roommates saying that she didn’t like to hang out with me because I was too negative.

Ouch.

Sometimes the truth hurts.

I’d like to say that overhearing my roommate’s comment transformed me, but it didn’t. If anything, it cemented my negative view.

It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that everything changed. That’s when I stumbled upon the notion that consciousness is creative.

What we believe has a powerful effect on our lives.

Positive thoughts influence our lives for the better. Negative thoughts influence our lives for the worse.

This isn’t to say that becoming a positive thinker means nothing bad will ever happen to you. But it does mean you’ll be a lot more resilient when challenges arrive.

(See?! I called them challenges. As opposed to horrible, rotten things that happened to me because my life sucks. Just sayin’.)

They’ve done studies showing that some people are born pessimistic. I don’t know where I would fall in those studies, but I do know that my tendency from childhood was to gravitate to the gloom.

photo: Captain Ted on flickr

photo: Captain Ted on flickr

My wife Melissa, on the other hand, is a natural optimist. She got it from her mom, who was the same way.

But here’s the cool thing. No matter where we fall on the doom dial, we can make things better.

How?

With gratitude.

And I’m not talking about a generalized, look on the bright side outlook, although there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m talking about a systemized way to inject gratitude into your life.

That’s right, I said inject. Like a pill or a drug, but with no side effects. Except lots of smiling.

photo: manduhsaurus on flickr

photo: manduhsaurus on flickr

Like so many other awesome things in the world, this one started with Oprah.

I’m not saying she invented gratitude. Although I wouldn’t be surprised.

A few years ago, I read an interview with Oprah where she said she started keeping a gratitude journal. Every night, she would write down five things she was grateful for that day.

She said this practice changed her life.

I was already completely woo-woo by this point, so I said Why not?

I took her practice a step further and started listing ten things I was grateful for. I’m not much of a journaler, so my practice was to list the ten things in my mind before I fell asleep. (I’m also not someone who falls asleep right away, so I always listed at least ten things.)

Then I met Melissa, and we started doing our gratitude practice together. Because we’re both so happy-peppy, we expanded our practice beyond the starter ten.

Every night, we each do ten gratitudes in the area of prosperity, and then we do ten “regular” gratitudes.

When we’re done with that, we do another practice called the Magic 5, where we each list five things we’re going to be grateful for in the future. We list these 5 things as if they’re already true now.

magic magic magic magic magic

Yes, it’s hard core. But it keeps our Awesome-Meter in a groovy place, even when things are challenging.

In fact, we’ve gotten so accustomed to speaking in “gratitudes,” sometimes we can’t tell if the other one is simply talking, or doing the gratitude practice.

If you already have a gratitude practice, good for you! Thank you for injecting your positive vibes into the world.

If you don’t have a practice, now is the time to start. Really, like, right now!

List one thing you’re grateful for.

Then another.

And another.

Then start keeping a list every night. Or every morning.

Or, better yet, get a gratitude buddy and do the practice with them. Every day, if possible. It will keep you accountable and it will spread the gratitude a little further.

photo: Bev Sykes on flickr

photo: Bev Sykes on flickr

Here’s the best part of this whole gratitude gig:

It barely takes any time.

In as little as 3 minutes a day, you can totally turn your life around!

There are so many practices that help balance our minds, our bodies and our spirits: meditation, exercise, healthy eating. They’re all valuable and most of them take time. Time worth spending.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t commit to these time-filling activities. I am saying that no matter what else you’re doing, you always have room for gratitude.

Oh, and one more thing:

I’m so grateful you read this post!

Oh, and one more:

If you’re not grateful, you’re not paying attention!

photo: Living in Kuito on flickr

photo: Living in Kuito on flickr

How do you practice gratitude? What role does it play in your life? Share your comments below!

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16 Responses to ­­­How to Awesome-ize Your Life in 3 Minutes a Day

  1. Diana May 28, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Z…I am so grateful for your humor, your gift of words, your happy preppy self, for knowing you when life did not seem so sunny and witnessing your steady unfoldment as you moved in love with
    yourSelf, Life and Melissa, for the hope you inspire in me, for the reset on my own previous doom meter and see how gratitude has moved me from despair, to hope, to knowing the Truth of this amazing Uni-verse, that is awaiting my claiming of My Good.

    I loved your take on awesomizing….In the past I was much more familiar with the pattern of awefulizing, and I now, with the daily practice of gratitude, I am much more familiar and comfortable awesomizing, just didn’t have word to describe my new pattern/practice until today. Move over Mr Webster…there’s a new paridigm of nouning into verbing going on!

    Thanks Z, I think Gratitude and Acceptance of what as it is and seeing the good, IS the Keys to the Kingdom of true inner happiness. Namaste!

    • Z Egloff May 28, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Diana,

      Yes – awfulizing is the opposite of awesomizing – I’ve definitely been both places!

      I’m grateful to you for naming your journey – and seeing how far you’ve come, and embracing the practices that have set you free. I’m grateful to this community of like-minded, awesomizing souls that we’re in, which enables us to remind each other of the truth, including and especially when we forget.

      Thanks for stopping by again! :)

      XOZ

  2. Jo Lauer May 28, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Thanks for the reminder, Z. Those 3 minutes a day never fail to bring a smile. It’s a great way to start my day, even before I get out of bed.

    • Z Egloff May 28, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Jo,

      Very cool. I like that you start the gratitude rolling even before you get out of bed!

      What’s most amazing to me about the practice is how little time it takes, and how much a mood can be shifted by the simple practice of gratitude.

      XOZ

  3. Tanya May 28, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    When I was a kid, we would start every day with daily affirmations, with breakfast. We did this for years (it felt like).

    It definitely was the 1970s, mom and dad version of it (we read off of a sheaf of papers, and didn’t spontaneously generate affirmations) but it was useful, affirming and positive.

    Feeling a sense of gratitude is huge. I should start doing this. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Z Egloff May 28, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Tanya,

      Have fun with it! The best part is how little time it takes.

      BTW, I call Lucy “two-face” all the time now. I was just telling Melissa about it this morning. Love it. 😉

      XOZ

  4. River May 28, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I start each day with remembering the story about the scientist who could create life. Thinking that she was all that told other scientists that we should have a meeting with God. So they called God and arranged to meet.

    God started the meeting by asking, “How may I serve you?”
    Scientist: “We have gotten together and decided that since we humans can create life, we don’t need God anymore.”
    God: :Oh really?” (followed by a soft chuckle) “Prove it!

    Reaching down the scientist grabs some dirt.

    God: Drop it! Get your own dirt!

    (hopefully you are laughing now)

    Seriously, the story reminds me that even the air I breath is a gift and I did nothing to deserve it and my life completely depends upon it. So I start my practice of gratitude with the most simple of things – air.

    I am also grateful for other simple things like the last letter of the alphabet which always makes me think of Z..er..uh You!

    Bright Blessings and ever flowings!

    • Z Egloff May 29, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      Hi River,

      Love the story. “Get your own dirt!” Ha! :)

      There truly are so many things to be grateful for. I love that you remind us of even the most basic, simple things – like air. When we break it down to this level, the list can just go on and on and on and on – flowing like, well, a River!

      I am grateful for you too! :)

      XOZ

  5. Norma Miller May 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    I am more like Melissa in the positive mode. I wake with gratitude in my heart everyday and continue with many gratitudes all day. I love the sharing with someone that is a new suggestion for me thanks so very much.

    • Z Egloff May 29, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Norma,

      How awesome that you’re naturally a happy peppy one!

      Sharing the gratitude practice with someone else has definitely deepened it for me, so I would absolutely recommend it. Have fun – and I know you will! :)

      XOZ

  6. Karen May 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Like the others, I am grateful for you, Z!

    And you’re so right about the value of listing gratitude each day. As you say, it takes so little time but is a big mood/vibration booster.

    Abraham says that when we feel appreciation, we’re the closest to pure Source energy we can possibly come.

    Yes, Oprah certainly did much to popularize the idea of a gratitude journal. (I happened to see her on “Live with Kelly and Michael” today. She looks like a million [billion?] bucks and was cutting up with Tyler Perry.)

    Keep being happy-peppy, happy-preppy, and all of the above!

    • Z Egloff May 29, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Karen,

      And I am grateful for you! I have come to look forward to – and always appreciate – your comments. Even though we live in different parts of the country and have never met, you are clearly a soul sister and I am grateful to have you in my life! :)

      XOZ

  7. Jenny May 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Z!!! My most loved cousin Z!! I want to thank you for today’s, or I guess, yesterday’s, thing about gratitude. I’m SO grateful that I read your words today, I can’t tell you. I haven’t seen you in eons, but reading this makes me feel like we’re not so far apart. You are doing wonderful service in this world (and maybe others)! I’ve been reading, but this is my first comment. Love to you and Melissa — we WILL meet someday!

    Love, Jenny

    • Z Egloff May 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Jenny!

      SO awesome so “see” you here. Glad you liked the posts and I’m so happy that you commented – I like to know who’s out there! :)

      You will totally meet Melissa one of these days! Yes – I claim and affirm it!

      Sending lots of love,

      XOZ

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