Hey, thanks!March 25, 2010 at 11:35 AM | Posted in 60: New Rules of the Road | 2 Comments
Tags: Ben Zander, Ted
Two Thanksgivings ago I began noting each morning in my small notebook five things that I was grateful for. I got this idea from an author on Happiness whose name escapes me. So, for the past sixteen months I have done it almost without fail. It is a worthwhile activity to write of great things — like the birth of my grandson Jack — to small things, like a good cup of coffee. There are days when I’ve been stuck but never so stuck that I can’t remember to be thankful that my family is alive and well.
Somewhere along the way, I began writing down six things. The least that this noting does is that it gets me outside myself. I believe in looking forward and not back but sometimes I grimace at all the things I have taken for granted or not appreciated at all. Sometimes I write that I appreciate that I am now taking note.
Ben Zander in a talk on Ted tells the story of a woman recounting the last time she saw her brother. During World War II the German’s were taking them from their home and she was yelling at her brother for something insignificant and this, as it turned out, was the last thing she ever said to him. She promised herself that she would never say anything to someone that could not stand as the last thing she would ever say to them.
This story, hard to recount without a quiver in my voice, has stuck with me. Now I bookend my six ‘gratefuls’ in the morning with writing three things that I am happy about every evening. I call these the “Three Happiness’s.”
This is the second of my 60: New Rules of the Road.