Several years ago I watched a movie, “The Ultimate Gift”, and since I love to follow the before and after events of a story, I also discovered this came as a series of three books, “The Ultimate Gift”, “The Ultimate Life” and “The Ultimate Journey” by Jim Stovall.
In “The Ultimate Gift”, there is a chapter called The Gift of Gratitude, in which there is a story of a man who had many challenges but never complained and was always grateful. When asked how he was able to stay in such good spirits, he explained that his mother had given him a valuable tool called The Golden List. Each morning before getting out of bed, he would imagine himself with a golden tablet on which was written ten things he was grateful for in his life. He had used this tool every day for years, and that’s what had always kept him in good spirits even through the rough times. (The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, pg. 126)
Personally, I had always tried to stay positive and be grateful for the many blessings that I had. But I decided I needed to take it a step further and try doing my own Golden List every day. As I started to be consistent with listing 10 things I was grateful for each day, I began noticing a big difference in my attitude toward things in general, and in my ability to handle the hard times a chronic illness brings. I have made it a point to make my Golden List almost every day for the past year and a half. Sometimes it happens before I get out of bed, and sometimes I work on pieces of it throughout the day, but I try hard to always make my mental list each day of things I am grateful for. Sometimes they are very deep, meaningful things in my life. Other times they are simple, every-day items or events. But having gratitude for everything, from the profound to the simple, makes the hard times seem a little easier and the burdens a little lighter. This is one of the things that has had the greatest impact on my ability to handle life when it gets really hard.
Another great tool that I’ve used is a Gratitude Journal. It’s basically the same idea, but instead of simply writing a list, I try to expound on the things I'm grateful for. You can incorporate these tools into your life if you haven't already done so. If you want, you can just list the things you’re grateful for in your head and not even write them down. Another option is to use a tool I've created on this blog, where you can combine the Golden List and Gratitude Journal ideas. You can register for a free account by clicking HERE, or the REGISTER HERE link on the sidebar. This registration will allow you to log in and create your own Golden List each day. Using this tool, you will be able to look back at the lists you have already created for any given day. It will also automatically create a cumulative list for you, which combines items from all of your past lists into a single list, showing each item only once even if you have placed the same item on various daily lists. This way you can look back and see all the things you've been grateful for over time. You can view your Golden Lists at any time by logging in to your account. These lists are private, and are accessible only to you when you log in. You can also print these lists if you wish, to put them in a binder as a physical journal.
My goal is to help you create a beautiful habit of noticing and expressing things in your life to be grateful for. As you do this, watch your joy in life expand and the hardships you bear become a little lighter. If you'd like to start creating your own Golden List, click HERE to register for an account, or click the REGISTER HERE link on the sidebar.
By registering, you are only required to enter a Username, First Name, Last Name, E-mail address, and password. This information will not be used for marketing purposes, nor will it be provided to any third party. It exists only for the purpose of allowing you to create and maintain your own Golden Lists.