This is an “antidote for complaint, worry, and for those who are depressed.” It is not a foolproof or perfect answer by any means, but it works at least to some extent on everyone. It’s the art of being grateful and the exercise is simply one of creating a list of one hundred (100) things we’re grateful for.
My present gratitude list goes like this:
1. I have the most beautiful and gorgeous wife in the world.
2. My three daughters are healthy and happy.
3. My children are growing and developing so well.
4. My parents are still alive, and my brothers too.
5. My parents-in-law and my wife’s family love me and I love them.
6. Overall, I have a wonderful family.
7. The house I live in has modern facilities and keeps me sheltered from the weather.
8. My wife likes spending time with me and I like spending time with her.
9. I know Jesus Christ.
10. I have hopes to have more children.
11. I am free to worship God in any way I wish to.
12. I can walk.
13. I can talk.
14. I can read and write.
15. I can think and have thoughts and time with myself.
16. My five senses work well still, unaided (presently).
17. I can see, not only through my eyes, but also through the eyes of my heart.
18. I live in relative luxury, in freedom, and in a just society.
19. I have two days off per week most weeks.
20. My employer is wonderful.
21. The job I have is both stimulating and varied, and I’m valued for my work.
22. I have good managers and co-workers.
23. I attend a church where people love me and I’m allowed to love them.
24. I have the time to write.
25. I can drive a car… I own a car.
26. I have many great tools that help me live my life.
27. My personal library is bliss; every book hand picked.
28. We have not one, but two computers in my family.
29. I have both the inclination and ability to plan ahead in my life.
30. We have access to seemingly unlimited electricity, water and food, and other resources.
31. I really don’t mind washing dishes anymore; in fact, I love doing them!
32. I love Proverbs, Psalms, Ephesians and Ecclesiastes… actually, I love the whole Bible.
33. I can talk sensibly and sensitively to my teenage daughters (most of the time).
34. One day rolls into the next for me; Wednesday’s are just as important as Sunday’s.
35. I have been blessed to have the second chance at tertiary education.
36. Trade qualifications, knowledge and skill have always been handy.
37. I see my parents at least each fortnight and have a great relationship with them.
38. I’ve got three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews.
39. I have a sense of humour (most of the time).
40. Even when things don’t go my way, I usually see the good things out of it.
41. I have a wonderful view outside of my office window of a serene operational harbour.
42. I’m living in the present; at the very cusp of time. I’m not dead yet.
43. The part of the earth I live in is such an inhabitable place climate-wise (most of the time).
44. I have the ability and the inclination to love–people and living things and my experiences.
45. I have a telephone so I can talk to people a long way away.
46. I have pictures of my lovely family I can look at; at home, at work, in my wallet.
47. I get to meet interesting people almost every day.
48. Living near the beach–there’s nothing quite like the white noise of the surf.
49. There is clean water available for me to drink right now.
50. There is a plant I am responsible for and it hasn’t died yet!
51. I have fish oil tablets and other vitamins to complement my diet.
52. I have the powers of self-control most of the time and the drive to improve.
53. I’m a member of a gymnasium.
54. The academic qualifications I have and study I’ve done have helped form my character so I become the person I’ve always wanted to be.
55. I can make a unique contribution.
56. I have a positive self-image and I’m thankful I’ve worked on it.
57. There is work I can do to keep me stimulated.
58. I can feel pain; most of the time this is good for pain is generally a healthy sign.
59. I have a watch, it looks good and suits my style, and I can tell time.
60. I have over three (and nearly four) decades of memories of living; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
61. Being in a western-most place means the sun sets on the horizon with the water in the foreground–that’s pretty special!
62. There are plans that I’m making and have made–therein lies hope.
63. I’ve met some famous people and high-achievers and been inspired.
64. Coffee. I love it, and I can drink great coffee every day if I want to.
65. I earn money enough to give some away to those less fortunate.
66. Music. I really appreciate it. (And I think I have good taste–I’m allowed to say that.)
67. Enthusiasm and zeal for life and learning; I have it most of the time. I’m still excitable.
68. I have suffered loss and have survived it–it’s actually made me a better person!
69. People honour me at times when they come to me for help.
70. To have achieved forty years of age… the best is yet to come.
71. I live in times of (relative) peace.
72. I have a passion for cricket and Australian football and follow both ardently.
73. This time I live in is dynamic; excitement abounds.
74. I love pizza, seafood and ice cream plus many other good foods.
75. I see miracles occur most days. Most people would call these things ‘normal.’
76. I can rest and take time out to smell the flowers almost whenever I want.
77. Words and their meanings excite me. Language and communication are art.
78. Freedom of choice is something I appreciate and try not to take for granted.
79. I’ve overcome dependency on substances, for instance, cigarettes.
80. ‘Creativity of thought’ is a gift I’m appreciative of.
81. I can travel in a modern train any day I want and see the sights.
82. There is a reliable public transport system in the place I live; I feel blessed almost every time I use it.
83. A wife’s or daughter’s smile… what more could I say.
84. My ‘encouragement file’ is growing; people encourage me almost every day.
85. Mentors who’ve invested their time and effort in me–I’ll be eternally grateful.
86. Reminds me of Maxwell Smart. I can watch television because I have one.
87. Mathematics. The sense of numbers makes sense to me.
88. The desire to keep growing throughout my life pleases me.
89. Wisdom. I see it in others and others at times see it in me. I love its truth.
90. My family’s safety thus far; I try not to take it for granted.
91. I get ongoing education through courses, seminars, conferences and workshops.
92. Science. I marvel at it. It’s got be intelligent design.
93. My heart is saddened by some things I see–I’m glad about that.
94. Health. My overall health, whilst not perfect, pleases me.
95. Movies and dates: I can date my wife, and love watching movies with her.
96. The range of shopping centres at my disposal is amazing.
97. I get to be “me” for all of my life. Now that’s not bad.
98. I can wear whatever clothes I own; I can also dress myself.
99. One day I might be blessed enough to have grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren.
100. I might make it to 100 years of age by God’s grace. I’m “not out” so far.
Even though we can’t all subscribe to every item on this particular list of mine, it illustrates the important point that each of us has specific and very detailed reasons to be extremely thankful. Where you perhaps cannot list certain items I have, I am sure you might have items I could not list.
There really is no limit to this list when we think about it.
Copyright (c) 2008, S. J. Wickham.