I went to bed last night thinking about gratitude.

I woke up this morning thinking about gratitude.

I know I’ve talked about gratitude before but it’s so important.

It is said that it’s impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time.

Just this morning during my morning routine, I listened to a talk by Joe Dispenza, who wrote the book, “Evolve your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind.”

Not just changing your mind, like making a different decision, but changing the way your mind operates.

Dispenza was explaining how thoughts are tied to emotions.

I’m not versed well enough in all this to explain it very well, but I’ll try. Our thoughts produce chemical reactions in our body. Think of a lie detector machine and how that works. When people wake up in the morning, he said, and start thinking about negative things — their problems, for example, or past mistakes; something upsetting that happened the day before — the body produces chemicals that make them feel sad, stressed, angry, depressed, or whatever.

When we think positive thoughts, the opposite chemical reaction happens.

Practicing gratitude is one way to re-train a negative thinking brain into a more positive thinking brain.

I’ve been practicing gratitude for exactly 90 days now.

Am I Mr. Positive now? Mr. Sunshine?


But I’m a lot better than I was when I started.

So many people take so much for granted. One person I listen to a lot during my morning routine is Steve Harvey, the comedian. One time he was talking to some audience somewhere, and he said, “I don’t even know y’all, but I can tell every single one of you 50 things you have to be grateful for.” And he started naming things like being able to walk, being able to talk, see, hear, think, having a roof over your head, food in the pantry, indoor plumbing. On and on and on …

I found out yesterday that someone I’ve known for a long time — I don’t want to be too specific about who it is because this is their private business — got some pretty bad news recently about their health. They’re about to start undergoing a prolonged treatment program that may get kind of brutal. Not only that, the doctor gave them the ol’ “five to eight years to live” prognosis.

Now, none of us really knows how much longer we have to live, of course. But imagine getting news like that …

Compared to that, I ain’t got no problems, man.

If you have your health, does anything else really matter that much?

Be grateful, man.

Besides your good health, everything else is small stuff — it really is.

Life is short. Too damn short to go around being unhappy, worried, stressed out. If that sounds familiar, one way to turn things around is practicing an attitude of gratitude.

Try this: first thing in the morning when you wake up, say, “Today’s gonna be a great day!” Say it out loud, and say it like you mean it. Sounds silly, but a highly successful, extremely positive-minded friend told me a long time ago that he does this every day.

I thought he was joking around. I said, “No, you don’t”

He said, “Yes, I do.”

I do that now.

I listen to positive messages on YouTube first thing in the morning, and I write in a journal, beginning with three things I’m grateful for that day. Could be big things like my home, my family, my friends, my health. Could be little things like hot water to take a shower, clean water to drink, my coffee maker, my comfortable bed.

It is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time.

What are you grateful for today?