A reader of The Fulfillment Project suggested I read Martin Seligman's book Flourish. So I did. I'm remarkably suggestible that way. Send me your favorite book and you will soon find it on my to-read list.
I know I promised you this would be a not-very-well researched blog about my quest to make my pretty good life better, but sometimes I can't help myself. I mean, a little research is okay, right? Especially when it yields treasure.
Treasure, in the form of an idea, is what I found in Flourish. My favorite idea, so far, is the idea of writing down three things for which I am grateful. According to Mr. Seligman, it's not enough to verbalize your gratitude. You have to write it down. It can be big things, like I'm grateful for my healthy family or little things, like I'm grateful for peppermint hot chocolate. The most important thing is that it be specific.
What better way to celebrate than by writing down a daily list of three things for which I am grateful?
But first, a little more about this exercise. It was first tested on people suffering from severe depression (meaning they had trouble getting out of bed). Within a few months of writing in a gratitude journal something like 95% of the subjects were categorized as only mildly depressed. I'm hardly ever depressed so this should fit nicely with my goal of making my pretty good life a little bit better.
Not only that, we already kinda do this as a family. My kids call it poopsicle and popsicle. Every night we go around the table and say one bad thing (the poopsicle) and one good thing (the popsicle). I've noticed that, in general, my husband and I always have a poopsicle.
A lot of times the kids don't have anything at all...apparently their lives are all popsicles. That's great for them, but what about us? Why do we focus on the bad more than the good, the poopsicles more than the popsicles? I'm hoping the gratitude journal will help me focus on the positives and less on the negatives so here goes.
Today I'm grateful for the following three things.
1. Listening to my daughter help my son practice piano.
2. That my husband regularly texts me throughout the day.
3. That my local bookstore sold out of their copies of Losing Beauty and ordered more.
That wasn't so hard. I promise! Now I'm really hoping you'll leave me comments with the things that make you grateful. What's your popsicle today?