An Attitude for Gratitude (Pt 2)

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Booking under: Nicole

Before reviewing how I did with my commitments in November, let me first wish you a Happy Thanksgiving (and shopping) with your family and friends!

While we should always summon up the feeling of gratitude in our heart, it becomes particularly pertinent in the month of Thanksgiving. Being grateful for what we have and practicing loving kindness towards ourselves and others have are the keys to contentment. Did I manage to apply these to my life as well?

Laugh out loud

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Smiles and laughter are contagious.

I think I did well on this one as laughing is spontaneous and I always enjoy being in a happy mood (who doesn’t?). One observation I have over this commitment is that we are often more likely to laugh around other people than when we are alone, because laughing is contagious and triggers a positive response. The more laughter we bring into our own lives, the happier others around us will feel.

I have a group of good friends who like to make fun of each other’s heights. Fun fact: our height is pretty much the same (+/- 2cm max.). Last week, since my friend and I were the first to arrive at dinner, we made fun of those who arrived late and joked they walked slowly because of the length of their legs. Opps… it may sound harsh, but we never feel offended (no matter who is saying it) and always have a good laugh about this and other funny moments even if they are embarrassing.

The same applies to the conversations between Keith and myself as the witty jokes and amusing stories we share always make us burst into laughter. Naturally incorporating humor into interactions is one way to enhance a relationship, and I am thankful that we laugh together a lot and make each other laugh easily.

Use Good Manners

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Practice good manners in both household and office.

In my last post, I shared the security guard at my apartment building was reluctant to greet the residents with a simple “good morning”. Two weeks later, the sun still rises from the east, but his attitude did become more friendly. This certainly helped set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Since I was small, my parents have taught me to develop a habit of saying “good morning” to people everyday and “goodnight” to them before going to bed. This is a gesture of love and good manners, and I still live with it today.

Apart from verbal manners, kind and considerate behavior also matters. On a random day after work, I l took the usual train route home. Luckily, I got a seat and loaded my heavy bag on my lap before my shoulder was wrecked. A woman carrying a baby in a sling then came on the train in the next station. Maintaining balance in such a packed carrier was difficult for the mother and the baby, so I gave up my seat and let them take it.

I was grateful to offer my immaterial help to them as they were more in need than I was under that situation. If laughing is contagious, I believe the same for helping people too. Doing good always makes me feel good as it is one of the keys to achieving happiness:)

Find An Area of Refuge

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Happiness is when embracing the nature with your love. Well…not necessarily from the trunk.

Practicing this commitment reinforced my belief that happiness really starts within. Whenever we feel miserable, we usually go through the stage of depression, digestion, and finally acceptance. I think these are necessary steps and it’s absolutely OK to express our true feelings because we are only human after all. Yet, the beauty of treating things with a positive outlook is that we can control the duration of each stage and choose when to be happy again. Of course, the sooner, the better. If we change the way we see things, we can change the way they are.

Recently, my work life felt like a treadmill of to-do lists with an aggressive timeline since starting a new project. There were moments of stress, so I took the benefit of running outdoors after work and just being with the nature to calm and refresh myself. But the best energy booster was actually looking through the photo memories with Keith on my laptop and reading all the thoughtful cards he made for me. Words can heal and kill; in this case, his words were the warmest refuge.

From Last Month

At the core of my commitments in October are five true rules I follow in my life. One of the foremost ones is to take responsibility for my words and actions. Bearing this in mind, I accepted the responsibility of taking care of my body by eating healthily and exercising. Recently, I received good news about career progression at work and kept reminding myself not let success go to my head since there is still so much more to learn. Though my new project is demanding, I treat my family as priority and try to finish work on time so that I could go home and have dinner with them. As for saving for the rainy day, I was planning to get myself a timepiece but then I realized the money could be spent on more resourceful things so I didn’t make the purchase at last.

Summing Up

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That’s it for me in November. My biggest takeaway this month is that having a minor attitude adjustment and optimistic mind can really set things apart. While it’s mind-blowing that we are entering the last month in 2016 next week, we are bidding farewell to The Happiness Project soon. Once again, we would like to thank you for supporting our blogging journey thus far. In the final installment of the book, Gretchen will discuss all her commitments at once via Boot Camp Perfect. Come back next week to see how Keith pursues his goals in parallel.

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