Have you seen my No Complaining Challenge yet?

Because many are calling 2020 a ‘bad’ year, this seemed like an ideal time to challenge my readers not to complain for the next three weeks.

Check it out!

In today’s post I want to look at gratitude.

When times are hard, you may say:

“What is there to be grateful for?”

If you seriously want to be more positive and complain less, then practice gratitude on a regular basis.

Don’t over complicate it, simply take 5 – 10 ten minutes every day to reflect on what you are grateful for (feel free to write this down).

It’s also a good practice to express gratitude when you come across a scenario that doesn’t make you feel particularly grateful.

So what can you feel grateful for?  Read on…

Reflect on the progress made over time

Where are you today?

What were you like in the past?

How have you got better?

What have you achieved during this time?

There is nothing that will make you feel more grateful than realising how much you’ve progressed over the years.

When you set goals, you are making progress, even when you have yet to achieve it.

For example I have goals to make some big gyms lifts on my squat, deadlift and bench.  I’m not quite yet at the end goal yet, but I’m grateful for the improvements that have made me the strongest I’ve ever been.

Also try looking further – in my post How Far We Come, I reflect on the progress made from being 18, where I realised everything I wanted then, I have now achieved – which I am very grateful for!

When you look back in your past you’ll realise how much personal growth has taken place.

Be thankful for what you do have

My goal is to become a Project Manager in my company by 2022.

This hasn’t gone to plan, as my organisation announced they were no longer financially sustainable, had to undergo restructuring and make people redundant.

Instead of applying for a promotion as planned, I was applying for my own job!

Once that was done with, Coronavirus hit and all future recruitment was frozen.

I’m at a point where it’s unlikely I’ll reach this goal.  When I realised this, it hurt.

But then I practiced gratitude for what I do have – in these difficult times I still have a well paid job, that allows me the flexibility to work on other things interests such as writing.

I also recognised there is more to my life than work, having a family that loves me very much.

Don’t dwell on what you don’t have, appreciate what you’ve got.

See the good from a bad situation

Complaining originates from focusing on the bad which may (or has) occured.

I invite you to flip how you think about things and be grateful for whatever happens to you.

In Viktor Franklins book a Man’s Search for Meaning, he discusses a client who was struggling to get over the death of his wife.

Franklin was able to help the man see a different perspective – by dying, his wife was spared the pain of having to go through what the man was experiencing.

By applying this approach, he had meaning to his suffering, and in many ways saw purpose in his suffering, and was even grateful he was the one going through this.

In my own life, my baby daughter is going through a difficult patch sleeping, my wife and I are both exhausted and losing patience, but I express gratitude that she is still healthy and that we were able to have children.

With every situation that has hardship, try to identify the good that comes for it.

Remember everything that is free

We get so wrapped up in material things – what we can’t have, we forget about the things that cost nothing.

What is free we take for granted, in my post The Secret of My Endurance I discuss the end of my grandparent’s generation, something in reflection, I took for granted.

Being born into the world, they were just there, I didn’t have to earn them and until they started disappearing, didn’t appreciate their presence.

Don’t forget everything that is free as these are irreplaceable.

As the famous Personal Development thinker Earl Nightingale said:

“Everything that’s really worthwhile in life came to us free; our mind, our soul, our body, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends. All these priceless possessions are free, but the things that cost us money are actually very cheap and can be replaced at any time.”

Earl Nightingale (via Goodreads)


Next time you feel down and want to complain, think about the good things.

What are you grateful for?

<<Next post in the No Complaining Challenge 2020 Series How Do You React to Stressful Situations?>>

Take the No Complaining Challenge

This is part of a series of posts for the No Complaining Challenge 2020.

I challenge you to try not to complain for the next three weeks and see what happens.

Everytime you fail (and you will) make a note of what the trigger is and set a plan of action in place avoid falling into this trap.

When you do this you’re going to fail, fail, fail again.  But when you do, at least you know not to complain about it…

I’ll be providing posts for the three weeks to inspire you to a more positive life – make sure you don’t miss out and subscribe to Perfect Manifesto.

Are you in?  Join the newsletter:

Over the next three weeks I will be sharing content to inspire you to be more positive in your approach to life – if you join my newsletter we can keep in touch and you’ll receive more great content about being a father, taking care of your health and striving for life long self-improvement:

Success! You're on the list.

19 thoughts on “What Are You Grateful For?

  1. This is the reminder that I need. Today, I’m very grateful of electricity! The power just came back on after a couple of hours of black out lol! Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All through lockdown I considered the positive moments each week and acknowledged the challenges. It really helped to keep perspective and prevent me from feeling overwhelmed by everything (mostly). I wrote about gratitude in particular too: https://smellysocksandgardenpeas.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/gratitude/
    I love the idea of staying positive for three weeks. I hope I would find it not too challenging for the first two ween holiday and home learning, working, or

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha no worries I do it all the time when I’m trying to comment using my phone catching the send button early!

        The coronavirus was an interesting situation to observe human behaviour, some started off okay, then somewhere the situation got to them and they became so of the most depressing people to talk to. That motivated me to start up the challenge to at least help people think how they are reacting to things.

        And thank you for taking part – my kids are only young and my wife is still on maternity leave so doing the lionshare of child care while I focus on my job – good luck with that 🙂


      2. We’ve been working from home with the kids underfoot, its been so challenging. But learned so much about my kids, about teachers and about ourselves. It’s going to be very quiet when they go back.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A really interesting and positive post. Lots to think about. There’s certainly a lot more to be thankful for than there is to moan about and while I’m not always the most positive person, I understand that it’s better to stay optimistic and grateful than not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most people aren’t naturally positive and it comes with continued effort! One of the most important things therefore is to always keep trying to look on the positive side and being grateful.

      Thanks for commenting.
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great challenge! Honestly, with so much going on in the world today, we are inundated with negativity. It would be SO easy to just give in to that and resign ourselves to being unhappy and stressed out. After all, that’s what the media is pushing us to feel. However, we have control – we can choose to accept that negativity OR we can choose to see a different side to it all as you described. I know that this is something I could work on even more than I already am, so I’m going to give your challenge a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If we gave in and accepted the fear we would go mad.

      The breaking point for me with the media they always push negativity- it was only seeing one of those ‘Year recap’ shows something that had upset me that I’d quickly forgotten as it had no impact in my life!

      You are right it’s all about control, choosing how we react.

      Thank you for commenting and good luck with the challenge- let me know how you get on.
      All the best


  5. wonderful post, James. What a great way to go through life – always looking for the silver lining and being grateful for what you have. I’m sorry to hear about the problems your company is having; I hope thing start to get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Although it’s frustrating the ambition I have hasn’t been realised yet because of circumstance, I just remind myself how many people have lost work due to covid and that at least that’s not been an issue for me.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this challenge!

    In my inner work to heal and to work on my anxiety and depression, I had decided a few years ago to focus on the positive, to speak lovingly to myself, and not to complain.

    The results really surprised me, as my anxiety and depression were lifted! It’s amazing how a simple thing like focusing on the positive can do, but it actually works on a deep psychological level of developing more positive chemicals in our bodies, instead of triggering the Amygdala and producing Cortisol!

    I was really amazed at the difference, and now I devote my writing time to sharing positive thoughts on my blog, to help others find daily bits of positivity to think about and take action on!

    Peace to you and all your readers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tamara,

      I’m ever so grateful, for trying to always take a grateful approach to life 🙂

      I know when I’m talking to someone who is being bleak, often I’ll turn the conversation to say “On the positive side at least…”

      That’s interesting to know how it effects our ‘chemistry’ – thanks for taking the time to share you perspective and commenting.

      All the best

      Liked by 2 people

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