An Attitude of Gratitude

I recently caught the Oscar’s thank you speech Mathew McConaughey gave, which he won for The Dallas Buyers Club.

His short speech carried some lessons for me that I felt I had to comment on.

He started out by talking about being grateful.

This was the first thing that struck me having recently witnessed an unedifying episode with an errant child, who has the world at his feet but throws a hissy fit if the clothes that are bought for him are not from the right designer.

McConaughey  referenced the scientific proof that gratitude reciprocates, in other words it comes back to you. You could say what goes round comes around, describe it as Karma or whatever you like but the psychological studies agree.

Gratitude Makes You Happier

Let’s start with gratitude. We all want more, It doesn’t matter what it is, but we all want it. But being grateful for what you have is as good a start point as any, reviewing what you already have and being grateful for that makes you feel better.

Yes it does, really. You focus on the positive by being grateful, you focus on the negative and the lack by being needy and wanting more. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for the next thing, doing so takes you to where you want to end up. And you know, by striving for more and being grateful for your start point you end up with more, it’s the side effect of striving.

The science is covered in this article from
Happier Human .

Back to the other points he made.  He talked about just three things he needs in his life each day,

1.   Something to look up to
2.   Something to look forward to
3.   Someone to chase

Firstly, He talks about how  he looks up to God.

Now I’m not going to open a debate about belief in God here but he clearly does, and it brings a concept into his life from which he gets a lot of value, as do many millions of other people. I’m not brave enough to enter the God and religion debate so I am going to skip right on to the other two. because……….

They both struck chords with me.

Something to look forward to……

What do you have to look forward to? He talked about his family as those he wants to make proud of him.

Something to chase……

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He’s chasing himself. Who or what are you chasing?

This comes to my real point here, he’s really talking about having goals that lead towards a sense of fulfilment and achievement.

He chases the visualised image he has of himself in 10 years time, knowing he’s never going to achieve it because he never arrives at the destination, but relishing the challenge of the vision he has of himself and his future.

He’s creating his own future and that is what we all do whether we realise it or not. You can  have a conscious construct of who you see yourself as being in ten years time, or you can simply allow yourself to drift along accepting whatever comes into your life. Either is fine, but if you want more, create an image of the person you want to be visualise it and work on the little things that will take you closer.

Who is in your mirror?

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Alter little things every day for ten years and you’ve made 3,650 changes.  Imagine who your are!

Remember that change is the only constant!