Gratitude’s Power to Transform Time

Gratitude's PowerGratitude’s power is a key element in your time management repertoire.

This was illustrated for me most keenly late last month when I heard an interview with Amanda Lindhout, a young woman who’d survived 460 days of captivity in Somalia.

Amanda has written a book about her experience titled A House in the Sky. It depicts harrowing experiences at the hands of her captors, and while there may be debate about how she got herself into this situation, there is no debating the terrible challenges she faced – and the meaning to be gleaned from the way she survived.

Gratitude’s power lies at the heart of her journey through the darkness of captivity.  As noted in the NY Times review:

To withstand her anguish, she recited a catalog of the small gifts for which she was grateful: “my family at home, the oxygen in my lungs,” the fact that “Jamal set my food down on the floor instead of throwing it at me.”

And that is where gratitude’s power lies – in the small gifts of each and every moment.

As this book graphically reflects, no matter what is going on for you, when you seize on gratitude’s power, you transform your time – it becomes yours again. Your heart opens to the gifts of the moment – and they are there for you.  It’s all a matter of what you allow your eyes to see.

And gratitude’s power is muscular and gritty. It should not be reduced to clichés like making lemons out of lemonade. While those are meaningful to a point, the bottom line truth is that gratitude’s power is, at its core, about survival!

We make choices, all the time, about what counts and what shapes our next moment – what ‘voices’ we give credence to.  We choose whether we experience our moments as victims or as our fullest and most powerful selves – no matter what the circumstances.  Again, I quote from the NY Times review of Amanda’s book:

Most remarkably, in total darkness, Lindhout transcended her starving, feverish body. She built first stairways, then rooms in the stillness of the air above her. She built, as the title suggests, a “house in the sky,” where “the voices that normally tore through my head expressing fear and wishing for death went silent, until there was only one left speaking.” This voice asks, “In this exact moment, are you O.K.?” She answers, “Yes, right now I am still O.K.”

In the most profound sense, our experience of our time lies in our hands. So how will you tap into gratitude’s power today and transform your time?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with the brands, topics, or products that are mentioned here, and have not received any compensation for writing this content.

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  1. Timothy Torrents says

    You are right. Sometimes we forget about the things we have because we are too busy obsessing about the things we don’t have. Once we learn how appreciate what we have our lives become so much easier.

  2. I practice gratitude every day now. It feels me with joy and am an optimist most of the time now 🙂

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