Today is the first official day of the Blessings Journal challenge. Some eager beavers, like Margaret, have already begun and are recognizing their blessings. I begin mine officially today. Let me take just a moment to review the guidelines of the challenge:
- Rate your happiness level on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being very happy.
- If you are having difficulty rating your happiness level, just take note of how you are feeling and jot it down.
- Record the blessings of the day.
- Score yourself on happiness at the end of each day.
- Record your thoughts, feelings and any spiritual increase as a result of these blessings.
- At the conclusion of the challenge, November 26th, reflect on the blessings received, the spiritual increases, and your thoughts and feelings.
- Score your happiness again
I would suggest that you find a way to take those new found feelings and spiritual blessings into the next few days as you celebrate (in the United States) Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Margaret commented yesterday that she is setting a timer and recording her thoughts hourly. I am very impressed with that diligence and effort. I am not sure that I can maintain that level of effort, but I have reflected on my first hour today. Here are my results.
My Happiness score is about a 6 or 7, I think. I say I think, because I am still not really clear on my happiness level.
I started the day off with reading the scriptures. As I was reading in the Book of Mormon, (yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), I was impressed again with the blessings that come to us when we are faithful. Lehi and his son, Nephi, along with their families, spent 8 years journeying in a relatively small geographical area before they were prepared enough for the next leg of their journey.
They endured many trials, each of which ultimately helped them either draw closer to the Lord or “harden their hearts”. Each person had their own reaction to the trials.
Isn’t that true for us today? Our trials and struggles either draw our hearts closer to the Lord or further away. What makes the difference?
Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…”.
In order to prosper (not just monetarily but in all areas of our life) in this life, we each need to have an attitude of gratitude. Look around you. Look at the attitudes of those you see. Then look at their circumstances in life. If their attitude is poor, are they also not poor in spirit, and perhaps even in material things. The following excerpt from a talk entitled “An Attitude of Gratitude” given by Thomas S. Monson in April 1992 expresses this well:
“A popular refrain from the 1940s captured the thought:
Good advice then. Good advice now.
This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.
We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
A favorite hymn always lifts our spirits, kindles our faith, and inspires our thoughts:
I am grateful this day for the many blessings I receive. I know that during this particularly challenging time in my life, I can find solace through being aware of, counting and expressing gratitude for the blessings, both great and small.
I hope that you find many blessings in your life today and that reflecting upon them increases your happiness and that of those around you. Have an awesome day! And thank you for spending these few precious minutes of it with me.