Do you have an attitude of gratitude?

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough,
and more.

Melody Beattie

I genuinely believe that I'm one of the most satisfied and happy people I know.  And that's not because I'm richer, or more beautiful, or have more stuff or more friends or more talents than everyone else that I know.  Far from it. 

It's because I make a practice of gratitude.  Every day.  In fact, I've been doing it for so long that it's become second nature - and it's made a massive difference in my life. 

Now, I'm not a religious person but the following quote from Meister Eckhart has always appealed to me:

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.

So, that's what I do.  I like to walk every day and, every day, whilst I'm walking along, I say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you", to myself, over and over again.  Sometimes I say it out loud.  Sometimes I sing it to myself, fitting the words into the song that's currently occupying space in my brain.  Sometimes I whisper it to myself as I walk along.  Sometimes I just say it in my head.   

However I do it, something magical happens and, before long, I start to see and think of more and more things to be grateful for: the squirrels chasing each other around a tree, the swans and their cygnets swimming along the canal, the Bank Holiday weekend coming up, all the information that I have such easy access to, the two buddies that I get to meet up with for our regular early morning cup of coffee... before long I've lost count of the items on my list.  And, in the face of so many things to be grateful for, how could I fail to be happy, and satisfied and even more grateful?

Try it.  And if just walking along saying 'Thank you' doesn't float your boat, check out:

A Practical Guide to Gratitude (so you can see and think differently) (from Unstuck.com)

and

Why gratitude makes life better + 40 ways to get started  (also from Unstuck.com).

Find something that works for you and stick with it.  I promise - it'll change your life!


Friends in Need

Depression alliance logoMy apologies for having two depression-related posts so close together - I'm not suggesting you're all depressed!  It's just that it's Depression Awareness Week here in the UK.  And, if you live in the UK and are struggling with depression, Depression Alliance has just launched Friends in Need, which provides 'a free and easy way to connect, either online or by meeting in groups and taking part in local activities, all of which help stop the feelings of loneliness and isolation'.


50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement - #4

RLI cover small This is a taster of my brand new 'Retirement Life Inventory: 50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement' eCourse (more details below):

Here's question #4:

What would your ideal retirement look and feel like?  Does your actual retirement look and feel like your ideal retirement?  How big is the gap between the two?  What could you do to narrow it? 


'50 Things for a Fiver' is a series of low-cost eCourses which deliver information or thought-provoking, self-coaching questions about retirement to your email inbox in 50 bite-sized chunks at 2-day intervals.

Please click here for details


50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement - #3

RLI cover small This is a taster of my brand new 'Retirement Life Inventory: 50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement' eCourse (more details below):

Here's question #3:

Which of the 6 stages of retirement are you in?  Have you encountered any of the potential pitfalls associated with this particular stage?  Have you overcome them or are you stuck?  Have you resolved all the pitfalls you encountered in previous stages?  


'50 Things for a Fiver' is a series of low-cost eCourses which deliver information or thought-provoking, self-coaching questions about retirement to your email inbox in 50 bite-sized chunks at 2-day intervals.

Please click here for details


50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement - #2

RLI cover small This is a taster of my brand new 'Retirement Life Inventory: 50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement' eCourse (more details below):

Here's question #2:

What's going right in your life?  What could be better?
 
Try applying these two questions to the following life areas:

1.  Health
2.  Money/finance
3.  Retirement career/work/business
4.  Family/friends/relationships
5.  Personal growth and development
6.  Fun/recreation/spare time/hobbies/creativity
7.  Environment (home, car, garden, etc.)
8.  Spirituality 
 

'50 Things for a Fiver' is a series of low-cost eCourses which deliver information or thought-provoking, self-coaching questions about retirement to your email inbox in 50 bite-sized chunks at 2-day intervals.

Please click here for details


50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement - #1

RLI cover small This is a taster of my brand new 'Retirement Life Inventory: 50 Once-a-year questions to ask yourself about your retirement' eCourse (more details below):

Here we go with question #1:

How satisfied are you with your life at present? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is 'Very dissatisfied' and 10 is 'Very Satisfied', how does your life in retirement measure up?
 

'50 Things for a Fiver' is a series of low-cost eCourses which deliver information or thought-provoking, self-coaching questions about retirement to your email inbox in 50 bite-sized chunks at 2-day intervals.

Please click here for details


A virtual kick in the pants...

Kick in the pants Hey you!  Yes, YOU!  You're the one I'm talking to... the one who is disappointed and disillusioned with their retirement. The one who is so fed up with life in retirement that they're wishing they'd stayed on at work. The one who's sitting around, feeling sorry for themselves or moaning and groaning to anyone who'll listen BUT not actually doing anything to improve the situation they're in.

Have I got your attention, now?  Good! Now, let me ask you a couple of questions:

1. What is it that you're actually waiting for?

and

2. How much time do you think you have left to sit around feeling sorry for yourself?

Okay, I know you feel down - you're probably bordering on being depressed. You feel overwhelmed by the futility of it all. Nobody seems to understand what you're going through. Everyone you know seems like they're getting on with things and leaving you behind. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning because you've nothing worth getting out of bed for. You've probably got some health problems and the kind of support that will get you going again seems non-existent. You feel like you're locked in a downward spiral and can't seem to muster up the will or the energy to do anything about it.

Here's the thing...

If you don't do something different - like changing your behaviour or your mindset, getting off your butt and taking some exercise, learning some new skills or new ways of thinking, maybe even investing money in yourself to help you do those things - how on earth do you expect anything to change? And how much longer can you hang on for? You're retired for heaven's sake! Without trying to put too fine a point on it - you're in the final third of your life. How much longer do you think you have left? 10 years? 20 years? (Probably a whole lot less if you carry on in the way that you have been doing...) The question, 'If not now, when?' has never been more relevant!

Now I know I'm usually nice and supportive - offering tips and advice and articles and encouragement... but sometimes a coach needs to show some tough love!  And the truth is - your retirement might be cr*p, but it's the only one you've got!  No-one is coming to rescue you! You've got to rescue yourself! 

Here's how you can make a start:

1. Just take the first step... I'm 99.9% certain that you know what that first step is and you're just resisting taking it. (And if you genuinely have no idea what that first step is, then get some help.)

2. Find out if you're depressed and, if it seems likely that you are, contact your doctor TODAY!

3. Stop complaining - it's highly likely that you're just alienating the people around you - making them less likely to WANT to be around you. And without a supportive network of people around you, things are going to feel a whole lot worse.

4. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Take action instead. Re-read step 1 above. Decide what it is you need to do and take the first baby step in the right direction. I love baby steps. They're much easier to take than a big leap and, no matter how small the step you feel able to take, you'll have made progress. Which will give you the incentive to take the next baby step and the next and the... (Okay - you get it.).

5. Start finding things to appreciate - anything - the sun's come out, you have Internet access and can find information on any subject you have an interest in - the answer to your problem is sure to be out there somewhere, your town has a library full of self-help books you can access for free... Even if you're a dyed-in-the-wool misery-guts, I know you can find SOMETHING to appreciate if you look hard enough!

6. If you really don't know where to start - get some help! My Retirement Detox Program: 40 Days to get your retirement back on track costs just £10 or about $15 for a 40-day program - that's 25 pence a day (about 38 cents) - a lot less than the cost of the chocolate, cake or wine you're probably medicating yourself with to make you feel better about the fact that your life is cr*p (and a lot healthier too!).

Whatever it is you decide to do, just promise me you'll do SOMETHING!  Okay?  Do we have a deal?

What's your first step going to be?