Real Life Changing: Join the 30-Day Gratitude Experiment

Today I’m going to share with you what the personal development gurus say is one of the most powerful way change your world to have better health, more wealth, and increase happiness.

It’s completely free and only takes 10 minutes per day. At the end, I’ll show you how to do it and join in the experiment with me.

What is it? What is it?

I’m going to give away the big secret at the beginning of the post. It’s in the post title too. I know that’s not the best way to keep readers but I’m only looking for people looking to be extraordinary to read the whole post.

The ones that find the answer to be a let down, like when you find out how to do a magic trick, won’t read all the way. That’s fine with me. Again, I’m looking for a special group of people.

Since 2006, I’ve read a handful of personal development books. It started when I realized my life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go. I felt stuck, depressed, and upset. I turned to these books to find answers to how to make my life happier and more fulfilling.

In some books that I’ve read, there’s one thing the authors kept mentioning that we can do to drastically change our lives.

This thing can:

  • Bring wealth
  • Increase health
  • Unlock your potential
  • Deepen relationships
  • Increase your overall well being

The one thing they advise is the power of gratitude. That’s the secret to the magic trick. Thanks for coming.

Are you still with me? For those still here, let’s keep going.

What Does Oprah Think?

 

Let me share a quote. Forgive me it’s another Oprah reference. I swear this blog isn’t going to turn into an Oprah shrine. If she’d share some of her wealth I’d reconsider.  However she sums up why gratitude is so important.

 “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

If Oprah says it then we should all listen right? If she gives you a car will you listen? I’m willing to bet she not only believes it but has become a daily part of her life.

How I Used to Be

 

The old Benny up to 2007 was a miserable, ugly person. I hated the world. I hated my job with a passion. I constantly dragged myself down. I became a passenger on the journey of my life.

I kept thinking what I didn’t have in life. I wished I had my dream job. I wished I had more money. I wished I was happier. Too much focused on the negative and now realize that was a terrible way of thinking. That way of thinking kept digging myself deeper into the ground.

Older and Wiser

 

Sydney Opera House

 

A 2 year sabbatical to Taipei and Sydney changed my life. I still don’t have all the answers nor the ideal life right now but I’m working on it every day.

For years I read about the importance of gratitude but never fully applied it. I thought “How can being thankful really change my life?” I had so many things I didn’t like about my life that it was hard to focus on being thankful. It was much easier to be miserable!! I had my doubts for sure.

Then last year I started to re-read about gratitude and the benefits of daily gratitude. Being wiser now, I thought this is something I should pay more attention to.

 

Here are some of the benefits that I’ve learned

-Research has proved that practicing gratitude reduces stress, fear, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease. Bottom line, gratitude can extend your life.

-Your relationships will improve because instead of focusing on the 20 percent of what that person doesn’t fulfill, you’re focusing on the 80 perfect that is wonderful and perfect about that person. I’ve read about failed marriages restored through gratitude. Parents and children forming a closer bond. Your relationships will deepen.

-Focusing on what you do have instead what you don’t will increase your wealth. You will focus your mind on abundance, discover new opportunities. You will see the potential all around you. You will attract people in your life to help you. Gratitude can make you wealthy.

Pretty cool so far right? Ok if I haven’t lost you, let’s keep going.

 

Giving Thanks Should Be More than One Day a Year

Have you heard that when you give to others, you will receive back? It’s the same idea here. When you give thanks, you will receive more of that back. The best part is that giving gratitude is free!

It’s not just about saying thank you. There needs to be true gratitude. The more you say it, the more you feel, the more it will change your life.

If you use gratitude a little, it’ll change your life a little. If you use it a lot every day, your life will change even more. It’s just like success. Your level of success is determined by how much hard work you put in.

Saying thanks isn’t just for the day we eat turkey and watch football on TV. It should be done every day.

This is Scientifically Proven

Over on Tim Ferris’ blog he talked about “gratitude training” and a referenced a group of scientists that did an experiment:

“The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day… the second group recorded their unpleasant experiences, [and] the last group made a daily list of things for which they were grateful.

The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Additionally, the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, was more likely to help others, exercised more regularly and made more progress toward personal goals. According to the findings, people who feel grateful are also more likely to feel loved.

McCollough and Emmons also noted that gratitude encouraged a positive cycle of reciprocal kindness among people since one act of gratitude encourages another… McCullough suggests that anyone can increase their sense of well-being and create positive social effects just from counting their blessings.”

This is User Proven

Ironically I had an interview last week with my friend  Adrienne Smith. She went through a tough time in life and I asked her what pulled her through it.

Because I had a limited belief that I could do anything I wanted, that was much harder for me.  What I learned was to start thanking God everyday for what I did have.  To just be grateful for my home, a reliable car to drive, family that loved and supported me, friends that stood by me, food to eat every day, things we take for granted.  I then started thanking God for bringing the right people into my life, the right opportunities, for opening my eyes to the right road to take, things like that.  I started with the small things and have been very religious about my gratitude every single day.  It has made all the difference in the world.  This alone has been the biggest lesson I have learned to date!  The power of gratitude is huge.


She had NO IDEA I was writing this post. She is proof that it works. Are you convinced that it’s powerful? Do you want to be like Adrienne? Keep reading.

 

Time to Get Serious

Since there’s no denying the power of gratitude when used consistently, I need to get serious about doing it. I’m talking the talk but need to walk the walk too.

Thus far this year I’ve kept a gratitude journal on my iPhone but I stopped after a month (you may kick me). For the month of April, I would give thanks during the day for anything great that happened (kick me lighter). It’s helped but I want to unleash it’s power.

Now I’m ready to get serious and I want you to join me.

 

I want to do a 30 day gratitude experiment.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to change your life and change your thoughts, this is the best time to do it.

If you want to have more money, improve your well being, unlock your potential, and deepen relationships, then this is for you.

If you think it’s absurd, silly, pointless or believe in unicorns, then no need to keep reading. Thanks for your time.

For those who want to join me here’s what you will do for the gratitude experiment.

 

Instructions for the Gratitude Experiment

gratitude experiment
Start by getting a journal

Photo by Seanmcragth

 

First, buy a journal or spiral notebook. In the morning spend five minutes writing down what you are thankful for. You can focus on thing like a good night’s sleep, comfortable bed, roof over your head, two good legs for walking, being able to see the sunshine in the morning. Make it about anything you want. Those aren’t silly! Those are things we should be thankful for but take for granted.

Those are just some ideas if you get stuck. But you should have plenty of reasons to be thankful. When you write them down, remember to really feel how grateful you are for it.

Second…at night before bed, spend five more minutes writing what you’re grateful for. It could be something that happened during the day. It could be anything in your life. There are no wrong answers.

Extra credit. Throughout the day when something good happens to you, give thanks. Such as you had a great meal. You get a parking spot in a crowded mall. You saw a great movie. Just say it to yourself. You don’t need to say it out loud.

Again, appreciate the things that you usually take for granted.

Triple credit!! Throughout the day when you are aware, just take the time to give thanks for everything in life. Just takes a moment. Give thanks for your health, your life, for the fun you’re having, for everything that’s wonderful and good.

Double extra triple credit! Join my the GBL Facebook page to join others through the 30 days. If you just want to join cause you like me, that’s accepted too.

The best part about this is that gratitude is free. Yet the returns you get will be life changing.

 

Some Tips

 

The things you write down can be kept to yourself. So don’t edit yourself when writing in your journal. This is for your eyes only. If you choose to share it with your partner, then by all means do. Even better, have your partner join in.

It should be a daily routine and as important as taking a shower and brushing your teeth. If you do neither on a daily basis, then thank goodness I’m not face to face with you!

It’s going to take discipline because it’s not a daily habit. You’ll need to make this a daily habit. Keep your journal next to your bed. Keep it somewhere you know  you will see it.

You may not think it works but it’s worth trying the gratitude experiment for 30 days or your money back guaranteed. Think of it like a little seed. You plant it in the ground. You water it everyday. Little by little it grows but you still can’t see the results yet. You know if you keep giving it water and sunshine that flower will bloom. However it takes daily work and time.

I don’t expect every single person reading this to want to do this. I’m doing it now so who wants to join me?

If you’re interested in joining me on this 30 day gratitude experiment, become a fan of my Facebook page. I want to stay in touch with everyone for 30 days. I thought about how to stay in contact with those who are participating. Emails? Twitter? Ultimately I thought Facebook would be a way.

Share Share Share!

 

gratitude experiment

Photo by Jessiee Culzon

I honestly don’t know if I will get one person or a hundred people. I’m taking a leap of faith and offering help. At least I know I’ll be doing the gratitude experiment. So there’s one. If I only have one more person, I’ll be happy to go on this journey with that one person. The more the better of course.

If you don’t want to commit 30 days, I totally understand. I appreciate your reading what I had to say. Just find ways to be more thankful every day.

However please share this on Twitter, hit the “Like” button on Facebook, send an email to a friend who may be looking for change in their thoughts and life. Spread the word!

And if you’ve read all 2214 words, I’ll talk to Oprah about getting you a car. You deserve it!!! You’re awesome no matter what others say.

Remember share with your Twitter friends about the gratitude experiment below.

main photo by leafbug

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  • Well Benny, you KNOW I’m in!!! Heck, I do this everyday anyway so this will be a breeze for me. Okay, I don’t actually write mine down but I say them out loud. I’ll just make a point of writing them down now. I know I’ll get writers cramp though! LOL!!!

    And thank you so much for the mention. Until you actually do this consistently, people don’t have a clue how powerful this really is. Doors will start opening, people will start entering, it’s truly amazing at what life can bring you when you just do this one small gesture.

    Really enjoyed this post and it only took me about 7 minutes to read. Nope, I’m not a fast reader either but enjoyed every word.

    Will see you over at your Fan Page!

    Adrienne

    • Benny

      I truly hope those positive benefits will happen. I really need to take action and do it and by announcing it here, I have to be accountable for it! I hope others will too. Thanks for your support! Glad to have 2 people doing it at least!!

  • Great job on this post, Benny – the ideas are great, it’s very detailed, and still interesting.

    I’ve been doing something like this for a couple of years now; once per week, I fill a page with at least five things that I am grateful for.

    I tried doing it daily, but found it was less effective; actually, there is research to support that – you might want to read the How of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubomirsky (hope I’m spelling that properly…).

    Thanks again for the post, I enjoyed it!

    • Benny

      Thanks for sharing Danny! I’ll take a look at that book for sure.

  • Fantastic post. I’M SO EXCITED! Fanned your page, and excited to learn from everyone as we start on May 16th. Everything is in place on my calendar, and I’ve tweeted the program.

    I’ve always thanked and been grateful through prayer, but I’ve never been the best at writing down what I’m grateful for. Only through exercises – so this will be fun.

    • Benny

      Thanks for joining in Christian! I need to get better with being grateful for what I DO have and really writing it down twice a day and thinking about it throughout the day. Glad to have you join in!!

  • Hey Benny, I love your attitude and outlook on life. Gratitude and thankfulness requires you to be in the moment… this very moment!

    There are so many things to be grateful for in life. All I need to do is have one of my kids come throw their arms around me and say “I love you daddy,” and I’m so in the moment and so thankful for life at that moment, I could just die and go to heaven.

    This is a great message Benny and I look forward to being part of the journey 🙂

    Cheers!

    • Benny

      Mark, I really appreciate it! I can’t wait to be a dad one day to cherish those moments. Sounds awesome.

      I look forward to 30 straight days of this exercise and glad you’re a part of it Mark!

  • WOW Benny, your blog looks better after every visit. I’m totally down with trying your 30 day experiment.

    This actually reminds me of when I used to take “smile breaks” with my study group in college. My friends and I used to get so tired and frustrated cramming for exams that we would preset an alarm to take a break where we would just sit around and force ourselves to smile at each other. And strangely enough it worked. After a few awkward seconds, everyone would start laughing and the tension would just melt away.

    Weird how if you force your body to do or think of something happy that you actually start feeling happier!

    • Benny

      Hey Paul! Yeah I just created a new text logo. Wanted something with a bit more adventure to it.

      That’s cool you guys did that! It’s hard to be stressed out or upset when you’re smiling. It is amazing such a small thing will make you change so much. That’s what I’m hoping this experiment will do too. Change our thoughts. Change our lives. Glad you’re on board!!

  • Hi Benny,

    In the coach training program I went through, we talked a lot about journals and the importance of one. I also agree that we can be thankful every minute if we want to. I have a gratitude stone and when I see it, it reminds me to take a minute to think what I have to be grateful for 🙂

    I will think about participating in this challenge. My excuse is that there are so many things going on at the moment!

    Thanks for reminding us that there are so many things for us to be thankful for. It’s up to us to decide if we want to do it 🙂

    • Benny

      Thanks for coming by Diana. The gratitude stone is very interesting. I may have to incorporate something like that in my life. Maybe I can have my gratitude iPhone since I see it so many times a day. 🙂

      In the coaching program, what did they say to write in the journals? A daily journal? Or for gratitude?

  • Benny – The 30-day gratitude challenge would seem to be one of the easiest challenges we could do. So, why do we find it so hard to take the time to journal about it?

    In life being grateful is easy in the moment, taking the time to write the gratitude down is the hard part. Your idea of keeping the journal by the bed is a good one. Then as I wind down I can take the time to reflect on the goodness of the day.

    Brian Tracy once said,”Develop an attitude of gratitude,and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

    I’m glad that when we are aware and express our gratitude we receive life changing rewards!

    • Benny

      Thank you so much Ellene for your amazing comment. I agree writing it down is the hardest part. That’s why personal development experts will say writing down your goals will have a much greater impact then just thinking about it. So I want to try it with gratitude and make it a habit in my life.

      I love quotes so thanks for sharing that one by Brian Tracy. I really like it.

  • This is nice Benny! Gratitude has always been a practice for me. I can’t say that I can be part of the challenge but what I can say is that; I’m part of the Philosophy. 🙂

    Service to others has been a motto and I also share that to others by making sure that they realize that they are also doing a great job by helping me. I thank them and give words of appreciation for the things that they’ve offered.

    • Benny

      Glad gratitude is part of your life. That’s awesome. Glad to hear from you buddy!

  • Wow! I couldn’t add anything more. You have said it all there. Really awesome! You just made up my day being inspired by your share. I am now your fan.

    • Benny

      Thanks Kira! Very nice of you to say. Hope you will come back often!

  • Hi Benny — just discovered your blog via Lily Leung’s. I was doing a lot of gratitude journalling last year and just kinda halted as things got really good in my life. I remember when I would have my down days and I would fish out my journal and go back and read what I was grateful for — it was always a good pick-me-up. Going through a lot of uncertain change right now, so I’m thinkin’ it’s a good time to pick up the pen and start writing it all down again. I am going to fan your page right….now!

    • Benny

      Thank you for coming by Raymond! Last year when you were doing the journal do you believe the good things that happened in your life came from journaling? Please join us the next 30 days! It’s a great time to get started again.

  • Benny,

    Your a great guy man! You just illuminate a great aura. From your smiling gravatar to your funny/fun spirited Tweets (and not exposing me (JB))…your just a all around great guy and I’m glad that we’re connected.

    What do you know Benny, I have no FB account – yup, I said it and you heard it right – no FB account. But, I’m down for the challenge for sure! And, it seems more like a blessing than a challenge by the way.

    Keep being the wonderful you Benny!

    peace

    • Benny,
      I don’t have a gratitude book, but i do have a journal that I carry with me almost everywhere. It’s my idea book. In it, i have a section dedicated for small wins & successes. It helps me keep upbeat and well grounded. It’s fun to look back through them and watch them grow.
      But, i like the idea of keeping a gratitude book.
      I’ll defenitely be joining in on this experiment. I need to get my kids to keep a gratitude journal too. But that will never happen.

      • Benny

        That’s a good idea to keep a list of small wins and successes. I heard to do that too and did that a bit but didn’t last long. That’s great if you’re feeling dejected or wanna give up, you can just look at your journal and see the wins you’ve had. I like that. I should make a conscious effort to do that too.

        Glad you’re joining in! Yeah no way your kids would do it. Haha. 🙂

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  • I had to read the whole thing since I’m a firm believer in how gratitude can make you feel better. I did a little experiment in it awhile ago. I didn’t keep a journal; I did something else. I carried around a small rock as a reminder in my pocket. At the end of each day, I habitually emptied my pockets and I would see it. That would trigger myself to be grateful. It really helped me see things more positively.

    • Benny

      That’s a great idea Steve. I jokingly said to someone that instead of a rock I should use my iPhone cause I look at that so many times a day. Maybe not a bad idea. Glad to hear gratitude helped you. I’m on day 1.5 so far. Look forward to doing it 30 straight days. Thanks for sharing Steve!

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  • Really awesome Benny, and I am late to this party, but it is something I may consider doing anyways.

    I read another blog post somewhere once that really struck me on this. It was just a simple change of thinking that to me turned out to be so powerful. It’s all about how you look at a certain situation.

    Example: “Ugh, I *HAVE* to do dishes tonight.” Instead, say: “I *GET* to do dishes tonight because I had a wonderful meal with my family.”

    This is the easiest way I’ve ever seen to inject some gratitude into our everyday way of thinking, and that little realization had a powerful affect on me.

    Such a simple concept! But gratitude is an easy one to forget sometimes.

    • Benny

      Hi Dalene!

      Never too late to join the party. 🙂

      That is a great way to instantly change your attitude about having to do something. I will try to remember that because there are many times when I think “Ugh, I have to….”

      Just got another great laugh at some of the searches you get! “I pooped my pants”. LOL!!!

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  • Hey Benny!
    I’ll start it this late but I’ll do it! I think it’s a genius challenge. It’s on my experiment list of things to do on my blog. I’ll blog about it after I finish the 30 days! Best.

    • Benny

      Never too late to start Matt! It’ll be a great experiment for you to try on your blog. Thanks for checking it out!

      • Laurencia

        OK Benny,

        I am in, starting today.

        • I’m happy to hear that. Write in it in the morning and before you go to bed. Be thankful of what you have in your life. Can be as small having two healthy legs to walk. You want to appreciate the things you have in life.

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  • hi , you have reminded me to be happy to be grateful and i’ll get what i want 🙂 . So from today(yes, not tomorrow i’ll start 30 days experiment). And after 30 days will post the results.

    I know the secret:)

    keep it real;)

    • Glad I can help remind you. When you do the experiment, write it down to make it more powerful. Just spend 5 minutes when you wake up, and then 5 minutes before bed. Let me know how it goes after 30 days.

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