I believe all of us should make the same New Year's Resolution: This year I will develop a strong attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions, and the more you express gratitude for what you have, the more you will have to express gratitude for. On the other side of that coin, the more you complain about your problems, the more problems you will have to complain about.
Message: You have a choice. Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining-it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems. Incidentally, I'm going to work particularly hard on the same thing myself.
In keeping with this commitment I encourage you to do something else. Establish a Wall of Gratitude. I have the photographs of 26 men and women on my Wall of Gratitude. The six people who had the biggest impact on my life were all women. Had I been sexist, my life would have been far less fulfilling. Suppose I had been racist. Three American Indians had an enormous impact on my life-one in my sales career, one in my speaking career, and one in my spiritual life. My closest friend for more than 40 years is a Jewish gentleman from Winnipeg, Canada. My favorite writers are all Jews-David, Solomon, Matthew, Mark-well, you get the picture. Had I been sexist and racist, I guarantee you would not be reading this! I am convinced I would have lived a poverty-stricken life.
The display of my Wall of Gratitude in our corporate offices attracts a considerable amount of attention. Everybody wants to know who they are and many want to know the story behind each photograph. I frequently pause and look at those pictures and express my ongoing gratitude and good fortune for each one of them. Chances are good that of those 26 men and women you would not recognize the names of more than four or five of them.
In your life there have been certain people who did some wonderful things for you. It could have been a teacher, a preacher, a next-door neighbor, your boss, an associate on the job-possibilities are limitless. I guarantee you that if you go to that person and say, "Thank you for the impact you've had on my life. I'm creating what I call my Wall of Gratitude, I would love to have an autographed picture of you that I can include as a reminder that I do have people who love me and encourage me, and I want to do the same thing for others," all of these people will be pleased. It's amazing how people respond to that kind of request. But of infinitely more importance to you, every time visitors to your home and/or office see them, they will ask about them and you will have an opportunity to again express your gratitude. Do it now. Start that Wall of Gratitude immediately and expect 2006 to be magnificent!