Every morning, I now do a gratitude exercise within an hour after waking up. It’s something that I learned from my life coach. And it not only helps me appreciate how well I have it, it also helps me appreciate life events and people I normally took for granted.
For instance, this morning, my gratitude exercise includes the following. I appreciate my former workout coaches, one of whom doubled as my dietician. Because of them, I’m now very healthy. Despite eating large amounts of dead animal flesh, I still have a somewhat alkaline diet.
Does that matter? Considering my mother died of stomach cancer, I’ll do everything I can to reduce my cancer risk. There’s a theory going around that an alkaline diet reduces your chance of cancer so I’ll gladly eat more fruits and veggies.
Gratitude exercise – the artists
I have a single coming out in a few weeks. It’s the best thing we’ve done to date.
I want to show gratitude for the artist who did the cover, and also the session musicians who worked on the piece.
We hired our woodwind players from Atlanta, Georgia to provide 2 flutes and 2 clarinets, and string players from Russia to provide 8 violins I, 7 violins II, and 5 violas. The drummer and bass player are both session musicians as well, out of the San Francisco area.
I appreciate every single artist/musician/sound engineer that worked on this single. Thank you all!
My wife and I had a great time over both Christmas and New Years. For Christmas, we went over to my cousin’s and spent several nights with her. For Christmas Eve, we went to a party at her brother’s (also my cousin obviously) who’s a great guy. I have a pretty awesome extended family and I appreciate that. That’s something I took for granted in my 20s.
For New Years, my wife and I dropped off the dog and went to Sacramento to visit some friends. One of the people plays a pretty mean piano. He plays better than I do, so he’ll actually be recording my first Nocturne.
My physical and mental health
Here’s yet another thing I took for granted. I’ve been healthier than I’ve been since my late 20s and early 30s when I studied MMA. I was in incredible shape back then because I wanted to get near competition level.
Now my goal isn’t to be tough. It’s to live a long time so I could compose for a long time.
Like it or not, physical health and mental health are tied together. Depressed? Work out really hard. You’ll be too tired to be depressed afterwards.
Plus, I’m convinced twenty years from now, health professionals will say that weightlifting, coffee, and playing musical instruments (in no order) are the three best ways you can reduce your chances of degenerative brain diseases. I do all three.
A morning gratitude exercise will greatly increase your happiness
When you do these exercises, you’ll be considerably happier. Most people take so much for granted. Like for instance, I’m glad we have running water. That’s something most Americans take for granted. Well, spend a few weeks in a place like the Dominican Republic and see how the peasants really live.
We spent the entire time in a posh resort, but the good folks we borrowed horses from showed us the countryside. We got to see four peasant families sharing one kitchen and one outhouse. That kitchen had running water. The outhouse did not. That’s something too many Americans take for granted.
You’d be surprised about the things Californians complain about. They’ll complain and get offended by the tiniest things, things that would make most people around the world scratch their heads. A gratitude exercise will fix that bullshit.
Take nothing for granted my friends. First, appreciate your health. That’s the most important thing of all. Then appreciate the people who treat you right. Too many of us focus on the people who treat us wrong and take the people who treat us right for granted. Don’t do that!
And one more thing from late 2017. I met a new friend who I have a good feeling will play a significant (for the good) role in my life in the next few years. I also got a chance to renew a friendship with someone who is artistically gifted. I’m encouraging her to co-write lyrics with me, as she’s quite good as writing.
These are awesome things that without the exercise, I won’t even be thinking of.
Hopefully by sharing what I’ve done, you’ll get an idea of your own gratitude exercise. Think of something you’re grateful for. Think of good people in your life that you take for granted.