Solving Problems With Gratitude

by Gopi Nair
November 22nd 2018

This is the long week end of Thanks Giving Day! 🦃

We all gather together with family and friends and loved ones. There will be a lot of turkeys, sweet potatoes and crenberry juice and pumpkin pies vying each other to find a seat at the dinner table. Friends travel miles and miles to be with their friends and families, and if you are travelling by road with kids. they will always ask a question "are we there yet"? These are fun moments both for parents and kids. Afterall the sole purpose of parenting, is to leave behind happy memories!

 

Taking this opportunity to expand on the principle of Thanksgiving, I want to explore the role of Gratitude, the spiritual sister of "thanks", in solving day to day problems. Gratitude is an all encompassing emotion, that psycho-physical phenomena that sets in motion our own higher nature of divinity. "Every human is a potential divine" declared the great saint Swami Vivekananda, and Gratitude is the way to open our own higher potential. Gratitude must be the only attitude in life, to reap all the benefits of living a human life. When we appreciate the blessings we enjoy, more blessings will be unleashed on us regardless of who we are and where we are going with our life. At every point in life, all of us including the infants, children and adults alike, we are engaged in solving a multitude of problems that haunt us day and night. Most of us are trained to look everywhere outside seeking help to solve our problems. While we do that and get frustrated many times for not getting the desired help, we seldom look at the possibilities of GRATITUDE AS A PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUE.

 

EVERY PROBLEM IS AN OPPORTUNITY IN DISGUISE!

 

It does not matter what the problem is, there is an opportunity hidden in that, waiting to be discovered. When we label something as a problem we are importing with that a ton of negativity attached to the problem. The avalanch of negativity overwhelms us and that blocks our clear thinking, and without clear thinking, we can not reach a solution to our problem. Come to think of it our intellect is seated in memory, and the onset of fear and anger carved out of negativity, simply weakens our memory, and with a weak memory our intellect is ineffective in dealing with the problem at hand. It is here the POWER OF GRATITUDE COMES TO OUR RESCUE. Whenever there is a problem, and it dominates our mind, our imagination goes to work. Mind has a tendency to navigate ghrough negative channels, if left unchecked. Gratitude is a "SPIRITUAL SPEED BREAKER", and it prevents our mind from being bombarded with negative emotions. This is a big thing, and it is the secret power that gratitude holds in solving our problems, no matter what they are. The problems couild be personal, financial, social or even emotional. Every problem is a negative sticking point in our mind. You can follow the following steps in applying Gratitude as a Problem Solving Technique:

 

  1. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCE! This must be the first thing you must do to initiate the solution using gratitude. We must always remember, that every experience comes to teach us a lesson, and learn the lesson and move on. Nothing stays the same always. When negativity is bombarding the four walls of our mind, we must recite aloud "THIS TOO SHALL PASS". Believe me it will pass, and it is the function of time. Change is the essential fabric of life, and there are uncertainties associated with change, and therefore almost all of us resist change. But once you welcome every negative experience appearing as a problem with gratitude, you are weakening its power to cause damage to your own mental power. This is precisely what Gratitude is doing in our problem solving mission. THUS GRATITUDE EMPOWERS YOU TO WITHSTAND THE ONSLAUGHT OF NEGATIVITY AND INFUSE IN YOU THE MUCH NEEDED INSPIRATION AT THE NICK OF TIME.

 

  1. GRATITUDE FREES YOU FROM THE BLAME GAME! We as human beings have a tendency to blame others for our shortcomings. " I am like this, because I am raised that way. It is my family, it is the color of my skin, it is my language or lack of it, or my ancestery" goes a parade of excuses we try to marshal to defend ourselves. It is a sheer waste of energy, and time trying to blame other people. The FIRST AND FOREMOST IMPORTANT STEP IN SOLVING A PROBLEM(NO MATTER WHAT IT IS) IS TO ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY. WHEN YOU EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE FOR THE PROBLEM, YOU ARE ACCEPTING FULL RESPONSIBILITY, AND IT FREES YOU UP FROM THE SO CALLED BLAME GAME. Next time you have a problem, and you are trying to solve it start with Gratitude. It will help you prepare your mind for the necessary strength and stamina and understanding to discover a solution for your problem.

   

Let us take an example of a problem, and we can solve it using the POWER OF GRATITUDE. Let us say, you just lost your job. Of course, it is really unsettling to anyone. Your livelihood has stopped, and the pay check will stop coming. You have to go home and tell your family that you lost the job or you are fired. When this happens, it is natural that a lots of questions clothed in negativity, will start overcrowding your mind, causing intellectual incapacitation, and literally freezing your personality. You will naturally will have a tendency to point fingers at others including your boss. But using Gratitude, this is how you are going to solve the problem:

 

A. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF LOSING MY JOB.

 

IT IS SAID THAT WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES, SEVEN DOORS OPEN. LET ME FORGET ABOUT THE CLOSED DOOR, AND LOOK FOR THE NEW DOORS OPENING BEFORE ME.

I AM SENDING A "THANK YOU NOTE" TO MY OLD BOSS. (THIS WILL HELP YOU REMOVE PERSONAL GRUDGE AGAINST HIM/HER)

GOD HAS A BETTER PLAN FOR ME. LET ME EXPLORE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES.

 

B. YOU START THE JOB HUNTING MACHINERY IN MOTION. YOU POLISH YOUR OLD RESUME, ADDING NEW ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SHOOT THEM TO YOUR LIST OF HEAD HUNTERS. YOU WILL ALSO TALK TO YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS AND SEEK THEIR HELP IN FINDING A NEW POSITION FOR YOU.

 

C. YOU ABSTAIN FROM NEGATIVE TALK ABOUT YOUR JOB LOSS AND MAKE IT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE WITHOUT BLAMING ANYBODY IN THE PROCESS.

 

D. ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION" WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM THIS EXPERIENCE"?

 

E. TAKE YOUR FAMILY INTO CONFIDENCE BY YOUR ENTHUSIASM, AND YOUR TIRELESS EFFORTS TO FIND A BETTER JOB. WHILE YOU ARE SEEKING NEW OPPORTUNITIES USE THE EXTRA TIME TO TEND TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD NEEDS, LIKE TAKING YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL OR LIBRARY AND HELPING YOUR SPOUSE IN HIS/HER DAILY CHORES AROUND THE HOUSE.

 

F. THE BEST WAY TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM IS BY HELPING SOMEBODY ELSE SOLVE HIS/HER PROBLEM. BE PROACTIVE AND HELPFUL. YOU CAN ALSO USE THE SPARE TIME TO TRAIN YOURSELF IN SOME NEW TECHNOLOGY LIKE AI, OR BLOCKCHAIN OR WHATEVER NEW SKILL YOU WANT TO MASTER.

 

In the whole process of employing Gratitude as a Problem Solving Technique, you have abandoned the conventional wisdom of blaming others, and becoming furious and stressed out. Instead, you expressed your appreciation for the new experience, and you are reaching out to your friends for their help. Your noble act of sending a "Thank You Note" to your old boss shows your willingness to accept responsibility for your action. You have succeded in avoiding the "blame game" form the equation.Gratitude is a spiritual clenser. It acts like a sponge in absorbing all the negativity from your mind. It is a magic wand capable of erasing fear and anger from the corridors of your thinking machine. These two negative emotions have played havoc in human life, and yet Gratitude can easily diffuse its power over you.

 

Now that you have a better insight about the Power of Gratitude in problem solving, by all means use it. It is a very powerful tool and it can be your best ally to solve any problem in life.Once you start practicing it, you will become convinced about its effectiveness. The best way to learn is to teach, though it appears to be paradoxical. You start sharing your understanding of Gratitude with others, and you too will become a 'GRATITUDE PRACTITIONER". When you talk to your children bring it up in the discussions. You can convincingly tell them, thart when you respect (another name for Gratitude) mathematics, mathematics will begin respecting you by making it easy for you to get straight As. As a parent, "TEACH THEM GRATITUDE" must be your motto, it can bring out the best in them as responsible and loving kids. After all, we parents want our children to be happy and successful by making a difference in this world we live. And helping them inculcate the habit of Gratitude, is the best possible gift we can give them in their own journey of life, on this THANKSGIVING DAY 🍗.

MAY THERE BE PEACE AND TRANQUILITY AMONG ALL BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE! OM!PEACE!PEACE!PEACE!

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