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The Negative Experience Transformer – Step 1 of 7

Posted on | December 12, 2008

The Negative Experience Transformer is a 7-Step Unique Process to Transform Disappointing Experiences into New Opportunities

Step 1: Be Grateful

I know-it may sound counterintuitive for the first step during a difficult experience to show gratitude. But you’d be surprised, it can work wonders. Try it with me now.

Conduct a simple gratitude assessment by identifying those people and things for which you are grateful in your life. Borrowing from the Bible, it says in Thessalonians 5:16 – 18: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks….” In other words, take a moment and count your blessings.

Feeling a little better yet? Here’s why-you’re shifting your mind to a positive space.

You see, lack of gratitude is one of the greatest barriers to personal progress. If you think about it, we manifest ingratitude in different ways. There are times we may feel sorry for ourselves. We look at others who are succeeding, and we might feel insignificant. Other times, we may work hard to succeed, but then we take all the credit. We resent the suggestion that others were involved in our success. And if we live in very advantageous circumstances, we might take things for granted. Some children of wealthy parents are “born on third base,” and they grow up thinking they hit a triple. Whatever our position of ingratitude, it can lead us to becoming cynical, or it can put us at risk of becoming depressed or fearful when life throws us a curve ball.

Conversely, gratitude is a self-generated attitude that allows us to discover endless meaning and value in every circumstance and relationship-even the negative experiences. For example, we can be grateful that we grow closer to loved ones during times of poor health, or that we become more resourceful when in financial trouble.

To make gratitude a habit, try this therapeutic exercise I’ve learned to incorporate in my daily life.

  • At the start of each new day, I take a few moments to reflect on someone or something I’m grateful for.
  • On my TO DO list, I will often write on the bottom of the page FIVE people or things I’m grateful for that day.
  • I select a person each day to whom I’ll give special attention, write a personal note or leave a voice message.

In real estate, when we say that a property has appreciated, it means that it has gone up in value. In the same way, when we’re grateful, we’re increasing life’s value. I wish you the best as you take the first step in the Negative Experience Transformer process: developing a more constant “attitude of gratitude” that will go a long way in turning “bad situations” into “glad situations.”

Douglas R. Andrew

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*Life insurance policies are not investments and, accordingly, should not be purchased as an investment

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