Genius Catalyst: Unusual Gratitude

By Michael Neill

Direct your mind toward things that trigger feelings of gratitude, and you'll begin to notice more of those things, and get more of those good feelings.
by Michael Neill
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."
-Meister Eckhart

I just got back from two wonderful weeks away with my family and was greeted on my return with an e-mail from a magazine requesting that I send them a list of 10 unusual things I am grateful for in my life.

In other words, what are you grateful for that you suspect wouldn't be likely to turn up on other people's lists?

Here are some examples received (with gratitude!) from a few of my friends:

…the fact that if Harper Lee was to write only one novel, it was "To Kill a Mockingbird"
…Monet's "Banks of the Seine"
…pizza with mushrooms and black olives
…no-lick stamps
…scientific names for unpleasant things that make them sound okay
…the passing of the disco music era
… the giddiness of creating
… the unbridled excitement my coming home unleashes with my dogs
…spray adhesive
…the fact that you never will be able to reach the end of the rainbow. But you can always try.

What makes this exercise so enjoyable is that it makes full use of one of the most basic principles of the mind:

What you focus on, you get more of.

By directing your mind towards things which trigger feelings of gratitude in you, you not only begin to notice more things, you get to feel more good feelings. And what makes the exercise so useful is that those feelings of gratitude so often begin to trigger an inflow of more good things into your life.


1. Make a list of 10 unusual things you are grateful for in your life. If you like, jot down a few of the reasons those things make you grateful.

2. Post them online at the end of this article, or on my website, (you must register to participate).

Have fun, learn heaps, and thanks for playing! 

Michael Neill is a life coach and author. Hear him Thursdays at 11am on HayHouse Radio or visit his website, (c) 2007.

This article was originally published on October 31, 2007.