Rhonda Byrne, in her book The Magic, claims the answer is gratitude. This reminded me of a conversation I had last spring with Dr. William Malarkey, who espoused the importance of gratitude in a healthy life. Byrne, a television and film producer, quotes many diverse sources to support her position, including Einstein, Isaac Newton, John F. Kennedy, the Holy Bible, the Quran, and Buddha.
It’s impossible to prove with absolute certainty that she’s right, but her advice is very practical, so I thought I would summarize her key points — and, of course, add a few editorial comments:
- Give to others, rather than taking (Byrne believes merely taking is a sign of ungratefulness).
- Say “thank you” often.
- Make lists of the things for which you’re grateful.
- At the end of each day, journal the best thing that happened to you. (Editorial comment: I’m going to incorporate this one into my daily routine.)
- For every complaint you have about another person, whether in thought or word, there have to be 10 blessings for the relationship to flourish. (Editorial comment: John Gottman says it’s five to one, but whether it is five or 10, I think you get the point about negativity.)
- When you’re grateful for your job, you will automatically give more to your work.
- The way to receive your dream job is by first being grateful for the job you have.
- Lucky breaks don’t happen by accident. (Editorial comment: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.)
- Taking things for granted is a major cause of negativity.
- Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
- There’s no room for harmful, negative thoughts when your mind is focused on looking for things to be grateful for.
- Everyone has received help, support, or guidance from others when we needed it most. (Editorial comment: Make your list and make sure you have thanked people for their help.)
- Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you’re the one who gets burned.
- There’s gold in every relationship, even the difficult ones. To bring riches to all your relationships, you have to find the gold.
Again, these are Byrne’s opinions, but I found the list to be very practical and applicable to my life.
I hope you find at least one suggestion that will enrich your life and relationships.