Monday, September 22, 2014
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Bernie Parent: The importance of being grateful

Bernie Parent
Bernie Parent

There are so many things to be grateful for. I am not alone when I say I have the ability to focus on what I don’t have. It’s tough being in a situation that you’re always wanting what you don’t have as opposed to being grateful for what you do have.

There is power in being thankful. It is the power of attraction. If I’m grateful for all of the things around me, I will attract more of those good things. If I’m negative all the time, you better believe I will attract more negativity.

Every morning when I get up, I have a little routine. I say out loud the things that I’m grateful for. If you’re not careful, you’ll forget to be grateful for waking up in the morning in good health, for being able to see, talk, hear and so on.

I’ll give you an example...

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  • My boat hasn’t run in two years, and people in the marina always come up to me and say, “Your boat still isn’t running after all of that work you put into fixing it. Aren’t you angry?” And my answer is always the same: “Look at the bright side...I’m grateful I have a boat. I’m grateful that I can watch a beautiful sunset while I sit on the back of it with some friends smoking a cigar.” Instead of being upset that the boat isn’t working, I change it into something positive.

    I’m not perfect. I’m human. If I’m not careful, I might let the fact that I put a lot of time and effort into fixing my boat with no outcome get to me; but I make a point to stay away from that. And I didn’t always think this way. The older I get, the wiser I get. I read a lot of philosophy books, which has helped me to accept life’s terms and make better decisions for myself.

    If things aren’t going right socially, financially, etc., the question I would ask myself is, “Who am I hanging around with?” You have to classify what it is you’re looking to make better: your social life, your love life, your spirituality, your economic status. If I want to be at a certain level, but the people around me just have a bad attitude about life in general, I won’t be able to get where I need to go in order to achieve my goal. I have to surround myself with good, like-minded individuals that feel the way that I want to feel. If I’m sick and tired week after week, month after month, year after year, what has to change? I have to change. No one else is responsible for my happiness.

    The last couple of weeks, I haven’t had much fun because I took on a responsibility that I had absolutely no control over. A couple of my friends are sick and in bad shape physically and I allowed myself to bring those negative feelings onto myself. I almost put myself in a depressed state. I was over-thinking about the negative things that may happen and I let my guard down. But I have a quote that I read to myself when I start to let negative energy get to me, and it goes like this:

    “Over-thinking is the art of creating problems that weren’t even there to begin with.” – Unknown

    I was over-thinking some of my friends’ physical problems and projecting those feelings back onto myself in a negative way. I anticipated the worst and I took myself down with it. This morning, I woke up and realized what I was doing wrong. I changed my perception, which won’t necessarily make my friends better, but my attitude toward the situation will hopefully lift their spirits. And that is all that I can hope for.

    For every situation you will encounter in your lifetime, there is going to be a positive and negative side. You have to make the choice. You have to choose the path that you will take.

    There will be people who read this article and say, “I have nothing to be grateful for. My life sucks.” I’ll tell you all the same thing...You have the ability to read this article. You have at least one of the senses that God gave you to receive this message. And I hope you use it.

    Today, I’m grateful that I recognize who I am, and I’m grateful to march on with what I believe in with my vision.

    Bernie Parent For Philly.com
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