Why be grateful? from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
- Because it reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.
- Because it turns bad things into good things. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have work. Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.
- Because it reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is a roof over your head.
- Because it reminds you to thank others. I’ll talk about this more below, but the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.
What do I give thanks for, privately, in my little gratitude session? It varies every day. I thank all the readers of this site, for the encouragement you have given me, for the donations you’ve made that have made me that much closer to realizing my dreams, for the criticism you’ve given that has made this site better … for the time you’ve given me, just reading the articles when you have the chance.
I thank my loved ones, for all they do to me. I thank strangers who’ve shown me little acts of kindness. I thank God, for the life he’s given me. I thank people around the world for the things they’ve done to make the world better. I thank myself, for things that I’ve done (it’s important to recognize your own accomplishments).
How to Live a Life of Gratitude
The thing is, simple acts of gratitude don’t cost you much (especially once you get over the initial discomfort some people feel with thanking others). But they can make a huge difference.
If you’re interested in living a life of gratitude, here are my suggestions:
- Morning gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes each morning to give thanks, to whoever or whatever you’re grateful for. You don’t have to do anything, other than close your eyes and silently give thanks. This one act can make a huge difference.
- Say thank you. When someone does something nice for you, however small, try to remember to say thank you. And really mean it.
- Call to say thanks. Sometimes you might think about something nice that someone did for you. Perhaps you remember during your gratitude session. When you do, pick up the phone and call the person, just to say thanks. Let them know what they did that you’re grateful for, and why you appreciate it. Takes a minute or two. If it’s too early to call, make a note to call later. Even better is telling them in person, if you happen to see them or if they’re on your route. Almost as good is a thank-you email — keep it short and sweet.
- Give thanks for “negative” things in your life. There’s always two ways to look at something. Many times we think of something as negative — it’s stressful, harmful, sad, unfortunate, difficult. But that same thing can be looked at in a more positive way. Giving thanks for those things is a great way to remind yourself that there is good in just about everything. Problems can be seen as opportunities to grow, to be creative. See the prayer below for more on this.
- Learn a gratitude prayer. There are many prayers, religious or not, that can remind you to be grateful. Find one you like, and print it out or make it your desktop wallpaper. Here’s a religious one, and here’s a collection from a multitude of religions. You can find many others on the Internet, or write your own. If you’re not religious, make one that doesn’t include the concept of God. A good one is below.
Let me leave you with a prayer of gratitude that I’ve always found … well, perfect:
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~
I am grateful for all of you!!
All images via Pinterest
We are huge fans of MINTED, an amazing company that sells stationery, art prints, holiday decor and fabric. When you read the “about us” section on their site it states “Our purpose in life is to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won’t accept anything else”.
We just ordered our holiday cards from Minted. Their selection, quality and customer service is superb!! The stock paper they use is amazing. You can order samples HERE!
Some of my favorite designs:
“Casual Chalkboard” by Alethea and Ruth – Seattle, WA.
A “Merry Little Christmas” by Sara Hicks Malone – Nashville, TN.
“Shades of Blue” by Erin Deegan – Chicago, IL.
I love how you can add shapes
and get free recipient addressing to match your cards.
I also love all the fun things you can do with your own photos.
A heart snapshot
A day planner, notebook or address book.
Minted is not just for holiday time. We use their art in several of our projects. The selection is amazing from abstract to landscapes to animals to typography. An added feature – On all of the art prints, you can change the frame, mat and size!
This limited edition print by Katie Craig from Dallas, TX named Opus.
This is a limited edition print of Consuegra, one of the windiest and most beautiful hillsides in all of Spain by Sharon Rowan of Provo, Utah.
A great typography and limited edition print by Olivia Raufman of Atlanta, GA. A good reminder of what matters most.
The site even shows you great visual ideas of how to group items.
Minted is a design marketplace. They source creative content from independent artists and then sell the best content in the form of art, home decor and stationery directly to consumers. An early pioneer of crowdsourcing, Minted has design challenges monthly that are open for submitting and voting. The “crowd” curates Minted’s product selection by rating the products and Minted utilizes analytics to evaluate votes.
Minted pays the designer a commission on every sale. In addition, winning artists and designers have stores on Minted. They can launch their creations into their stores, utilizing Minted’s manufacturing, fulfillment and customer service capabilities to run their business. How smart is that?
I love this “art community” that MINTED brings to us. These independent artists and designers are located in 48 states and 43 countries. They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. Some have design degrees, and others are participating in Minted competitions to learn design for the first time. They share a deep love for creative expression, personal development, risk-taking, and most importantly, paying it forward by helping each other.
This was all started by Mariam Naficy in 2007. She was voted one of the 25 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2013. You can read her incredible story on the Minted website.
I strongly urge you to check out the site for your holiday cards, stationery or beautiful artwork. Reading the “about the artist” section is very appealing as well as the company blog for great ideas!
You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
We are happy to partner with Carpet One Floor and Home to offer a beautifully designed, Pink Ribbon durable indoor-outdoor mat to support breast cancer research as a giveaway to one of our lucky readers! The company partnered with 12 well known design experts to add their flare and color for home to the mix of these mats.
Here is the mat that we are giving away! It is special for many reasons.
1. It was designed by our good friend Lisa Mende, a popular interior designer and blogger from Charlotte. She is a very special person! – Read more about her here!
2. 25% of each sale will be donated directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
3. The mats are tough, functional and, depending on your choice, fun, whimsical, and stylish!
4. For the past 10 years, through its Pink Ribbon Mat project, Carpet One Floor & Home has raised almost a million dollars to support breast cancer research.
Breast cancer awareness doesn’t just last for the month of October so the welcome mats are available all year long in Carpet One Home stores throughout the U.S. Click here to find one in your area. They retail for approximately $24.99 and feature a sturdy rubber backing and a pink ribbon to remind people of the cause it supports. They measure 2’x3′, are stain, water resistant and machine washable.
Here are a few of the other designs I love, but there are many more:
Designer – Danielle Nicholas Byrk
Designer – Meredith Heron
Designer – Kristie Barnett – The Decorologist
To be entered in the giveaway do any of the following: The more you do, the better your chances!!
1. Post a comment on our blog saying you would love to win.
2. Post a comment to the Kandrac & Kole Facebook page
3. Post a comment to @kandrackole on Twitter.
4. BONUS – To increase your chances even more, pop over to Lisa Mende’s blog and enter there as she is doing a giveaway as well!!
We will announce the winner on Monday, December 1st!
We are happy to announce that Design Camp will be heading to the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. This is a 2 day camp compliments of AmericasMart!!
What is Design Camp?
Design Camp is the brainchild of celebrity interior designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis. It is learning and networking opportunity to gain insight and information from some of the most respected professionals in the design industry.
They have held camps in Atlanta, Austin, Seattle, and Las Vegas. We are huge fans and are grateful for what we have learned from them and the speakers they bring to camp! Read our blogpost “OUR TOP TEN FAVORITE MEMORIES FROM DESIGN CAMP“.
The 2 day camp includes a full day showroom tour, a networking cocktail party and half day speakers including presentations from Lori and Kelli as well as Adam Japko, president of Network Communications, Inc.’s Digital Sherpa social media management business; hotel and restaurant designer Peter Zakas and acclaimed interior designer Suzanne Kasler.
The Agenda looks like this:
This is going to be amazing and it’s hard to believe that it is all complimentary!! Space is limited so don’t wait – register HERE!!
Looking forward to seeing or meeting you!!
Ready to get in the holiday spirit, my friend Amy and I decided to spend Saturday morning at The Elegant Elf in Sandy Springs, GA. I love to “shop for a cause” and any holiday gift market puts me in a great mood. I’m always on the hunt for a good artisan/farmers market that showcases the unique works of individuals so I was SO happy to stumble upon the extremely impressive sculptural gems of a young man named Daniel Lai.
Daniel is of Chinese descent and was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia. He came to the U.S. in 2000 and was just granted U.S. Citizenship this year. Quite the scholar, he has a BA in Linguistics, an MA in Art Studies/Art History and is currently working on his PhD in Sociology at the University of Tennessee.
I could have stared at and studied these exquisite works of art all day. Each one, made of clay, glue and artistically folded books was mounted on a block that was approximately 12″x12″.
Daniel says this about his work:
“I often write about my experiences in a journal but find it inadequate to convey how I truly feel. As a result, I translate these paragraphs to a visual form that is three-dimensional, simplistic, and often relatable to many.”
“Often times, the true meaning of text and words are just beneath that thin layer of lexical meaning. In other words, we live in a metaphorical world. Three dimensional representation of my experience transcends the boundary of words.”
Daniel’s booth was very crowded so I couldn’t take the time to write down the title of each piece but they were very telling. For example, the one below was named ” Ideas Hatching.”
If you’d like to learn more about this talented artist, click HERE.
His work is also shown on ETSY and in galleries in North Caroline and Tennessee.
You can email Daniel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.