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What’s The Best Way To Start The New Year? Gratitude

Mickey Markoff shares how this simple practice can change your life.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

2021 is officially over, and the world has ushered in a new year. The marking of a new year is a time when many seek to make a fresh start. Given the global challenges of 2021, this annual ritual may take on even more significance. Resolutions to perhaps start a new health regimen, to be more mindful, to spend more time with family — the options are as diverse as each of us, but they share commonalities to show us just how similar we all are. At our core, we all essentially want the same things: to give and receive love, to be secure, happy, and healthy. Our paths to these things may be different, but we each ultimately seek out the same things.

For many, understanding how we achieve the goals we set for ourselves can be a complicated undertaking. If we take just one, to be happy, for example, just how does one go about doing that? It seems simple enough, but looks can be deceiving. There are many paths to happiness, and happiness can mean many different things to different people. While this is true, I would argue that happiness can often be found in the simplest things. At its root, happiness is a state of mind. As such, it is dependent on our mindset. One of the easiest ways to be happier is to simply have the intention to be happier. This simple setting of the intention can be the spark to set your mind on the path to being happier. If this sounds too good to be true, do not be so sure. If we have the intention to truly be happier, we will be consciously (and unconsciously) wiring our brains to be on the lookout for things that will make us more content. It may not be an easy process at first, but like a muscle, it will get stronger with practice.

One of the most powerful ways we can shift our mindset towards one which will enable us to be happier is to practice gratitude. When you begin your day, instead of grabbing your phone, checking your emails or social media first things, list three things which you are grateful for. The process may be difficult at first, but it is one which will pay dividends over time. If you struggle to come up with three things, that is okay. Try not to judge yourself if the process is a challenge, but accept where you are in the moment. Recognizing that it is difficult to practice gratitude is the first step towards making an effort to being more grateful. If the process is difficult for you, try to be mindful of what you are experiencing in the moment. If you have just woken up and are still in bed, perhaps you can be grateful for having a warm bed and a roof over your head. That’s two things already. Easy peasy!

These things may seem simple, but are often overlooked. Many of us can get so caught up in so many aspects of our lives that we can forget to be present. If we can be grateful for the ‘little’ things, we may surprise ourselves at just how much we have to be grateful for. If you shift your mindset towards one of gratitude, it is likely you will start seeing things to be grateful for everywhere you look, rather than things to disparage over. The practice may take time to cultivate, but it is ultimately a very simple practice.

With the interconnectedness afforded by the Internet and social media, it can be easy to get caught up in comparison with others. There can be immense pressure to compare the haves and have-nots. While these platforms can be a great way to stay in touch with our friends and family, we must remember that we can be aware of what others may have without feeling that their abundance takes away from our own. There is room enough for each one of us to be grateful for what we have. All it takes is a bit of practice.

For more like this from Mickey Markoff:

Mickey Markoff is best-known as an executive producer of the Hyundai Air and Sea Show. Markoff is also President of MDM Group, an innovative South Florida firm that develops effective multidimensional marketing campaigns. Learn more about Mickey Markoff , and the history of the air and sea show here.

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Mickey Markoff

Mickey Markoff

Mickey Markoff — Air & Sea Show executive producer, S. Florida | MDM Group |