Sunday, December 08, 2013

Daily Ritual and Toys for Tots

On Saturday afternoon I did something weird.
Earlier in the day I had taken the Turbulence Training and teams, plus my friends Bedros Keuilian, Shaun Hadsall, and Nick Pineault, shopping in Denver to help the Marines with the Toys for Tots charity drive.
And thanks to donations from Jason Ferruggia, Dani Woodrum, BioTrust (Joel & Josh), and Beyond Diet (Isabel De Los Rios and team), we were able to buy $102,173 worth of toys (that's over 5,000 Christmas gifts!) so that local Denver-area children will get a present on Christmas morning.
But it was after our shopping trip that I did the "weird" activity.
I spent 90 minutes writing out Christmas cards. I haven't done that in years. But it felt great. It brought a smile to my face. Giving always does. It's truly is so much better than receiving.
As you grow older, you realize it's the small things in life that bring us the greatest pleasure, and it's experiences that matter more than material goods.
Writing cards until my hand cramped gave me the same wonderful feeling that I get when I write in my Gratitude Journal each morning. That might sound crazy to you, but trust me, writing down your gratitude for who and what you have in life will have a HUGE impact on your life
It has for me. It's eliminated feelings of jealousy and brought me peace. It puts a smile on my face every morning when I write down a friend's name. It reminds me of how easy my life is...of how I'm surrounded & supported by so many wonderful people from you, my readers, to my family, and to my high-school friends I see at the local coffee shop.
You might be skeptical of using a Gratitude journal, but here's what you should be grateful for every day:
  • Family & friends
  • Big opportunities in your life 
  • Our "easy" lives (just think of how convenient life is compared to 50 or 100 years ago!)
  • The holidays
  • Your job & ability to help others
  • Your health
  • A workout or project you finished
  • This list could go on and on
Here's my Sunday Gratitude Journal entry:
I'm grateful for...
  • The ability to write you this while listening to Christmas music on a cold Christmassy night out on the farm .
  • The chance to help my mentor, Tom Venuto, launch his book on Tuesday.
  • Writing time to finish up this month's Turbulence Trainer newsletter.
  • The opportunity to travel to Tampa on Wednesday to stay with one of my best friends, Joel Marion.
  • For Bally the Dog, my Mom who doggy-sits Bally while I'm on one of my adventures, my business partners Matt Smith and Bedros Keuilian, all the people that helped at Toys for Tots, my favorite coaching client Isabel De Los Rios, my best friend Jeremy, my long-time Director of TT Amy Dodd, and the nice customers that posted their success stories today on my Facebook page.
What a day! These simple things bring me so much joy and gratitude. 
(It's always the gratitude for complete strangers or "first timers on your list" that will bring a smile to your face. After all, it's like you're talking about them behind their back - but in a GREAT way!)
I am truly blessed. And so are you. Never forget it.
Use this ritual to remind yourself of all the great things in your life. It will reduce your blood pressure, brighten your mood, make you more patient and positive with other people, and will bring a smile to your face no matter how cloudy the day.
I think you'll agree that we are both living lives of luck and prosperity if we're even able to have this conversation at all.
Join me in this Daily Ritual and it will change your life for the better.
Enjoy the journey to becoming a better person through this simple act that requires only pen, paper, and an open heart.

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

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