So it’s Thanksgiving, time for another obligatory gratitude post. I know what I’m supposed to say here: how thankful I am and list off all the great things that happened to me this year. And then I’m supposed to remind everyone to be thankful and always keep an attitude of gratitude. And all of that is true! I am very thankful and I have had an amazingly wonderful year–so I am very grateful. While it had some low points, the high points far outnumbered them and I look back on this year with nothing but joy for the goodness of life.
But I’d like to offer you something a little different this year. I know that for me, resolutions to maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude” is like most of my New Years resolutions–I have the best intentions, but soon fall back into my old habits. Resolutions are well and good, but what is really needed is a life-changing transformation in attitude, not just a few random thoughts.
Years ago I read a famous quote from Albert Einstein that became a building block of a revolution in my life:
“The most important question you can ever ask is if the world is a friendly place.” Albert Einstein
Of everything I’ve ever done in my entire life, the one thing that has brought me more peace, joy, and contentment than anything else, is deciding that the world was friendly. I view it as bringing an “Attitude of Gratitude” to life, I’m not just glad when good things happen, I expect them to happen.
Ask yourself this, “How do I see the world? Is it fundamentally trying to harm me or do me good? “ The answer to those questions determines every other attitude, and ultimately, every action of your entire life. But it’s not enough to just think about it, or have a casual opinion about it, no, we have to determine to do everything necessary to develop an attitude of a “This is a Friendly Universe!” deep in our heart.
Let me give you an example of the opposite of seeing the world as friendly. I recently published a video on going to Algodones, Mexico to get dental work and prescription drugs and eyeglasses. As soon as it went up there was a constant flow of fear-based questions and comments:
- “Do you think those dentists are actual dentists or they just lying?
- “I bet the medications are just placebos and not actual drugs at all!”
- “If you go there, it’s a certainty you will be kidnapped and raped!”
All too often, that negative mindset of “most people are bad and trying to harm me” is the base mentality of our society. Basically, we begin with the assumption that the world is unfriendly and out to get us, and before long that attitude seeps deep down in our hearts and imprisons us in a life of fear. That Fear compels is to build a self-made castle with thick walls that creates an illusion of safety. Sadly, it quickly turns into a prison that traps us.
Squelch the Fear
It comes down to this choice, will you live a life of Faith and Hope, or a life of Fear? If you decide the universe is unfriendly and out to harm you, you will live a life of fear huddled in a prison in your heart of your own making. On the other hand, if you decide the world is safe and friendly you will have adopted an attitude of hope and love that will set you free to soar and give you the ability to become all you should be–all that you were born to become.
So my advice this Thanksgiving is to watch carefully for the attitude of your heart in your innermost being. And whenever you find an attitude of fear and unfriendliness squelch it. Instead, always strive to substitute an attitude of Hope and Faith in a friendly universe.
Build the Faith
I’m not suggesting you be stupid either. Bad luck does happen and there are bad things and bad people in the world who intend to do you harm, so you must use common sense. Fortunately, a friendly universe placed a survival instinct inside you to protect you from harm. Our problem is that the constant voice of fear in our hearts and heads drowns out that voice. The solution is at the same time you are cultivating an attitude of faith and friendliness you must also develop and cultivate that inner intuition, knowing that it will keep you safe.
The two must work together–one without the other results in a very dangerous world. While cultivating an inner certainty that the world is safe and friendly, you must at the same time cultivate that inner voice that will guide you through the Minefield of life. By carefully listening to that voice you’ll hear when it says, “Don’t go this way,” or “Don’t trust that person.” and then you’ll see with your own eyes daily evidence that the universe cares for you and takes care of you. With every positive experience, it will be easier the next time to listen to and trust the inner voice to keep you safe.
Then you’ll find the world literally is a friendly place and you will have a heart constantly full of gratitude.
Sadly, we’ve done just the opposite, we’ve cultivated the attitude that everyone is bad so I will trust no one and everywhere is dangerous so I will go nowhere. That leaves no room in our lives for the inner voice to guide us, instead we take over by trusting no one and going nowhere.
A Friendly Universe knows when and where there is danger lurking, and so it’s trying to warn you and keep you aware and alert to it. But instead of listening to that voice, we only hear a voice of doom, gloom, and destruction. That has only led to suffering and pain in our society in our lives.
So this Thanksgiving I would encourage all of you to develop two new attitudes, 1) of a Friendly Universe, and 2) an attitude that the universe will guide me through the hardships and troubles of life. And the two together will make your life better and richer than you can ever imagine! Your fear will be replaced by faith and hope, and your prison of fear will be replaced by freedom, movement, and joy.
My hope for you is that this Thanksgiving will mark the beginning of a whole new way of life.
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