Join Arianna Huffington for an in-depth discussion in this video Thrive assignment: Practicing gratitude, part of Arianna Huffington's Thrive 04: Facing Challenges with Gratitude and Forgiveness.
- My daughter, Christina, is back with us to work on our assignments together. So first is gratitude. We'll have a gratitude exercise on page 127 where Oxford psychologist, Mark Williams, suggests the 10 finger gratitude exercise. So pretend we are children again, and everyday you list the 10 things you are grateful for and literally count them on your fingers. Christina and I have already done that. So we have our 10 finger exercise ready for you.
So Christina, why don't you pick just three, four things out of the 10. - I guess, my first one, which is a big one for me and on my list pretty much everyday when I do it, is my family and their health. So sort of something that's very basic but also monumental, and that is really just something to remember to be grateful for everyday. Another one is that House of Cards is released and I'm very excited for that, so something a little lighter.
My sobriety is there, which is something that came out of something negative but that has become one of the most positive things in my life, and they keep going, but what are yours? - So, mine, again, like yours, the health of you and Isabella and our family and our loved ones paramount, number one, and then little things. You gave me this marvelous sandalwood candle that I have by my bed. I love my soy cappuccino with a straw, and I love it sort of really kind of steaming hot.
So a mixture basically of serious, important things like our health and little things that we, again, take for granted. These microscopic items are one circle of gratitude but they're really two others that we've talked about, and we have actually a list here. So if you look at these concentric circles, the first little circle are all the little things that we mentioned, the cappuccino, the flowers, the rain if we love the rain, then the other circle are all the things that you worried might happen, but actually did not happen, being grateful for the misses, the near misses, and the final circle are the bad things that actually did happen, but there were hidden blessings in them and learnings and we're grateful for those, so we did the little circle.
Tell me some of the things that are in the second circle for you, anything that you were afraid might happen but didn't happen. - I think for everyone it's probably similar things, right, the any sort of tragedies that didn't happen, any potential health problems that didn't happen, those are just sort of the big ones for me. I try not to focus as much on those, that circle, 'cause I think you can drive yourself a little crazy. - But the bigger circle- - Yes. - The bad things that did happen, but there were lessons in them.
- Yeah, I mean I think that's everywhere, and I think the important thing to remember is that you don't, when you're going through something difficult and painful, you don't necessarily need to be so zen about it because I think that's demanding a lot of ourselves. Often, those things come to me in retrospect, right, where maybe I've been in a relationship that ended really poorly and I'm going through a lot of pain after the end of that relationship, but six months down the line, I see how much I learned, and that person, perhaps, wasn't exactly right for me and I'm grateful that I'm no longer in that relationship.
- Yes, I definitely have a lot of those. I remember, as you know, the man I was very much in love with in my twenties, and I wanted to marry him and have children, he didn't want to marry me and have children, so I ended up leaving him and moving to New York and at the time it was a real heartbreak. Looking back it was probably the best thing that happened because my life changed. I moved from London to New York. I ended up marrying your dad.
I ended up having you and Isabella, everything really that happened to me since then, all the good things, including The Huffington Post, happened, as I like to say, because a man wouldn't marry me, and remembering all those things makes it easier to go through the hard things as we are going through them. - Absolutely, because you have that reference, and maybe you can't see it for the specific situation you're in in the present, but you know that these formerly bad situations actually turned out to be for the greater good. - And that's why I love this Rumi quote that I've given you.
I've laminated it, I have it everywhere, which is "Live your life as though everything is rigged in your favor." Because it is and I have this profound belief that everything is rigged in our favor. (upbeat music)
- Facing challenges
- Considering the impact of your attitude
- Practicing forgiveness and gratitude
- Identifying feats