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"Gratitude Is Her Default Setting ..."

Hearing from you, my reader, is one of the perks of writing Monday-Morning Pep Talk. After writing How One Minute Can Make All the Difference, a reader named Tommy J. gave me permission to share the following:

Yesterday, I made the decision to put my dear friend Hilda in Hospice care. Hilda is 90, a committed believer and one of the most grateful people I have ever known.

Last night, as the ambulance workers were moving her from the hospital bed to the stretcher to bring her home, she thanked them both, even though she was barely conscious. Gratitude is her default setting.

What's Your Default Setting?

Hadn’t thought about it, but chances are we all have a default setting: a way of responding that is so automatic we barely give it a second thought. What is yours? How well is it serving you? These are questions I ask myself.

Even in times of obvious distress, we have more freedom than perhaps we realize in choosing how to respond.

This is the lesson life continues to teach. You have probably known folks like Hilda who were grateful and resourceful no matter what—and others who went through life miserable no matter what. Why not cultivate gratitude?

Scientists tell us gratitude changes our brains for the better. It lifts our spirits whether we're dealing with depression/anxiety or already happy as a clam ("How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain").

And we don't have to postpone gratitude until everything is perfect. Just as Garth Brooks thanked God for his unanswered prayers, you and I can given thanks, even when life doesn't go our way. Sometimes especially then.

Special thanks to Tommy J. and Hilda for inspiring this Pep Talk.

P.S. You will find more about gratitude (and lots of other good stuff) in my new book Thriving at Work, available in quantities of one to 500+. Visit the Ultimate Reminders store to get your copies today. Heartfelt thanks for your support of my work!

Even in times of distress, we have more freedom than we realize in choosing how to respond.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at