Practicing Gratitude

June 12, 2011
Brandon Sutton Hiking

Last weekend’s World Domination Summit brought up a lot of things for me that I need to work on, including some habits (hat tip to Leo Babauta) that I want to introduce in my life. I decided that a commitment to expressing gratitude is one of them.

About a year ago, I did an exercise where every morning I listed 5 things that I was grateful for.  I kept a running document of these things, which was a nice way to remind myself of all the wonderful aspects of my life that deserve recognition and appreciation.

But the question is, why relegate these expressions of gratitude to a document that’s trapped on my desktop?

Why not share these things with the world in the hopes that it might allow others to feel gratitude for things in their own lives?

As my old friend Michael used to say, ‘there’s no good reason not to.’

Brandon Sutton HikingSo, here’s the deal: Every Sunday night, I will do a post on Gratitude for things that are happening in my life.  It might be gratitude for people, places, things, feelings, or whatever pops into my head at the time.  Sounds fun, right?

And, on top of the weekly posts, I’m going to commit at least one tweet each day on gratitude as well.  If you’re interested in those, you can find me on Twitter here. The caveat is that I reserve the right to NOT tweet some days if I’m having an experience that I want to remain totally present for.  I’ve found that I can’t be totally present and tweet at the same time, so I pick and choose when I do both.

Since I went on a rampage of appreciation last week for everything related to the World Domination Summit, today I want to express gratitude for where I am now.  Air quality alerts notwithstanding, I live in a great community with some of the most genuine people that I’ve ever met in my life.  I’m really lucky to be surrounded with this kind of positive, supporting energy every day.

I recently wrote about a hiking trip in the wilderness of North Georgia, and I’m so thankful for that opportunity to get out and explore the woods with friends who love to just jump in the car and go explore the world. It hasn’t always been that way for me. In the past, I’ve felt isolated and disconnected from others, and I ended up doing a lot of things on my own. I still like to be alone from time to time, but I’m thankful that I have people in my life that I feel totally comfortable around and can talk to about anything.

There is a tendency to always look ahead to what could be or what will be, but what is right now is often just as good or better than the future we imagine. I can say with 100% certainty that where I am today is a wonderful place.  Some of the most incredible people that I’ve met in my life are good friends and neighbors here in Atlanta. I want to express gratitude for their presence and not take their support for granted.

So, today I’m thankful for being where I am right now. What about you?  What are you thankful for today?


  • Reply Al Smith June 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks Brandon.  I am grateful for many things.  Meeting you and lots of other cool peoople on line is one thing I am truly grateful for.  The list is a great idea and sharing your gratitude with others is even better. Since you have volunteered to help me with my business, I guess it’s ok that you are using my idea for Gratitude Monday.  Ha !

    • Reply Brandon Sutton June 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Ha – technically mine is daily gratitude with a deeper dive on Sundays, but who’s counting?  😉  Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was scrapping over who was expressing more gratitude?  That’s a nice thought indeed.

      Really glad we connected as well.  Lots of beautiful work to do in the world.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton June 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Ha – technically mine is daily gratitude with a heavy dose on Sundays, but who’s counting?  😉  Wouldn’t it be nice if people were scrapping over who was expressing the most gratitude?  That’s a nice thought indeed.

      I’m glad we connected as well.  There’s so much beautiful work to be done in the world, and I’m happy to help you with yours.

      • Reply Al Smith June 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

        Ha !  Thanks Brandon.  Did you see Tim Sanders tweet right under yours ?  It was around 1:45.  He said; “Think of 5 things you are grateful for.  Now how do you feel ?”  just thought it was cool.  His latest book is great !  Love your comment about people scrapping about gratitude.  What a wonderful world it would be !

  • Reply Lori Finnigan June 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Sweet post Brandon. Starting each day with a grateful list sets the tone for positive thoughts and actions to carry one throughout the day, something I hope to do more of in the future.  And you are correct: there are special people in Atlanta.  Sounds like you found some as special as you 🙂

    • Reply Brandon Sutton June 21, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Thanks Lori. This is such a simple thing, but it makes a huge difference in how life unfolds.  I love seeing people responding to the gratitude tweets each day.  Feels great to spread joy in the world.  And when I got the idea for the post for my dad for Father’s Day, I knew it would be perfect.  It meant so much to him and I got a lot of positive feedback from other people as well. 

      Thank you again – I appreciate your kind words. 

  • Reply Grateful for Connection June 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    […] to collaborate with, don’t you think? A couple of weeks ago when I decided to put this weekly gratitude post into action, I didn’t know exactly how it would unfold.  It’s a simple ritual, really, […]

  • Reply Ali June 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I love reading your blog, always so inspirational without being cheesy about it. I always leave feeling good and feeling like I can do more than I give myself credit for. You’re doing amazing stuff, I really enjoy watching/reading about your passion!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton June 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks Alison.  I really appreciate the kind words. I know what you mean, and I think I’ve really ‘found’ my voice, which lets the inspirational side of me come out while remaining just a normal guy.  It seems to be resonating, which is awesome! 🙂

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