Gratitude Changes Everything card with sky backgroundHave you ever had the misfortune to end up in conversation with someone who continually looks at life through mud-colored glasses, who pollutes his or her life with constant negativity (not to mention the lives of those who have to listen to this garbage)?

These people are rightly referred to as energy vampires, as they seem to suck the life and energy out of both themselves and anyone else in their vicinity.

Ever had the sneaking suspicion that you also sometimes get stuck in the energy vampire mode; and that the person’s energy that you are eroding the most is your own?

There is a powerful antidote to this disease (dis-ease) of negativity. It is the conscious and intentional cultivation of an attitude of gratitude.

There is something magical about the phrase attitude of gratitude. It’s not simply because the words rhyme and have a certain rhythm when you say them aloud.

It is because when we start looking for things to be grateful for in our life, more and more wonderful things start to appear. Actually, they were there all along; we just didn’t notice them until we took off our mud-colored glasses.

Then all of a sudden, we can see the sun shining, or someone wearing a fun and funky purse that brings a smile to our face, or someone who is looking for exactly what we are offering in our business.

In a recent message to my congregation, Rabbi Aaron Starr shared an old Jewish teaching: Joy and affliction are two sides of the same coin. It is up to us to choose which side to focus on. The key word in that teaching is choose.

Many people recommend the practice of writing down at least five things to be grateful for every day. And since many of those same people say that what we focus on expands, that means that focusing on things for which to be grateful will exponentially expand the number of good things that we notice in our lives.

The key word in that sentence is notice. The key action to take is to intentionally pay attention to the blessings that enrich our lives and bring us joy.

This is by no means a new message. The most famous verse in Psalm 118 is: This is the day the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein.

If you have ever been at a Jewish celebration and danced to the song Hava Nagilah, you were dancing to words from that verse. Nagilah v’nismechah mean let us be glad and rejoice.

Perhaps now is a good time to put on some rose-colored glasses, and be on the look-out for the many things in your life for which to be grateful.

Chances are you will find yourself noticing and attracting a lot of what you have been wishing for, both personally, and in your professional life, once you do.