Tip: Take Gratitude To The Extreme

This mental exercise is harder than you think. Try it for a week and become a tougher, happier person.

Being Grateful for Good Things Isn't Enough

We hear about people keeping gratitude journals these days. In them they write down three things they're grateful for every day. The idea there is that, if you reflect on this gratitude, you'll have a more positive mindset and it will carry over to everything else you do.

The problem is that you can only be grateful for your wife, your kids, and all the good things in your life so often. If you do that too much, the exercise just becomes you repetitively scribbling the same things in your journal over and over again.

If you want to improve upon the practice, start figuring out a way to be grateful for the challenges and problems you have in your life, and what you've learned from them:

  • Be grateful for that shitty workout. It taught you that staying up too late watching TV isn't going to help you advance.
  • Be grateful for that busted knee you have. It taught you that you weren't working your posterior chain properly and it's forcing you to learn better training methods.
  • Be grateful for that girl who broke your heart. She freed you and maybe even taught you to become a better catch for the next girl you meet.

Viewing gratitude in this way makes it a lot tougher to think about, but far more rewarding. Too often, we focus on our victories and our strengths because thinking about those things makes us content.

If you're a T Nation reader, you're not looking to be content. You're looking to advance. That means continually searching for your breaking points and weaknesses.

Reflecting on your challenges while being grateful for the lessons they provide gives you a daily audit of your weaknesses and it'll motivate you to turn them into strengths.

Get yourself a small notebook and write down your three biggest challenges each day for a week and what you've learned from them. By the end of the week, you'll have turned anything bad that's happened to you into a potential positive.

Chris Albert is an NSCA and NASM certified personal trainer, and one of the founders of Metroflex Gym in Long Beach. Chris has trained pro and amateur bodybuilders, powerlifters, fighters, and fitness models. He’s also a proud US Marine Corps veteran. Follow Chris Albert on Instagram