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Tracy Winchell

A Simple Framework for Unearthing Gratitude

published3 months ago
2 min read

Hello Reader!

Suicide survivors are in the basement of rock bottom.

So says my late friend Steve Austin, whom I met on Twitter. Steve was a prolific author, blogger, and podcaster. He talked openly about his life before, during, and after his suicide attempt.

We became instant friends.

In the hours and weeks following the suicide of a family member, Steve called me nearly every day. He listened, made me laugh, and knew exactly what to say.

Steve's first hours in a mental health facility following his suicide attempt focused on gratitude, which gave him someone(s) to live for.

We hear the saying, "Have an attitude of gratitude!" a lot. And that sounds really cliche these days. But when you actually have a life of gratitude, it changes everything.
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When you learn to appreciate people for who they are in your life, for what they've done for you, and how they've shown up, it can literally...improve your overall level of happiness.
--
Steve Austin, The Change Journals Podcastā€‹

Here is Steve's ridiculously simple approach to gratitude that will -- if you apply it -- help you through the coming holidays.

A No-Nonsense Gratitude Framework

Step 1: Close your eyes and think about someone who means or meant the world to you. (bonus points for writing down the name)
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ā€‹Step 2: Ask yourself, "Why am I grateful for ?"
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ā€‹Step 3: Dig deeper into that question by asking "Why?" again.
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ā€‹Step 4: Try one more time. "Why?"

An Example

Step 1: I am grateful for Steve's life.
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ā€‹Step 2: I'm grateful for Steve because he loved his family -- and his friends -- well.
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ā€‹Step 3: Why? We barely knew each other when he made time to guide me through a painful loss.
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ā€‹Step 4: Why? Steve's life was dedicated to helping others through loss, despair, and emotional pain.

Steve's stories must include his bride Lindsey, their boy Ben, their girl Cara, and the family's pet pig.

You Are Not Alone

Can't seem to muster up emotions of thanksgiving, joy, or any other positive emotion? Millions of humans across the globe are dealing with similar struggles.

Americans especially feel the pressure of "not being a downer" through the holiday season.

Please remember: You are seeking goodness because you want to get better, not because you are expected to put on a happy face for the holiday season.

Your Action Items

As we close this series, I ask you to give Steve Austin's gratitude framework a shot.

I typically write the exercise, but you can run this mental framework wherever you are. You will enjoy playing the "Why?" game with your family on the way to school, during a family meal, or any other time.

In an episode of my now-archived Reboots Podcast: The Change Journals Edition, Steve also shares a Turkey Hand method for gratitude.

šŸŽ™ Have a listen. šŸŽ§

Ask Me Anything!

Next week's newsletter will contain your questions and my responses to this week's "Ask me anything!"

Reply to this email with your questions, and I will answer as many as possible for next week's newsletter.

November Newsletter Series: Stop worrying about 2023 goals. Start with Now actions!

In November, my friend R.J. Nestor and I begin a series to help you wrap up 2022 and prepare your mind for 2023.

R.J. is a productivity planning guru. His principles apply to any tool you use.

Together, we will show you how to build the mindset, skills, and confidence to do more with your life than plan for "someday." We will prepare you to know what to do. Now!