Yesterday was day one. I’ve decided to try a new project. One that I’m very excited to see where it takes me. I’m going on a Grateful Diet.
A bit of context. The wheels were put in motion a while ago when a good friend recommended I read James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself. My mom generously ordered the book, along with another book, to include in my monthly care package my uncle delivers to me on his London trips. I saw my uncle last Wednesday.
Then, came Thursday afternoon. I’ve been interviewing for a job here in London. I’d already been through two phone interviews and this job was perfect; one of those positions that literally all the bullet points match my experience and what I want to do. Not to mention, it was for a great company – one I would have been thrilled to go back over to the corporate grind to work for. On Thursday, I found out I didn’t make it to the next round of interviews. I was heartbroken. It felt like, if I can’t get this job, where (I feel) I am perfectly qualified, how am I going to ever get a job again?! My world felt as though it was coming apart at the seams.
I’m grateful for technology, as I was able to FaceTime a close friend who talked me off ledge and convinced me to get out and go for a run. Now, for those who know me, you know I really (reallyyy) don’t like running, but it’s such a great (and free) way to get a good workout which is incredibly beneficial. I ran, and I cried, and it helped.
After the run, I bumped into my downstairs neighbor who saw that I was upset and invited me over for a glass of wine. I’m grateful he so kindly invited me over for a visit, as my housemates are out of town now and I’m holding down the fort on my own. There are some moments in life when it’s just better to have company.
While it sucks getting rejected for a job, especially one that feels like the perfect fit, I’m grateful I made it as far as I did in the process. I’m also grateful for the experience – one that had me study and prepare for the interview process more than I ever had in the past and that’s something I can take with me to future positions. Lastly, I’m grateful for the resilience that is learned after every rejection; there are other opportunities out there and maybe this job wasn’t as ‘perfect’ as I thought. Life is far from perfect and it’s a real blessing when you’re able to gain perspective about rejections and realize it’s far from the end, and much better things are out there.
All it takes is one.
Back to the book. Come Friday, I started to read, Choose Yourself and I’m forever grateful for my friend who recommended this book. Not to mention, the timing of receipt of the book was quite fortunate. I love a self-help book as much as the next person trying to ‘figure things out.’ Hell, I think I bought Quarterlife Crisis when I was 23. But most of the time, I get bored with the book and never quite finish. That is the exact opposite with James Altucher. The book is perfect for me on so many levels. Maybe because it’s not really super self-help-y. After reading his book for a few days, I stumbled upon one of his blog posts about ‘Why Gratitude is the Ultimate Miracle’ and decided that I’m going to try his Grateful Diet. Since starting Choose Yourself, I’ve been trying to implement various practices from the book into my daily life, and the grateful diet will hopefully add that much more value.
So for 21 days, the challenge is to be grateful for everything. Even if my bus just stops before the destination listed and forces me off in some random part of town (something I loathe); well, I’m grateful to be able to walk around a new part of London, or brush up on my public transportation skillz (that’s right!). Even if it’s raining, or 2am, or I’m late. Gratitude for the small stuff is equally as important as the big; I’m grateful I have the money to take the bus.
It’s hard to be grateful for rejection. But…there’s always a silver lining somewhere. Everything is about perception. I took a project from the book and made a list of ten ways I’ve been rejected and why I was grateful for those situations. Writing down the reasons (and re-reading what I wrote) brings about a certain peace. Whether or not it was a relationship that didn’t work out, or a job that didn’t work out, or whatever, each situation taught me something and I can be grateful for those things. Finding something good in every perceived negative situation helps to let go, leave it in the past and focus on the present.
I’ve also been smiling at a lot more people. You never know what kind of day they’re having and sometimes a smile from a stranger is the kindest gesture you can offer. I am in London, though, so sometimes I get funny looks. 🙂
One of the ‘assignments’ of the project is to write an email each day to five people you’re grateful to have in your life and tell them why. I cried a little writing all five emails yesterday. Also at the five today. And a little at the responses. Happy tears. It fills me with joy to reflect upon how much someone means to you and share that with them. Hopefully, it fills them with joy hearing it. I don’t think people take the time to let others know how much they mean to them often enough.
To close out yesterday, I took a wander over to Primrose Hill to watch the sunset and take in the view London. I’ve heard great things about the view and wanted to experience it for myself. I stayed up there for around an hour, and felt truly grateful. To be able to be living in this amazing city right now. It’s incredible.
London – I’m really grateful for you; in fact, I’m falling head over heels in love with you.