Monday, August 29, 2016

The Gratitude Diaries (Janice Kaplan)

A few years ago, I watched a really inspirational TED talk delivered by Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.  In this talk, Steindl-Rast says that we have it all wrong in our constant desire to obtain happiness.  If we want to be happy (and who doesn’t?), we need to be grateful -- it’s as simple as that.

In Janice Kaplan’s The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life, the author sets out on a quest to not only research gratefulness but to also actually “be” grateful.  Instead of focusing on negativity throughout the day, she would turn all her attention to being grateful for the people in her life and the things she had.  This book is so relatable to a large percentage of the population; I found myself nodding my head in agreement and understanding quite a few times.  I also liked how the author interviewed a wide range of people, including those who stayed grateful in the face of tragedy and hardship.

I would put The Gratitude Diaries right up there with Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project to lift your spirits when you’re down.  It’s well researched and inspirational, and for many, will be life-changing.