Listful Thinking: Is Gratitude on Your List?

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ListfulThinking_hiresI recently read Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo and so much of it made me think about the importance of listing blessings when setting out on a grateful life journey, as well as the benefits that accrue when doing so.

According to the author, something as simple as creating a grocery list can reduce anxiety, boost your brain power, improve focus, increase self esteem and organize your thoughts.

Listful Thinking, which is divided into chapters that cover work, lifestyle, home life, and more, is chock-full of time saving apps and websites. Her tips and suggestions have a huge payoff — in addition to the grocery list benefits listed above, this book can help you save time and money. As someone who takes a lot of trips, I particularly loved Paula’s section on “Must-Have Items to Pack When You Travel”.

The other fact that resonated with me is that list making eliminates a lot of clutter in your thoughts, and frees you to focus on the larger picture. Which is exactly what thankfulness and appreciation does: it takes the focus away from thinking “what if”, “why me” or “what’s next” and helps one to arrive at a state of acceptance which frees up the mind for positive action.

Paula, an Emmy Award-winning television producer in New York City and founder of ListProducer.com, admits she has glazomania, a passion for making lists. She attributes her success to list making, and also includes other busy people like Madonna, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres, and even Ben Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci in her list of list makers. Speaking of busy, she quotes a statistic from the Families and Work Institute which found that more than half all American employees feel overwhelmed.

Who wouldn’t want to replace that mentally-numb feeling, a result of “too much going on,” with a more productive mindset?

Paula writes, “Many people say they wish they could be more successful, have more money, be happier, and feel healthier–yet they can’t seem to achieve these things. They blame their bad luck, their busy lives, their limited resources…Being more successful in any area of your life isn’t about wishful thinking. It’s about listful thinking…Once you write down a goal, you instantly become accountable.”

We agree wholeheartedly that the act of writing something down is powerful! In our books, Living Life as a Thank You and The Grateful Life, we advise readers to write down the things that well that day, or to wake up and list a few things they are grateful for. Numerous scientific studies have shown that this activity can transform your health, outlook, and even help you live longer. Thank you Paula, for writing a book that gives sound, solid advice that can help people turn their lives around.

What other books do you find helpful to keep your lives on track?

Nina Lesowitz

Eat, Drink and Be Thankful

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Add subtitle textOur favorite holiday takes place this week in the United States, and we are looking forward to

the festivities with grateful hearts.

     Thanksgiving helps remind us of all the ways in which we are fortunate, and of all that we take for granted. It is a yearly reminder to celebrate the abundance in our lives. However, once you start looking at the world through the lens of gratitude, you’ll see that every day can be an occasion to give thanks. And expressing appreciation can improve your health, your outlook, your relationships, your job performance, and even help you sleep better at night.
     There are numerous ways to bring the “thanks” back to Thanksgiving at your holiday table. Try going around the table and having each person say what they are thankful for. You can start a new tradition by distributing cards and asking guests to write three things they are grateful for. These can be collected and read aloud the following year.
     You can also recite quotes to enhance your Grateful Table. Here are a few we like:
  1. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus
  2. “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you’, that would suffice.” Eckhart Tolle
  3. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder
  4. “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
  5. “Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” Ralph Marston
  6. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
  7. “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” Frank A. Clark
  8. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
  9. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
  10. “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” Unknown

Do you have a special Thanksgiving ritual that has become a tradition in your household?

Meet the Authors

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Please join Nina and Mary Beth at one of these events in the San Francisco Bay Area!

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Alameda
Books Inc., Friday, November 7th, 7pm http://www.booksinc.net/Alameda

Corte Madera
Book Passage, Saturday, November 22, 1pm http://www.bookpassage.com

Oakland

A Great Good Place for Books has been postponed. New date to come

Emeryville
Barnes and Noble, Saturday, December 6, 1pm http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2072