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By Suzanne Summerwill
If you could do one thing to make yourself more fulfilled and in control of your life while improving your relationships, would you be willing to give it a try? What if that one thing cost no money, didn’t require the wearing of spandex and could be done starting right now?
Janice Kaplan, author of The Gratitude Diaries, practices this one very simple thing--gratitude--over the course of a year and what she finds in herself changes her life.
Kaplan decides one New Year’s Eve to express gratitude for a full year through everyday interactions and to write down at least one thing she is grateful for in that day. Her experiences are seamlessly interwoven with facts and research from experts or personalities who have made the expression of gratitude a science and an art.
What makes The Gratitude Diaries a gem is that the conversations and situations by which Kaplan illustrates the impacts of being grateful are the same ones each of us encounter in our own daily lives.
After reading how she flipped an irritated reaction to her husband having to rush to the ER in the middle of the night to one of thanking him for being so caring for the patient who needed his help, I resolved the next time my hubby chars the burgers or burns the toast to replace my frequent comment “Burnt ash causes cancer” with “I am so grateful you help out with the cooking. Thank you!”
Through chapters with titles like: “The Career Game--or What I Learned from James Bond”, and “The ‘Unselfie’ Approach to Life”, Kaplan makes it easy to believe that “finding happiness at work comes from inside, not out” and that “gratitude is something you do rather than just something you feel.”
The Gratitude Diaries is a joyful, good read with a strong life/balance/health message for making a difference in your life.
Janice Kaplan will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming IWLC Eastern Iowa Conference April 26, 2016 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I highly recommend giving yourself the opportunity to hear her in person!
Suzanne Summerwill is the mom of two awesome sons, a former bank executive and corporate director, a sometimes life coach and photographer, and an always committed community volunteer. She is a member of the IWLC Eastern Iowa Steering and Scholarship Committees.