It was a February, I was exhausted and I was stuck on the sofa...
I had tonsillitis. I don't often get ill and normally I can battle through it. But this was tonsillitis and I felt dreadful, my body had not experienced anything like this. I could not move, I could not speak and even though my brain was on fire, I could not do anything with the ideas I was having.
In the past I would have looked down on someone who told me a throat inflammation would stop them, now I knew the pain myself.
For those that don't know me, I have devoted my life to helping others, I take pride in helping others to support people. I spend thousands of hours every year speaking, writing, training and teaching people how to improve the lives of others. Apart from the talks and consultations I do, I focus much of my time on training others the psychology of mentoring, through our training team The Mentoring School.
I was busy writing mentoring courses to help businesses get the most out of their apprentices, working like crazy. And then I got floored, tonsillitis struck and there was little I could do. My brain had all of these ideas, but my usually active body was letting me down.
I succumbed, I let myself wallow. There were at least two days when I stopped and felt good for nothing. In the big scheme of things, that's nothing, but for me, that's huge. It goes against my mindset, I like to work through things, to keep myself busy, to keep myself active.
This was huge for me, I take pride in never being stopped, but here I was on the sofa, bored and self-pitying.
So I decided to use the time to learn. I read, listened and watched information.
And one of the things I read about was thing called Gratitude.
I'd heard about it before, but dismissed it as crazy. I hadn't actually looked at what it was and what the impact was, I just dismissed it outright.
But now I had time on my hands, I was listless, felt sorry for myself and wanted something to occupy me.
So my mind opened up to considering new things to help me snap out of this. I read one of Robin Sharma's blog about morning routines and he spoke about having an hour routine each morning. Twenty minutes of exercise, twenty minutes of learning and twenty minutes of Gratitude.
I tried it, just for a few days at first, because I could always change my mind and stop and the most extraordinary thing happened...
My mind changed, I enjoyed it, I started to see the positives in all sorts of ways.
Firstly, my health started to return because of the exercise (I also shed about a stone in weight over the first few months). Secondly, I learnt about new ways of thinking, about new philosophies as I steamed through book after book after book. Thirdly, I felt joy and pleasure in everyday things, even the negatives.
Yes, you read that correctly, a side-effect of spending time thinking about the things in my life that I am thankful for, is that when the brown stuff hits the fan, or when something negative happens, you view it differently. Suddenly you see the positives in that situation, you see the opportunities and you leave behind the excuses. It honestly changed my world.
I'll tell you more about the story of learning Gratitude in my next blog, but for now, dear reader, I want to leave you with a challenge, what 10 things have you got in your life right now that you are thankful for?