In this challenge, you spend at least 7 days exploring what you are grateful for and the impact of an attitude of gratitude.
The goal is to look closely at things that you are possibly taking for granted. Study them with your camera and identify what about them brings you joy. And why you choose to give them space and energy in your life.
Each item or person or activity you share your life with requires an energy exchange. Some things fill you with energy and others drain you of energy. Your camera can help you to focus on what is bringing you energy.
If something lifts you. Photograph it and thank it. Also thank all of the people that were in a creative chain to bring that item or person into your life.
Celebrate your gratitude photographically
Slow down and be present with the object of your gratitude. How could you photograph it in a way that tells a story about what it means to you? How will you infuse the image with your emotions about the object? What lighting will you use? What angles will you shoot it from? What will be in the background? What aperture will you choose (to make it singly noticed or included in its surroundings). How can you push your photographic craft one step further than what you were capable of doing yesterday? Did you use manual settings? Did you experiment with a new technique?
Collect the images in a Visual Gratitude journal
Here is a template that you can use to create a google slides version of your gratitude journal that you can download as a PDF or print out later. It is just a lovely place to keep your images if you like.
If you want to share your images on your socials, please add the #clickhappytude to show your photographic attitude of gratitude. We will be on the hunt for this # and will share some that we find on our Instagram page @
What to do when you don't feel gratitude for someone or something
Some people fill you with energy and are easy to feel grateful for. These are the suns in your life. When you leave their company it is usually with a smile and with your tanks full from the experience.
Then there are the energy vampires. I prefer to think of them as energy mentors.
If you pay attention they have heaps to teach you on how not to be around people. They also are the training ground for virtues that will get you ahead in life. See here is the thing every person that makes your life difficult can teach you something.
- Anger Management - How to not lose your nut when someone is being difficult (this is a super power in the work place. )
- Patience - Sometimes you just need to wait it out, instead of seething you can celebrate that you have been given an opportunity to refine this important skill you need as an artist.
- Attractiveness - They are giving you a lesson on how to not repel people with your behaviour.
- Compassion - Sometimes people behave badly because they are just passing on how others have taught them to behave. Have empathy, ask more questions about what has stimulated that behaviour in them and see what you can learn.
- Courage - They may be giving you an opportunity to develop the courage to speak up for yourself. This will be an important life skill to hone.
- Challenge - We don't grow as artists when life is smooth sailing. This person is giving you the gift of challenging you to rise above your past responses and to develop even stronger coping and thriving skills.
- Listening - Sometimes people just need to feel heard and then when they are they calm down. To be an excellent artist you have to deeply hone your ability to listen to what the big questions are that you need to address.
- Boundaries - Sometimes people are behaving in toxic ways and through our upbringing, we have learned to be polite even for those who are overly greedy of our time, personal space, or attention or treats us with disrespect, or violence. If this is the case for you then what a gift is someone who shows you where your boundaries are soft and helps you to learn how to firm them up and increase your levels of personal worth.
The trick is to find the gift in the discomfort here. Where is this person inadvertently acting as a life coach to you? You can choose to be grateful for that. See you have a power that can never be taken from you no matter how draining they are (it is locked away in a space that they will never have access to). And that power is the power to stop, feel, pause and then to make a choice of response. You get to choose your attitude. You get to choose gratitude and fill yourself with power. That gratitude could simply be for the fact that you can see the challenges they are creating for themselves by their actions and they are acting as a mentor for you on what not to do with other people.
If you struggle to see things this way, try this:
Imagine this scene:
My bratty little *&%#!!! of a sister just came into my room and borrowed my favourite shirt in the whole world without asking and got it horribly stained up while she was playing with her paints!!! When I saw her I flew into a rage and jerked the shirt right off her screaming at what a waste of space she was and what a crappy artist she was anyway. Then I stormed up into mums room and yelled at mum for having the gall to have another kid who was so disrespectful of stuff. I demanded that mum buy me a new shirt to make up for the one that my sister screwed up! Mum went quiet looked at me hard and told me that she would talk to me again when I had calmed down and could be respectful, and she went to go check and see if my sister was okay! Can you believe it? I am the victim here!
So what was the result of this scenario?
- Destroyed shirt
- Sister who was a promising artist now deeply doubts her skills and will probably never paint again but will remember your harsh words even when she is 70 years old as the reason she never thought she was any good at art.
- Your mother is disappointed at your sense of entitlement and lack of respect in the way that you spoke to her. She is less likely to buy you anything new any time soon because of the way you spoke to her.
- You feel vindicated in your actions but now your relationship with your sister will likely only get worse.
- Your mum even though she kept her calm is not pleased with either of you, but more so with you right now.
- You feel like a victim and by acting the way you did you will receive more bad karma making you feel more like a victim, and it was because of the chaos you created in the wake of your anger.
Try this as an option instead.
Play the scene out without the value judgements on it.
My sister borrowed my shirt without asking and got paint on it... Just the facts ma'am.
Now it is natural for you to be upset. But here is where your power comes in. What if you learned to imagine that angry emotion coming and then you feel it, name it, and then take several deep breaths and let it drain out your feet into the ground.
Now you have space in your brain to figure out how you can solve this problem. Ask yourself what you can learn from this. That there are better places to store my stuff. That I need to talk with her about damaging my things. That I need to bring mum or dad into the conversation and together you can figure out how to stop your sister from damaging things.
A solution comes...for this you can be grateful. No solution yet but you didn't lose your nut on her? You can be grateful you are learning self-control which will help you when you have a job and invariably someone does something stupid you will now have the power to diffuse the situation without losing your job (can you imagine an adult version of the first scenario). What a gift your sister just gave you there. How cool is that? She is like a sparring partner for when you get out in the real world. What a gift. This is how you have an attitude of gratitude and retrieve your energy from people who can act in challenging ways.
And each time you experience their challenging/ draining behaviour you can think of it as a gift to your future self.
Dump stuff that is sucking your energy (with thanks)
The other tip to this is to use it as a joy meter for your stuff.
The KonMari Method™ encourages you to keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. She encourages you to hold an item in your hand and ask if it brings you joy? If it doesn't you might consider passing it on to someone who might find joy in it. Either by taking it to an op shop that supports a cause you believe in or gift it to someone who really will appreciate it, a younger sibling or cousin or friend. Thank it for what it did bring to you or the lessons it taught you and then release it back into the world in a way that will bring the highest common good. Now that release just gave you energy. For that you can be grateful. See that gratitude thing is everywhere if you look for it. And by looking for it you bring more of it, joy, and energy into your life.
You could even photography the pile of stuff you decided to donate to your local opshop as one of your photographs.
Apply for the Click Happy Plus Scholarship
Click Happy Plus is a 2 term masterclass series with Mandi Lynn, past winner of New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year.
By submitting your gratitude journal here you will be eligible for consideration of 6 scholarships available in your region for youth aged 10-22. Or for 3 teachers/youth workers scholarships.
Updated on 2021-03-12T09:49:17+12:00, by .