A TRANSFORMATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
BY TODD AARON JENSEN
What happens when your life falls apart?
When mine fell apart I had to ask myself that question. I’m aware that it’s actually not that uncommon
of an experience.
I could tell you about the ways financial hardship, a
failing marriage, broken-down car, runaway dog, and
a faulty roof six years ago turned my understanding
of reality and the corresponding dreams and hopes for
the future into sludge. It was like campfire ash in a
I could tell you how I spent three months last year
hospitalized with a mystery illness that could have
been cancer (but, thankfully, was not). I could sing the
same sad country-western song that for many of us is
the soundtrack of our lives. To be honest, I did sing
that song for a long time – until a close friend said,
“No matter what you’ve lost, you’re still the richest
man I know.”
She was right. Somewhere along the path, I had lost
that understanding too.
This is how I know she’s right; with that paradigm
shift in perspective, I stopped counting everything that
I had lost, what I lacked, what I couldn’t have, and I
began counting all that I did have.
My list began with my breath, my heartbeat, my vocabulary, my sons, the fact that – at the age of 40 – I
still have all of my hair, the Marx Brothers (always the
Marx Brothers), and gratefully so, the will to live….
and to do so differently.
By the time I knew anything about the science of
gratitude (as brilliantly and accessibly expressed by
Dr. Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the
Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier), I had
already experienced a sea of change in my personal
and professional life. Desperate for my own enlightenment, I remember feeling inspired by learning the
research-supported fact that those who write a gratitude list even once a week for three months are up to
30% happier and healthier than those who do not.
The fundamental truth is that the music and storylines
change when you count your blessings.
“I am grateful for everyone who
has walked the journey of On
Gratitude with me – brothers
and sisters, each and every one
of you, carrying this message,
heralding a revolution of thanksgiving. We are not alone.”