Why Did I Stop Blogging?

Hello Everyone!

For those of you who have not followed my blog, my name is Dave, The Gratitude Guy.

When 2011 began, I made a commitment to write a gratitude blog post for every day of the year on people, places, things, and ideas that I am grateful for.

Mission accomplished!

But wait!  What about 2012?  So far, I have written only 1 blog post.

So the question that must be answered is…..

WHY?

The simple answer is that I was not motivated.  Writing a daily blog takes a lot out of you, and my heart was not in the right place to continue. Instead I decided to write a blog post whenever I felt like it.

Now you tell me, what is wrong with this picture?

Well for one, here is a man who dedicated himself to excellence by making a commitment, fulfilling it, and then started taking a back seat, and coast his way to mediocrity, instead of the greatness that lives within.

In other words, I sold myself short. In fact, I can hear my mind shouting out:

“Attention gratitude buyers, get your Dave, The Gratitude at 50% off. Limited time offer. Hurry, Don’t wait!”

How does this make you feel?  Have you ever sold yourself short, and not given yourself the full price that you justly deserve.

Well I can tell you how I feel.  I am very disappointed that I let the empowering feelings that existed within me to take a 3 month vacation to Someday Island. And I enjoyed myself so much, I turned some day into one day, and then quickly made a return visit.

What I am I trying to say is that I was feeling like “crap” and just had no desire to continue. But what I soon discovered is that feelings come and go and desires come and go. And then I realized that I let my circumstances dictate how I felt.

For there is an approach to life we must understand.

What we need to know is that every event we experience has within it both sides, negative and positive emotions. And it is your emotions and your emotions alone that determine your destiny. By evolving past your judgments and attachments, you honor what is, become present, and experience gratitude.

I decided to choose how I want to feel, regardless of what is! And I choose to feel good, to feel love, and allow myself to honor the gratitude that surrounds me on a daily basis.

I don’t need a single thing to change to find relief and feel good. I just desire to feel AWESOME and know that what I truly desire will be mine.

As Dave, The Gratitude Guy, I will continue to educate everyone that the best way for us to value our present day happiness is to be grateful for what we already have.

I will focus on the beautiful, wonderful, meaningful possibilities.  Because I realize that the only thing that really holds you back is your belief that you cannot move forward. Once you’ve let that go, you free yourself to soar.

I encourage each one of you to look deep inside your heart and open up your mind to all the possibilities that life can offer. Make each day count and live with passion. You will be so surprised how your life can change is so many ways.

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Dave Block Lost His Job, But He’s Grateful

Hello Everyone!

It’s great to be blogging again, this one being the first for 2012.

Today, I wanted to reveal the details of how a story was recently written about me in the San Diego Union Tribune by Diane Bell.

First, let me give you a little background on Diane Bell. Diane was editor of the Union-Tribune’s opinion pages when she traded her desk job in 1995 to become an items columnist with a focus on San Diego. Diane describes her items column as nosey but newsy. She calls her beat the “offbeat,” the “upbeat” in an ongoing search to capture San Diego’s heartbeat.

Some of Diane’s empowering stories include: A transient man giving a supermarket coupon away to a stranger, not asking for anything in return. A philanthropist who has pledged to give away much of his fortune, emphasizing that giving should come from the heart. An auto mechanic who assists stranded motorists and refuses any payments, receives assistance himself for a breakdown of his customized truck and a cataract that left him legally blind in one eye. An absentee father, save’s one sons life, unites two brothers over a kidney donation.

And this one touched me tremendously.

While waiting for his flight to San Diego in a Boston airport terminal, a grieving man, who had lost his wife to pancreatic cancer, struck up a conversation with a mother and two young daughters at the airport. He learned that the mother’s second husband also lost his wife to cancer five years earlier. During the flight, the man receives notes from the girls, one of which lost their mother.

“One thing I learned from my mom’s death,” she wrote, “is that it happened for a reason. I figured the reason was because I needed to find out who and what I am supposed to be. After a while I learned instead of thinking about all the bad things, to just spend a few minutes thinking about good memories. Maybe that will help you.” She drew an angel.

“Both of the notes show incredible insights into life and love and hope, which have helped me tremendously in dealing with my grieving process,” said the man, who put the originals in his wife’s memorial booklet and has carried copies with him ever since.

Why do I bring these stories up? Because it is stories like these, and the countless many others we don’t hear about, that give our life true meaning. When we make a difference, small or big, to others, we open up our hearts to who we are being and start to show up on this planet, as we share our true kindness we were created for. For there is tremendous abundance in our lives, that money cannot buy.

Things like: unconditional love, respect that is earned, friends that mean the world to you, true forgiveness, genuine happiness, real immortality from talent and perseverance, and real peace from talking, thinking, being empathetic and understanding by loving your neighbor, caring for your family and telling your friends how much they mean to you.

So, now please allow me to get back to my story and Diane Bell. I first tried to contact Diane in February of last year, then again in June and November, before we finally spoke in December. Yes, persistence does payoff.  I realize that Diane has a very busy schedule, so I was extremely blessed to have a moment of her time. In fact, we spent over an hour on the phone as the time passed so quickly.

The result of our conversation ended up as a story in the San Diego Union Tribune on January 10, in the local section, with the headline “Man’s mission is getting us all to be grateful”.

For those of you, who have not yet had the opportunity to read the story, here it is:

Two and a half years ago, Dave Block, 44, lost his job as a toll collector for the South Bay Expressway.

The former travel agency owner, who had previously filed for bankruptcy and lost his Chula Vista home, circulated his résumé and applied for jobs.

Instead of dwelling on his misfortunes, though, Block decided to give thanks for what he had — family, health, friendships, and spirit.

Eventually he got a job in Delta’s Sky Club and occasionally works as an usher. Nevertheless, Block decided to make a career out of being grateful to inspire others down on their luck.

He set up a Facebook page, “Dave, The Gratitude Guy.” He filmed a YouTube video on gratefulness with the help of friends he calls his “grat pack.” On Jan. 1, 2011, he began writing a yearlong gratitude blog: mygratitudelife.com.

Due to his backlog of debts, Block says he remains “one payment away from having my car repossessed” but vows to keep going because gratitude brings out the good in life.

Now he is compiling interviews of celebrities who have overcome hardships and hoping his that baseball-sized rubber “Gratitude Ball” he created will catch on. It’s a reminder to folks to connect with and thank others.

Diane, I want to offer you my sincere gratitude for taking the time to share my story with your readers.

My goal is set an example for others to follow that will inspire people to have vision, purpose and faith. I want to encourage people to take action toward their own personal goals through cultivating a habit of gratitude.

All my thoughts of what I could not do turned into beliefs of what I could do as Dave, The Gratitude Guy was born. When I started this attitude of gratitude, I understood that by being who I am, I will attract more of what I truly want in life. I want to share these feelings of love and gratitude with as many people as possible. Together, we can produce enough positive energy to create amazing changes on our planet for generations to come.

I also welcome like-minded individuals to join me on this gratitude journey, as I would love to share some powerful ideas on how by working together we can make a huge difference.

Until next time, live each day as if it were your last. Then you will realize what is really important. And start to be grateful for everything little or big thing that comes your way.

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Day 365 – A Wonderful Year of Grateful Living (2011)

2011 – A Wonderful Year of Grateful Living

It has been a long, fulfilling year of blogging, but will be a lifetime of memories. What started out on January 1 as a commitment has ended on December 31 as a vision. A vision that one day we can live in a world where our lives are filled with continuous love and gratitude.

As we say hello to 2012, I will focus on the endless beautiful possibilities that lie ahead. For when you devote yourself to living a life of gratitude, you realize the abundance that is available to you. For each day we have is a gift. A gift we need to use wisely. Being grateful for what you have now will only attract more of what you truly want in life. Limit your time on bad feelings and negative energy that only serve to hold you back.

Instead focus on the beautiful, wonderful, and meaningful possibilities.  Capture the belief that you are free to soar and nothing is an impossibility.

As Dave, The Gratitude Guy, I will continue my greater purpose to become a daily reminder of the importance of living a life of gratitude. Look for future blog posts, as I continue to tell the world the good news while on my gratitude journey.

I am so exciting about life, especially the amazing things, some of which you may never thought possible, start to happen.

Well, my friends, it has a been a great ride. Sometimes a rollercoaster with its ups and downs but mostly an absolutely beautiful and enjoyable merry-go-round.

As I prepare to push the publish button for this post, for the last time this year, I want to wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2012.

Take care and until the next post,

Live each day as if it were your last. Then you will realize what is really important. And start to be grateful for everything little or big thing that comes your way. ~ Dave Block

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Day 364 – My Favorite Gratitude Blog Posts of 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I am amazed at how fast the time has passed. When I started writing this blog on January 1, I never would have imagined the full range of emotions that I had to endure:

anger,compassion,disappointment,envy,  fear,  excitement, frustration, loneliness, love, sadness, passion, regret, rejection, happiness and gratefulness. 

While writing a blog for each day of the year is not easy, it was so very much rewarding in the end. One thing I really have enjoyed is to re-read some of my previous blogs, as the information never gets old. I love to recall what I was thinking and feeling based on the blog I wrote for that day.

For those of you who have followed my blog, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been an amazing journey.

Now, I would like to recap this year of gratitude by highlighting what I wrote about on my favorite blog posts.

In January, my first post on Day 1,  A New Year of Being Grateful Begins, I wrote about saying goodbye to any negativity of the passing year and focusing on the beautiful, wonderful, meaningful possibilities that lie ahead. On Day 4, My Baskeball Trophy and Jerry West, I wrote about my basketball idol Jerry West, my one and only trophy, and the power of believing in yourself. On Day 6, My Walks With My Mother, I wrote a poem about taking walks with my mother. On Day 11, Reaching happiness on my 46th year of existence, I wrote about my 46th birthday and with age brings on wisdom, wisdom brings on acceptance, acceptance brings on focus, and focus brings on better choices and results, which bring on happiness. On Day 27, The Journey of Rocky Balboa, I wrote about the journey of my favorite fictional character, Rocky Balboa. I talked about the love I have for the Rocky story because it gives us all hope that as long as we keep reaching higher and challenging ourselves, there’s an opportunity to go the distance in our lives.

In February, on Day 32, The Grateful Jew and The Start of the Gratitude Tours, I wrote how proud I am of my Jewish heritage. On Day 36, Does money bring happiness, I wrote that’s it’s more important to  have that deeper feeling of gratitude for overall happiness rather than have just a desire for money.  On Day 39, Time in a Bottle, I wrote about the importance of not wasting your time, make the most of it, and cherish and treasure the people and things that you love. On Day 41, Sex and Gratitude, I wrote about how showing gratitude will make your partner want to please you.  On Day 42, Smoking the Gratitude Gunn, I wrote that stopping smoking is one of the greatest gifts we can do. On Day 46, The Importance of Gratitude, I wrote about being responsible for our thoughts and emotions whether we choose to admit to it or not. On Day 47, Valentine Romance at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, I wrote about my valentine romance with my special love. On Day 53, Grateful For My Five Senses, I wrote about our five senses and how grateful for the ability to use them every day of our life.

In March, on Day 60, Can’t Buy Me Prosperity, I wrote about living with prosperity thinking and how it allows you to live fully and love fully. On Day 65, The Invention of Swearing, I wrote about controlling the use of profanity. On Day 76, Basketball as a Metaphor for Life, I wrote that everyone must focus, work together and fulfill their individual role for the common good of the team. On Day 78, Everything Happens for a Reason, I wrote that the successes and downfalls that you experience can be learned from. On Day 82, Volunterring to Serve Lunch at a Senior Center, I wrote about serving lunch to seniors and the importance of giving back.

In April, on Day 93, The Twilight Zone, I wrote about a TV show I love that was so far ahead of its time. On Day 100, Gratitude World, I wrote about my vision to create a new magical place called Gratitude World. On Day 107, We Are Spiritual Beings Having a Human Experience, I wrote that we are here to go through this process that is life.  On Day 111, 50 Ways to Find Your Gratitude, I wrote about the various ways to find your gratitude. On Day 118, Can Gratitude Affect the Consumer Confidence Index, I wrote that during our current economic times ,we have to get back to basics and dig deep into the important values we hold dear.

In May, on Day 119, Tomorrow is Never Promised, I wrote about a poem that makes you realize that life is short so we need to be blessed for each day and share the love and gratitude in our hearts with as many people as possible. On Day 133, Do You Want It Or Need It, I wrote about the differences between wants and needs. On Day 135, Grateful My Son Marcus Found His Way Back,  I wrote how my son Marcus took on his life challenges. On Day 139, Laughter is the Best Medicine, I wrote about how human beings are not born serious and the importance of laughter.  On Day 142, The Gratitude Festival in Lake Worth, Florida, I wrote about the amazing experience I had at the Gratitude Festival.

In June, at Day 147, Let’s Get Real About Life, I wrote that there is always something you can find to be joyful about even in the worst circumstances ever. On Day 148, Keep Going, I wrote that everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. Don’t be attached to your results. Be grateful for each day you live. On Day 149, Being Grateful for Your Pain, I wrote about being grateful for your pain, as it teaches us so many of life’s lessons. On Day 152, Be Grateful For Who You Are, I wrote that you are what you think you are and the world is what you think it is. On Day 161, Suicide Is Never The Answer, I wrote that there is not a MAN, WOMAN, or SITUATION that is worth taking your life over.

In July, on Day 165, Effective Gratitude vs Ineffective Gratitude, I wrote the best gratitude comes from celebration of life itself, for all the experiences you are having. On Day 167, Don’t Quit, I wrote about to never quit so you can prove to yourself, friends, family, and the world what is possible. On Day 169, As We Show Gratitude, We Become Gratitude, I wrote that by being grateful to the joyful and beautiful world that we live in, we are able to attract exactly that. On Day 171, When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it, I wrote to be grateful for the challenges we face for it’s a an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to get better at something. On Day 173, Gratitude Will Help Solve Our National Debt Crisis, I wrote that love is more powerful than fear, and love is what can heal your life, this economy crisis, our country and the world.

In August, on Day 175, While the World Waits For Your Greatness, I wrote a poem as I was grateful for the ability we have to share our powerful thoughts with others. On Day 177, Let The Sunshine In, I wrote about what would happen if the sun disappeared. On Day 182, Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last, I wrote that life is just borrowed, so we must live accordingly. On Day 183, A Spoonful of Gratitude for Mary Poppins, I wrote about my love for Mary Poppins. On Day 184, Life is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle, I wrote that each experience in your life, each person you meet, each “accident” that happens to you, is part of the divine “picture” of your life.  On Day 185, How to Live a Perfect Life, I wrote that what we need to know is that every event we experience has within it both sides, negative and positive emotions.

In September, on Day 188, Running On Empty, I wrote to don’t give yourself reasons to accept that this is as good as it gets. Fight the fears that are inside you and allow your inner soul to show itself. On Day 189, Gratitude in the Dark During the Great Blackout of 2011, I wrote in the dark that I realize how grateful I am for what I do have in my life. On Day 190, My Visit to New York City on 9/11 Weekend, I wrote about my experience to New York City during the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. On Day 193, Why You Should Be Grateful For Too Much E-Mail, I wrote that we have a choice at how we look at certain life occurrences. On Day 194, Let Go Of My Ego, I wrote we control our emotions that tell us when we should be happy or sad.

In October, on Day 197, Dear Universe, I wrote that the moment you ask for something, the universe has to answer. On Day 199, Love The One You’re With, I wrote that all of our stuff will eventually come to light through this mysterious and wonderful process we call love. On Day 200, Life Is Not Fair Or Is It, I wrote that it’s important to realize is that life will always be unfair for someone somewhere. On Day 202, Greed and Gratitude Don’t Go Together, I wrote that greed is about being selfish, but in the wrong way. On Day 203, Taking Things For Granted, I wrote that we are human and it is our nature to always want things. Then, when you get them, you get bored and want more things. This is called taking things for granted. On Day 204, Instant Karma’s Gonna Get You, I wrote that being grateful for what we have and following the simple guidelines of karma keeps bringing good things our way.

In November, on Day 206, The Innocence of Children, I wrote that we have the privilege of living on such a beautiful planet, and one way of truly appreciating what we have is seeing it through the eyes of a child who is discovering everything for the very first time. On Day 211, God’s Delays Are Not God’s Denials, I wrote that if you come up against rejection, remember that this does not mean “no.” It just means “not this way.” On Day 213, Taking a Gratitude Inventory, I wrote some things to be thankful for. On Day 215, How To Live Life On Your Terms, I wrote that no matter what your circumstances, as dark as they can seem at times, there is always something worth appreciating. On Day 221, Butterflies in Your Stomach, I wrote about how you can make your butterflies fly in formation with gratitude. On Day 224, A Gentle Giant – My Interview with Mark Eaton, I wrote about my amazing experience with this former NBA player. On Day 234, Thanksgiving Should Be Celebrated Everyday, I wrote when we are thankful, it means that we are grateful and acknowledge the kindness done to us. On Day 241, One Person Can Make a Difference, I wrote that when you experience the world with faith and gratitude, you reveal the beauty that is you and make all the difference in living a powerful and purposeful life. On Day 247, The Pursuit of Happiness, I wrote about the shortest way to a happy, fulfilling life is to develop a habit of showing gratitude every day.

In December, on Day 269, Are You Lonesome Tonight, I wrote about replacing emptiness and solitude with love and gratitude. On Day 273, Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Grateful for TV Show Cheers), I wrote about the love I have the TV Show Cheers. On Day 274, We Are Born With Abundance,  I wrote that most of us block the flow of wealth and abundance because we get stuck on the details of how it shows up in our lives. On Day 279, Tebowing (Grateful Expressions by Tim Tebow), I wrote about the amazing NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. On Day 282, Gratitude While Doing Dishes, I wrote about examples of how to express gratitude for what we have. On Day 287, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, I wrote to have the big picture in your mind and trust in yourself. On Day 309, Why We Should All Believe in Santa Claus, I wrote that Santa stands for kindness and generosity, and those things are alive and will continue to be alive—as long as we believe in them. On Day 355, Commitment Precedes Vision, I wrote about stepping up and making a commitment by showing up in the world by being the essence of who you truly are. On Day 357, Grateful For A Magical Place Called Disneyland, I wrote about the happiest place on earth. On Day 362, The Angels Among Us, I wrote about the “layaway angels” who visit the Kmart stores.

I hope you enjoyed my gratitude journey of 2011.  And in case you were curious, here is my Top 5 blog posts with the most views:

Day 93 – The Twilight Zone                                         2811

Day 53 – Grateful For My Five Senses                        440

Day 96 – Are You Feeling Lost and Confused?           438

Day 221 – Butterflies In Your Stomach                       361

Day 144 – Being Thankful For Your Troubles            354

Have a safe and prosperous 2012!

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Day 363 – New Year’s Resolutions

Oh, how I love New Year’s resolutions.  Something about the blank slate, the possibility for growth.

It’s well known that New Year’s resolutions don’t have a high success rate. So why do we continue to make resolutions every year even though so few of us follow through?

Moreover, it may have something to do with “Tradition! Tradition! Tradition,” as the characters in the musical Fiddler On The Roof famously sing. Setting New Year’s resolutions is believed to go as far back as Babylonian times. It’s said that Julius Caesar started the tradition of making resolutions on January 1st as a way to honor the Roman mythical god Janus, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past year and forward to the new year.

Here are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions That People Make

  1. Stop Smoking
  2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
  3. Lose Weight – the Battle of the Bulge
  4. Enjoy Life More.
  5. Quit Drinking
  6. Organize Yourself – this is one of the keys to reaching your goals
  7. Learn Something New
  8. Get out of Debt
  9. Spend More Time With Family
  10. Help People

AND

11. Make those Resolutions stick!

Take Action!

Make a New Year’s resolution that you’d make if you knew you only had this next year to live — a resolution that will make you happier.  Now make a realistic plan to keep your resolution.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

 

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Day 362 – The Angels Among Us

December 28 – A 10-year-old boy walked into a Kmart store in San Mateo on Wednesday afternoon, placed $20 on the counter and said he wanted to pay down a stranger’s layaway account.

Sameera Chatfield, the supervisor who helped the young “layaway angel,” an anonymous shopper who pays off layaways for strangers — a recent trend occurring at Kmart stores nationwide — said the boy walked in with his mom and specifically requested an account that included toys for boys.

“It was perfect,” she said. “I wish he had stayed around for a few minutes, because the people whose account he paid for came in.”

She said the family smiled when she told them that the “angel” who paid down their account was a 10-year-old boy.

The boy is one of several such do-gooders Chatfield has helped since Friday, when people started coming in and offering to pay down layaways.

“It has been absolutely fabulous,” Chatfield said. “It makes me want to go out and do something for someone else.”

The contagious good will, which has spread to Kmart stores around the country, appears to have its roots at a store in Michigan, where an anonymous woman reportedly paid about $500 toward the layaway accounts of strangers earlier this month.

The “angels” vary in age and ethnicity, but most request to remain anonymous and that their money go toward paying off accounts that include toys or children’s clothes. On Friday morning, a man in his 30s walked into a Kmart in Hayward with $10,000 in cash.

“He came in and said, ‘I heard what’s going on in other states.’ I’d like to do it,” said John Pawlik, 52, a manager at the Hayward Kmart. He said the man paid $9,800 toward layaway accounts and donated the remaining $200 to the Salvation Army.

Pawlik said in another instance, a couple came in and said they wanted to pay off an account because they don’t have children of their own.

“I think it’s great,” Pawlik said. “It puts your faith back in how you feel about people.”

Michelle Caldwell, 30, said that in the 10 years she has worked at the Kmart in San Leandro, she has not seen anything like this. Since Sunday, Caldwell said she has helped about five people who offered to pay down layaways.

“It’s just really touching,” she said. “If I had the money, I would be doing it myself too.”

John Garcia, a 44-year-old assistant manager at the Kmart in Redwood City, said that when sales associates inform the lucky customers that an anonymous person has paid down their accounts, most of the time their reaction is tearful.

“It’s almost like they’re in shock,” he said. “Like they’ve won the lottery. And in those instances, they have.”

Garcia said the trend is improving morale among sales associates and benefiting Bay Area families who are in need at this time of year.

“I’ve seen lots of demonstrations of goodwill towards people, but never one that gained such momentum,” he said. “It’s something that’s very special that’s happening.”

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Now these are the kind of stories we should be reading and hearing about instead of all the negatives things we have no control over. These uplifting stories display the goodness that lies in the human heart. Giving selflessly is one of the greatest rewards in life.

The “Layaway Angels” can help spread a powerful message of love and gratitude across our nation. People helping people!  Isn’t that what life is all about?

Whenever I see someone in trouble, I help them if I am able to. We must all do that on a regular basis. This country needs to help one another and bring back caring for each other.

What a beautiful thing to happen for those less fortunate. The happiness that perfect strangers feel as a result of your giving is truly priceless.

In 2012, let’s make a commitment to be more kind and loving and giving to each fellow-man.

We should all find a way to do something nice for each other and someone and it doesn’t have to include money. Just think what a great country this could be if everyone did something nice no matter what color or race you helped that day.

Remember, we are all-powerful spirit beings having a journey though this Earth.

So the only thing we can do is love one another and put our differences aside

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Day 361 – Remembering the Year of 2011

2011 was a year of extremes.  From the tragedy of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, to the pageantry of a British Royal wedding; from the wave of revolutionary change in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, to the solemn commemoration that took place on September 11, we reflect on a passing year filled with emotion, knowing the world will never be the same.

We’re reminded that life is fragile. We can be here today, and gone the next. What we need to do is be grateful for what we have now and embrace those that you love. Stop worrying about the little things that appear so large when in reality they are nothing but a tiny speck of dust that really isn’t as important as life itself.

Let us be thankful and focus on making progress in a world that is full of Life. A life that we can choose not to give up, to survive, and believe in a power that we already possess to be the best that we can be on this planet.

Open the doors of today before tomorrow is gone.

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