“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual”—Henry David Thoreau
Facebook reminded me this morning of a memory from a year ago. It was a photo of my daughter and me riding horses at the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
While that was an epic moment and I’m over-the-moon grateful that I’m invited on so many over-the-top experiences, I’m actually feeling blessed because of all of you and the inspiring stories you send my way.
It’s as if I have my own custom self-help channel right in my inbox.
Yesterday, for example, a wonderful author named David Bugay told me that he and his wife decided to change their story about their neighbors. There’s an experiment in my book, E-Cubed where I encourage people to flip a long-held belief, to look for evidence supporting the opposite reality of whatever story they’ve been telling themselves.
I call it the Simon Cowell Corollary after the world’s most famous “judge,” because when we divide and label and judge everything, when we believe our stories are absolute fact, we lose half our options, half our personal freedom, half our energy.
So David and his wife, who moved to California from Michigan, had invested lots of energy into their story that people weren’t as friendly in their new town as they had been in the Midwest. They actually told themselves for a whopping three years that their neighborhood just wasn’t warm and welcoming. But what if that was just a story, what if that reality wasn’t absolute fact?
To test it, they decided to throw what they called a driveway party. They invited all their neighbors to come hang out in their driveway. Well guess what? Their neighbors turned out to be really cool and just as friendly and just as welcoming as their friends in Michigan.
“The driveway parties have completely changed everything,” David told me. “We have them every few months and we’re now all fast friends. Your books have completely changed our perspective and touched so many lives.”
Here’s another fun story:
“A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to come across your book, “E-Squared”. I loved it so much I started reading your “Thank and Grow Rich” book. I wanted to reach out to you to let you know just how much your books have impacted my life.
I have an upcoming trip to NYC, so I was hoping to get tickets to see one of my favorite talk shows, “The Chew.”
Well, after a few days of checking for tickets, a producer from “The Chew” emailed me asking if they could showcase one of my own recipes on their show. (I’m a food blogger.) I said “OF COURSE!!” A couple of weeks ago it aired on their show with my photo and everything! I emailed the producer to thank him for this amazing opportunity and also to tell him that I’d be visiting NYC this month. He replied back immediately and told me to let him know when I’m there so that they could get me into a taping. How miraculous is this?? I just wanted a ticket to the show, and I got even more!
Last story today is from Japan. How cool is it that my books are also bestsellers in Japan. A reader asked for a sign (one of the experiments in E-Squared) and saw this while sitting in the park. Doesn’t get much clearer than that?
I know we tend to believe the secret to happiness is doing fun and enjoyable things. But the real secret to happiness is having fun and enjoyable thoughts.
Have a great hump day, my oh-so-inspiring friends!
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.
Fun stories! I have tons of them, myself, and I love to hear everyone else’s.
This post reminded me of something that happened last Friday, so I thought Iâd let you know, because I know how you love this stuff âº. I was driving to Ann Arbor from the Detroit area (toward the west) and my husband was lamenting that we werenât taking the most direct route, and was wishing we had left earlier, etc. etcâ¦.. Until THIS sunset sky appeared in front of us. Literally its beauty would take your breath away â the attached photo doesnât begin to describe it. Thatâs not it, though. We were on our way to Ann Arbor to spend the night with our dear friend Sue, whose husband Tom died just a year ago. Tom and Sue are our oldest sonâs godparents, and are one of the reasons we had kids when we did. Sue has been struggling, missing Tom, which we knew. SOâ¦ we went around a curve into the absolute beauty and grandeur of this sunset at the EXACT moment that David Bowie was singing âThis is major Tom to ground controlâ on the radio. And then came the kickerâ¦âTell my wife I love her very much you knowâ¦â I started laughing/crying because we were just minutes from being able to relay the message to his wife, who began crying at the news. And so did we. Tom got her the message!
Always a Believer,
Professor and Chair, Physical Education Department
Yes, I love this stuff too and I cried tears of gratitude reading your wonderful share. You’re really in Kalamazoo? I must be the last person to not know that’s a real destination. So wish I could see a photo of your sunset and be there. Yes, Pam G and her communications are a wonderful gift to us kindred spirits. hugs and love, P
That is one beautiful story!
Pam, you always make my day! Thank you for being my gratitude guru!
Love this all.
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i have been saying that “i am the luckiest guy there is” since i saw your email of your blog. plus last week i was buying 2 bags of chips from a vending machine at work, the chips costs $1.50 a bag and i got 2 for the price of 1.
Absolutely love these stories. I read Thank and Grow Rich and E-Squared last January and have TONS of big and small stories like these. So do all of the friends who have received these books as gifts from me. I am so grateful for you and your words – you have changed my life and the lives of those I love. Thank you!
Hi Pam – Once again, I so appreciate your inspiring blog post. I have E-Cubed and confess I have never done experiment 3, The Simon Cowell Corollary. The David Bugay driveway party inspires me to do this experiment. I looked at the examples in the book to figure out which kinds of long-held beliefs work best. I’m still confused. How, for instance, would I work with your example, “I sometimes suffer from depression” or “I have a physical chronic illness?” Are there examples showing how to conduct a 3-day investigation on beliefs like these? Thank you Pam and anyone else who can help!
I love you Pam. Thanks for such a wonderful post.
“I know we tend to believe the secret to happiness is doing fun and enjoyable things. But the real secret to happiness is having fun and enjoyable thoughts.”
My new mantra: “have fun and enjoyable thoughts today” Love it; thanks!
Lovely! Such a fun, bright energy 🙂
I have an attitude of gratitude & choose to be happy – always smiling 🙂
Life’s more fun that way!