Joe Elliott (of Def Leppard), Gratitude & Hair Nation DJs
The band Def Leppard is adored by fans of all ages the world over. Last year, I met with an adolescent client via Zoom, and she was proudly sporting a Def Leppard t-shirt, which thrilled me to no end because this young lady clearly has her priorities straight!
I came across a quote by Joe Elliott (frontman of Def Leppard) in which he reminisced about the band’s rise to fame. Elliott stated, “We are lucky, God, I haven't forgotten working in a basement store in a pokey room with no windows, and for three and a half years, eight hours a day.” So essentially, Elliott recognizes how fortunate he and his fellow band members are that their star rose and continues to shine brightly in the sky. This made me very happy because I have read interviews with some musicians from other bands (I’m not going to name any names) who complain about their fame, success, etc., and one of these musicians even stated that his fame “is a burden.” I think that this particular musician should be sent to the pokey room with no windows and work eight hours a day, day in and day out, just as Joe Elliott did back in the day, and then this ungrateful rockstar should report back to us about how he now feels about his fortune and fame. I bet his tune would change (no pun intended).
Gratitude is a state of mind, a practice, and a lifestyle that we should all be committed to every day. If you are reading this post, then you have access to a computer, which some people in this world do not. If you are at work while reading this, then be grateful that you have a job (even if you hate it) because some people in this world would give an appendage to have a job and steady income. If you are in your home while reading this, then be grateful that you have a roof over your head. You get the picture.
As a collective, we get so wrapped up in our daily struggles, desires, and commitments that we forget to be thankful for what we do have. I lived in Baja California, Mexico for a brief period during the autumn of 2021, and I am so grateful to have had that experience. The house I rented had some plumbing issues, including not having any hot water. Instead of bitching about this every time I took a shower, I would get under the cold water and thank the universe for having running water in the first place because many homes in the area did not have indoor plumbing at all, much less hot water. Then when I returned home to the United States and took my first hot shower, I did a happy dance under the showerhead and thanked the universe for the hot water.
I give gratitude thousands of times a day. I give thanks for my health, the wildlife I see during my daily hike or run, my support system, the weather, music…you name it. Even if I get stuck in traffic, I give thanks for my car and the Hair Nation (SiriusXM) DJs who keep me entertained during the delay.
Now, I have not always been this way. It took considerable effort for me to stop listening to the negative loop in my mind that focused on what I didn’t have, or the challenges I was facing, or the fact that other people’s lives seemed to be so easy compared to mine. Every time this negative tape would start to play, I would gently tell myself to reframe my thoughts and to start focusing on the good in my life. With time, and a little elbow grease, being positive and grateful has become an intrinsic part of me.
It's very easy for us to listen to the negative loop that plays in our mind because it’s familiar, and the human brain loves familiarity. Our minds constantly want to gravitate to our default setting, so if our default setting is negative, this is what will win out. Our thoughts dictate our state of being, and our state of being is what the universe reinforces to us. So, if you are pessimistic and thus constantly focus on what you don’t have, you will feel low and uninspired, and the universe will bring you situations that vibrate with what you’re thinking and feeling, which will be negative, or challenging. Then you’ll be stuck, which is not the energy we’re meant to experience as a constant.
What helped me significantly was listening to YouTube videos about how to reframe my thinking. Instead of engaging in time-wasting activities (mindless TV, social media, etc.), I would listen to YouTubers who talked about the brain, neuroscience, gratitude, and such to learn how to rewire my brain. I encourage you to do the same. If you go to YouTube and type in “change my thinking,” thousands of videos will display that will teach you how to retrain your brain. And the professionals who are dispensing this advice are not making this stuff up; it is backed by science and research.
What are you waiting for? Flip the switch to start living a more positive life that focuses on gratitude for what you do have, and watch the universe bring you much more of that good stuff.