Monday 20 February 2017

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Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

It's nice to be nice: A grateful Brendan O'Connor is going all Julie Andrews
It's nice to be nice: A grateful Brendan O'Connor is going all Julie Andrews

So I'm practising gratitude. Don't laugh. Because, god knows, everyone else is. The trouble with gratitude, I'm finding, is that you have to fake it to make it. So initially you just have to do it a lot, even if it seems odd. So I am around at home telling wife and children how grateful I am to them for everything. And I mean everything. And perhaps it is a sign that we are not generally grateful enough to each other in our house, or that we don't generally express it enough, but the truth is my wife laughs at me, and the kids look at me slightly worriedly and run away.

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And you know what? I am grateful for her laughter. I am grateful that my expression of my gratitude creates a moment of light between us, and gives her the pleasure of a laugh.

I say I am practising gratitude because that is literally what I am doing. You have to actually deliberately practise it. And as you do you will get better at it. And that happens remarkably quickly. After a few days it doesn't seem so incongruous or ridiculous anymore. And you actually realise that you, and the people around you, are enjoying it. Even if they know that you are making the effort and slightly overdoing it at the start. In short, even if it's not entirely genuine, it still works!

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