Here is a practice you can use right away, from my book “Leap Before You Look.”

At the end of your day
Kneel down in gratitude
And give thanks for the blessings of the day.
Release all sense of accomplishment for now.
Let go of any entitlement.
It was all a gift.
Find a picture of one who represents the divine to you,
Or pictures of all those who do.
Give thanks for each and every thing.

We were all born into this world with empty hands, and one day we will all die in the same way. No matter how much power we may assume, how much wealth we may accumulate, or how many people we may persuade to support us, in the end we will all die in the same way: alone and empty-handed. You will most likely also suffer small deaths in your life along the way: bad investments, crushed expectations, the end of a marriage, the death of a loved one. In these deaths, you are shocked out of the feeling of entitlement so prevalent in our society, and into the recognition that everything has been borrowed; everything has been a gift. Alexander the Great was a supremely powerful king and conqueror. At the age of thirty-two, he became very sick, and soon realized he would die. He called his generals to him, and told them that he had three last wishes. The first was that his doctor would carry his coffin alone. The second was that gold, silver, and gems should be scattered along the path where his coffin would be carried. And the third was that he should be buried with his hands outside the coffin. Only his closest general dared ask why. It is said that Alexander explained that these were the three lessons he had learned: that there is no physician who can save you from death when the time comes; that wealth ultimately means nothing to you; and, most important, that he came into this world with empty hands and so now he would also leave the world with his hands empty. He closed his eyes, fell silent, and died.

Giving thanks every night for blessings you have received releases that sense of entitlement. It reminds us that we are, essentially, always empty-handed. To live life in desire, no matter how much or how little you may have, is to live in lack. To live life in gratitude, no matter how rich or poor you may be, is to live in genuine abundance.

You can discover 72 practices like this in Leap Before You Look. Buy it now from our new online store at a discounted price.

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