Skip to content ↓

Guest Blog: Gratitude by Paul Heywood

Looking after your well-being is even more important now than ever. Over the course of the weeks, we will be featuring guest blogs from our OW community, on ways in which you can support your well-being during this unprecedented time. To start us off we will be hearing from OW Paul Heywood (Mason 88 - 93), who talks about the importance of gratitude.

Epictetus is a famous Greek – somewhere between Plato, Aristotle and George Michael.
He was a “Stoic” Philosopher. A simple slave who won his freedom and Influenced Marcus Aurelius (Caesar) (Richard Harris played him in “Gladiator”).

He taught us that we should remember what’s in our control – not to over-invest in what we can’t control, live in a world where we can influence the outcomes AND most importantly, be grateful for them.

So, whilst the World spins as it has always, our access to information is second to none.
Our capacity for comparison is insatiable – from Influencer Billionaires to “Next door just upgraded their car – again!”

It’s incredibly easy to see what we DON’T have rather than what we DO.

The theory of practising Gratitude is embedded in “positive affirmation” – the same as “we are what we eat” – you athletes will know this – it’s the same here – we are what we practice and the more we see/hear/elicit our gratitude the more it can fuel our contentment and remove us from the question – “How on earth did Kylie Jenner become a billionaire?!”

What to do:

  • Stack your items of gratitude like a Burger – add as many elements as you wish – write them down or speak them aloud.
  • If you’re writing them down, keep them, hide them in a Journal or pop them on the Fridge – it’s up to you, but go back to them at times for reflection.
  • Keep stacking your Gratitude burger as often as you want – It’s the discipline of any activity that breeds its fullest potential.
  • You may get to a list that Is longer (or higher) than you imagined. You may have more to be grateful for than you originally thought. ….

My list of Gratitude is:

  • My Family
  •  My Health
  • My Mental Health
  • My Family's Health
  • Our NHS
  • Friendship
  • Financial Security
  • Transition of Spring to Summer
  • Access to the Arts
  • Employment
  • My Dog
  • Living by a Beach
  • Running in the Waves with the dog
  • Privilege of education.

I could go on… for me, this practice becomes a mantra – a modality of loving that rewards smaller thinking to keep us “centred” and closer to contentment.

I am writing this to an incredibly privileged cohort – 7% of the UK population in fact.
Privilege does not guarantee anything – all of us are subject to challenges in our lives.
5 “A” levels, a 1st Degree at a Russell Group Uni and an incredible internship at a dream Global corporation doesn’t preclude us from worry, stress, insecurity, anxiety, or depression.

What you are learning is that your current world is pretty small, and so you’ll know something of everyone at Worksop College, and that’s beautiful.
Your School is a society that can self-govern, self-guide and support balance, health and prosperity so contentment is a resting place where Happiness springs from.
When the darkness falls, you can, collectively, gather empathy, knowledge and confidence that “This too shall pass…”

Guest blog by OW Paul Heywood, Mason 88 - 93