The Best Way to Get What You Want (Appreciate What You Have)

Of all of the values I've tried to instill in my children, gratitude has been the most difficult. It feels like they often want more (especially toys), without an appreciation for what they already have. But this week I got a lesson in practicing what I preach.

For a first-time author, my book Drop the Ball has received enormous attention, including a coveted New York Times book review. Publicly, I was over the moon. But in my most private moments I was disappointed because Drop the Ball hadn't gotten so much as a mention in the one media outlet I read religiously, Oprah Magazine. Sitting down with my monthly issue of O and a cup of tea is one of the happiness practices I write about in the book.

Earlier this summer I decided that I needed to stop acting like a spoiled child. I engaged in a series of exercises to demonstrate my appreciation to all of the journalists and thought leaders who have helped me make the book fly. And guess what? As soon as I finally got to the place where I truly felt awash with gratitude, my dream finally came true. This week, Oprah.com published an excerpt of Drop the Ball. It was a reminder of the words I always tell my children: Until your heart is open, you're not in a position to accept any more than you already have. And the only thing that opens your heart is gratitude.