Get Your Gratitude On – Shift

A professor entered the classroom and asked her students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor walked around the class and distributed the exam papers, face down.

She instructed the students to turn the page and begin. Much to everyone’s surprise, there were no test questions, only a black dot in the center of the page. The professor observed everyone’s bewilderment and said, “I want you to write what you see.”

The perplexed students did as they were instructed.


Near the end of the class, the professor gathered all the papers and read each one of them aloud. Without exception, every student had described the black dot, its precise position in the middle of the sheet, etc.  After all papers had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:

“I am not going to grade this test; I want to give you something to think about. Each of you focused on the black dot. No one wrote about the vastness of open space or qualities of the sheet of paper. How many of us spend our lives this way? We have an entire page, yet we focus on the single dot. Every day is a gift, with reasons to celebrate. So why do we talk more about the dots – the problems and disappointments?”

The dots are small when compared to a piece of paper, and the fullness in our lives, yet they dominate and pollute our thoughts.

Dots distract us and deplete our energy.  Appreciation restores it.

Today’s tip: Shift

  1. Shift your attention, focus and energy
  2. What do you see? What else?
  3. Be fully present in your experience, every moment. Appreciate and all that you can. . . Dots and all.


*the author of this story is unknown