Seems a little "hokey", doesn't it? Why would anyone take valuable time to sit down with a blank list, and write down things in their life that stir a sense of gratitude? With all the important things that need to be done today, who has time for such foolishness? Well...
First, it stops us from chasing all the "important" things in our life that always need to be done today. So much of life is frantic, automatic, mindless, inefficient---doing. The gratitude list takes us for a moment from the posture of "I need to do...", and moves us to a fresh perspective of "I need to be, to feel, to experience...". I may find something much deeper, much more satisfying.
Second, we become a little less the center of the universe. Being in the driver's seat of the world is an incredible responsibility. I know. Been there, done that. A "Friend of Bill" here. No peace in that seat. But when we sit down to focus on those things for which we feel gratitude, our mind moves from ourselves to those things that give us a sense of well-being, and confidence that everything is OK, at least for today. We become aware that there is power greater than ourselves, lifting us and keeping us. You don't want to call that power God? That's fine. I do. But whatever you call it, just know that it "ain't you".
Third, my focus on those things that DO need to be done today becomes clearer. You know the expression, "He's running around like a chicken with its head cut off." Sometimes don't our days feel just like that? If we stop and take time to think on the things that bring us gratitude, and remove ourselves as dictator of the world, it is amazing how things work out. We may work more efficiently, focused more clearly on what we are doing.
Fourth, we will probably be happier, more content, more pleasant people. Isn't that what we really want? Things may not have changed, but WE have. Instead of starting the day with, "Life Sucks!", we are asking the question, "How am I grateful?" That "hokey" little act can be profound.