So the geeky, scientific side of me wants to explain all the research that's been done on happiness, and how people that write just 5 things each day that they are grateful for feel more fulfilled in their life and more readily notice the good in their life. I'd love to quote the statistics showing they complain less and stick to difficult tasks longer. But I'll refrain because, frankly, I don't think anyone would necessarily care about the specifics.
The point is, all these things I want to be part of our classroom culture so I'm careful to teach, model and develop them in very specific ways. One way is through our Thankful Books. Every day, either when they finish their morning starter or while I'm handing out papers at the end of the day, the kids write down 5 specific things they're thankful for. Then whenever we have a few extra minutes to kill, we like to share some of the things the kids have written down.
I've noticed the kids that always seem to find everything wrong in life (pet peeve!) or that complain at the least struggle start to change their mindset...or at least I can send them to add more to their Thankful Book when they don't!
Easy peasy - fold some white paper in half, add a construction paper cover and let them go to town!