We’ve recently celebrated Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time when many people stop and think about what they’re thankful for. Now that the holiday is past us, should we return to taking everything for granted? No!
Gratitude isn’t meant to be something you pull out once a year, use a little bit, and then stuff into a closet until next Thanksgiving. It should always be on our minds. Most people spend so much time thinking about what they want, that they forget about everything they already have.
An attitude of gratitude not only lets us appreciate our lives more, but it also puts us in the right frame of mind for doing even better. And if you think about it, you’ll quickly see that you have plenty of amazing things to be grateful for.
You’re alive. You’re a conscious being. You probably have four limbs and five senses. You can probably read and think and speak and laugh and walk and use your opposable thumbs. It’s very easy to take these things for granted, but think about how much you’d miss any of them if you didn’t have them one day.
Your mind might not be perfect, but it’s far more powerful than the vast majority of life forms on the planet (most animals are insects). Your body might not be perfect, but you’re probably capable of doing most things an Olympic athlete can (though with less speed or strength). You’re virtually a god compared to the dead body you will one day occupy, and that’s a big thing to be thankful for.
When I say luxuries, I’m not talking about things like a private jet or a fleet of Rolls-Royces. Those things provide very little enjoyment relative to their cost, and don’t really matter. But you have plenty of things that would be considered luxuries by billions of people.
These luxuries will vary from person to person, but we all have some. We’re living in a great time in human history, and things that were once unimaginable are now commonly available to the average person. Do you think Alexander the Great had anything that could compare to Gmail and Firefox? Probably not, but we’re just used to having these things for free.
We all complain about things that seem like a big deal to us, like our Filet Mignon being slightly overseasoned. But that must seem like a pretty dumb complaint to all the people who don’t have enough food to eat, don’t you think? What about indoor plumbing, heating/AC, lightbulbs, libraries, TV, the internet, cars, airplanes, cell phones, etc? Even lower middle class people are practically living like royalty when you think about it. What more could anyone want?
Some people enjoy an even higher level of luxury, such as having a family. You might have arguments sometimes, but how would you feel if they weren’t in your life?
Why Be Grateful?
It’s easy to point out how things could be better. You could make more money. Your house could be bigger. Your spouse could argue less. But no matter what, there will always be an infinite number of things you could wish for. If you want to be unappreciative, it’s easy to justify that attitude, but it’s not helpful.
For one thing, being unappreciative doesn’t help things change. You’re not going to patch up a relationship by complaining about your partner’s faults, or do a better job at work by fighting with your boss. Being grateful puts you in a good mood and makes other people more receptive to you, which makes it easier to constructively work out solutions to problems.
But aside from that, being grateful just makes life feel better. Your perception of events is entirely up to you. You just need to decide whether to feel good about what you have, or dwell on what you don’t have. Think about how much you’d miss all the things you have if they were gone, and it’s easy to find plenty of reasons to be grateful.
About the writer: Hunter Nuttall wants you to stop sucking and live a life of abundance. Visit his site to learn how to improve your life and your income.