Do you focus on what you have or what you don't have? It's easy to keep looking at what we have yet to achieve or obtain. It's what keeps us going to strive for more. But there is a point where it becomes detrimental. The point where that is all we focus on.
We need to take time every day to appreciate all that we already have. We have to stop taking so much for granted. We live in a country where most of us don't worry about where our food is coming from or where we will sleep that night. We aren't fleeing from bombs. We have clean water, power and internet. There is so much we have that we just accept as a given. But it really isn't. The majority of the world still doesn't have their basic needs met on a daily basis. And we have smart phones, tablets, cars, any type of food we crave and television to escape from our reality whenever we want.
My mother spent most of her life a very unhappy person. She was the prime example of someone who always focused on what she didn't have and never appreciated what she did. I saw her life in a completely different way than she did. She had some hard times for sure. But once she emerged from them the bitterness that she had to endure those times kept her down and mostly kept her from enjoying her newfound freedom. She went on to marry a man who adored her and did anything to make her happy. She always looked to the outside for her happiness. She wanted people to 'make' her happy. But we know that isn't how it works. She could have been happy if she just would have allowed a little gratitude into her life. Instead of being bitter that she had a bad first marriage she could have been grateful that she escaped it. As sad as it is I use my mother as an example of the type of person I don't want to be. I don't want to be bitter, angry and have a victim mentality. And believe me, it's easier to go through life that way. You won't be happier but it is easy to just sit back and blame everyone else for the circumstances of your life.
I don't want to be that way and I don't want you to be that way either. So how do we avoid it. Gratitude! All it takes is a few moments each day to notice all the things that are good in our life. Everything from the house we live in to the new flower popping up in the garden. The smell of fresh cut grass or beautiful jewelry we get to wear every day. Our favorite meal or that fact that our kids are healthy and on track. There is so much to be grateful for. And here's the real secret. Once you start taking the time to appreciate all these wonderful things you will find more and more to be grateful for. Don't believe me? Just give it a go and prove me wrong.
We all go through tough times. All of us. It's how we handle them and allow them to affect our lives that makes the difference. Have you ever watched those house makeover shows on HGTV? I used to watch 'Love it or List it' and 'Fixer Upper' all the time. When it came to issues popping up that were't planned for it was a huge deal on 'Love it or List it". The people would often threaten to call the whole thing off like it was the end of the world. On the flip side was 'Fixer Upper' when a similar issue popped up it was just handled and they moved on. They didn't make a big deal out of it. This is the same in real life. If something unfortunate happens then you can make it the end of the world or you can deal with it and move on. Which route would you prefer to take? I know my answer.
You can start slow. Spring is a wonderful time to notice things you appreciate. The flowers starting to bloom, the warmer temps, the smell in the air, the birds singing, the longer days. There is so much to be grateful for. If you look around I'm sure you will find a bevy of things that will bring a smile to your face. Notice two things as you are out driving. Just two things. And watch a whole new world open up right in front of you!
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Now go on out there and be badass this week. You know I'm here cheering you on!