• The Hopefulist

The number way to gather more gratitude

Remember the book 'Don't sweat the small stuff'? It talked about how to not let little things get to you and ruin your days/life. This is the same theory. Look at all the small things you take for granted every day and be grateful for them. It's no small thing to have a home with heat and running water. Plenty of food in the fridge and lots of clothes to wear. Throw in the television, tablet, smart phone, car and you are in bonus territory.

We take so much of our lives for granted. There was a commercial around last Christmas of a man waking up in awe of the comfortable bed he was in, how the lights came on when he hit the switch, the hot water during his shower, the food at his breakfast table and the car waiting for him outside to take him to work. If all that seems silly to you then you are definitely taking too much for granted in your life. We have to be grateful for what we have before more comes to us. I know this to be true.

Just the fact that we are living in a developed country puts us ahead of so many in the world. The fact that we live in the US makes us even luckier. We are free. Despite the political climate right now we are free to do as we please (as long as it's legal). We have so much more than many other countries and they would beg to have what we take for granted every single day.

I remember when I was young and my first car was one my mother gave me. It was a bright yellow Ford Pinto. I was so jealous of all my friends who had "cool" cars. I hated that car. But I didn't always hate it. When I first got it I was so grateful to have a car...any car that had wheels and could take me where I wanted to go. It didn't take long for me to start taking it for granted. I very quickly started bashing my own car to others so they would know that I knew, I didn't have a cool car. Ah, youth. I could have still been begging people for rides. I could have been taking the bus. My crappy, yellow car was better than all that.

Are you in a position to buy gifts for all your loved ones this holiday season? You are so lucky to be able to do that! Truly! There are so many people going through such tough times they can barely pay their rent or mortgage let alone even think about gifts at Christmas. This is something we should be grateful for every single day.

Whatever you have that you don't think is "good enough" try going it without it for a day or two. Or even just imagine having to go through the day without out. It's human nature to start to take things for granted. That is why it's so important to stop and be grateful for all that we have.

When was the last time the power went out at your house for an extended period of time? We had a storm over the summer that had our power out for about 24 hours. It makes you realize how important it is and how much we truly need it. There was no air conditioning (or heat if it had been winter), no wifi, no lights. I can't tell you how many times I still hit the light switch going into a room knowing the power was out. We had to worry if all the food in the fridge and freezer would still be good when the power came back. It truly makes you realize how much we need electricity and how often we take it for granted.

Take a look around you right now. What five things do you typically take for granted? Sitting here I'm going to say my couch, my fluffy throw blanket, my television, my kindle and hot water for whenever I shower. What can you name right now? Go ahead, do it!

It's Thursday people! Make it a great one filled with gratitude! Now go out there and be badass. I'm always here cheering you on!

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