I recently traveled to Greece, partly for work but also partly leisure and I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot about myself and life in that short time. I felt a wave of gratitude for being alive washing over me and even more so that I’m able to visit such beautiful places in the world. I love travelling because it shows me a new side to life that I’ve never experienced before. It opens up the opportunity to meet people in different places and get a real taste of their culture. I’m not the most sociable person if I’m honest, I can be slightly awkward when I don’t know people but I love to keep a conversation going when other people start it! I love learning about people and their experiences in life to gather a healthy base of knowledge on how to improve my own life in order to help other people improve theirs. It also gives me the chance to give people some new insights.
Gratitude is a word which is thrown around so often, and there are so many times we say we’re grateful for people and things in our lives but how many of us can really say we live in a state of gratitude? Or even that we live with an attitude of gratitude? I’m certainly guilty of not maintaining either, but I’m learning what they really mean. Living in a state of gratitude (to me) means complaining less and appreciating more. I haven’t had the cleanest track record when it comes to complaining, but I’m at a place where I don’t want complaints to be commonplace in my life. Living with an attitude of gratitude (to me) means that your general focus is on the brighter side of a situation. You learn to appreciate the fact that you have something and you focus on the good people and things in your life more than those people and things which don’t add to your happiness or value to your life. You may not like your job but instead of complaining about it, be grateful that you have a job and you have the option to get a better job. Be grateful that you’re healthy enough to work. Be grateful that you have money coming to you & a roof over your head, even if your situation may not be ideal. There’s always something to be grateful for. When I was in Greece, I learned that many people there don’t have that choice and it’s something that so many people take for granted. Or maybe you don’t have a job and you’re looking for one. I experienced years in my life where I wasn’t working in jobs that I was happy in, I’ve also experienced not having a job and it’s easy to get sucked into the circumstances. I chose to shift my focus and start digging for how I could improve my situations and discovered that there are so many agencies who will give you temporary work and loads of others who will help you get permanent work. With enough effort, I found jobs where I could really put my skills and experiences to good use and learn within those roles. There are places in the world where people don’t have this access.
You can really turn your life around when you shift your focus. Gratitude is one of the best ways to move away from feeling the pressures of life and beginning to appreciate it. It opens the doors to more happiness and fulfilment in the simple things you have and the qualities that you carry as a person. One of the biggest lessons I learned on my travels (actually during takeoff on the plane), was that life is really too short, and time is too precious to be anything but happy. We spend so much time worrying about situations we can’t change or panic about how to change the things that we aren’t happy with instead of just allowing things to unfold and hold onto the power that we do have. Even that in itself is something to be grateful for, everyday is a new day to filled with new opportunities to walk closer to your desires. The possibilities are endless but that’s all down to your perspective. Will you choose to look at the difficulties as obstacles? Or will you choose to look at difficulties as challenges to overcome and let yourself move closer to you desire?
Two daily tasks can be: 1. Beginning each day listing three things to be grateful for and 2. Ending each day with listing three things you are grateful for on that day. Even simple but powerful things like, “I’m grateful that I woke up this morning”, “I’m grateful that I have a lovely family”, “I’m grateful that I can eat good food!”. Gratitude isn’t just expressed in words, it also requires intentional actions. As Mary Baker Eddy has said, “Action expresses more gratitude than speech”. Gratitude moves you to action through the way you treat people, acts of selflessness, going out of your way to meet others needs and caring beyond your self.
There’s always always always something to be grateful for. Will you focus on the problem or the opportunity?