Updated: Mar 23, 2019
“If only I had X dollars, I would be happy.”
“If only I didn’t have to work so many hours, I’d have more time to do what I really want to do.”
“If I were 20 pounds lighter, I’d be more attractive.”
“I REALLY wish I looked like... (insert the name of the latest Hollywood star garnering desperate adoration here).”
We all have wants, wishes, desires. Many of them based on what we see or believe others have. Cue social media…we ‘Like’, we ‘Love’, we ‘Wow’ posts of perceivably perfect moments that our friends and other contacts post. Oftentimes, we do so from a point of envy and the intense desire to have those very same moments.
What if, instead of wanting, wishing and desiring all the time, we came at life from a perspective of gratitude?
I know, that word is being thrown around so much that it’s to the point where it’s lost much of its meaning. Sorta like ambient noise in the background. You know it’s there, but you don’t pay attention to it anymore. It’s overused and casually thrown around as the “word of the year” by many who don’t really understand or espouse its true meaning.
However, right now, I’d like you to consider the concept of changing your point of view any time you have that urgent yearning. And if you don’t like the word “gratitude” because it invokes something in you that doesn’t allow you to change that perspective, how about the word “appreciation”? It doesn’t really matter what the word is, so long as your frame of mind is consistent with this intention.
When you envy something another person has, that life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams that’s being portrayed on Instagram, how about in place of that envy, you take a moment and stop your line of thinking right there. What if you transformed your beliefs by taking stock, or an inventory of sorts to consider what you can appreciate in your own life right there, right then?
That person bragging about having all the money needed to buy and do whatever is desired at any time? When you feel that pang of, “I want”, how about you consider instead that you have means in that moment where you have a computer and internet access that give you the ability to read this blog? Or to troll Instagram and to be able watch YouTube? You have a roof over your head and clothes on your back and aren’t standing on a corner with a cardboard sign that says, “Homeless. Anything Helps.”
I know – you’ve heard this all before. “There are kids starving in Africa…blah blah blah…”. But, really. Think about it. When you focus on want-want-want and don’t focus on appreciating what you already have, you are in a CONSTANT state of want. Always. Ceaselessly. Never satisfied.
Then, before you know it, you realize that a month has gone by and that there were some special moments over those last weeks, but you can’t really recall them. Why is that? Because you weren’t appreciating those moments when they were happening. You were too busy wanting wanting wanting MORE MORE MORE.
Don’t get me wrong – I, too strive for bigger, better, faster, more, just like the rest of you. And, ambition and drive are good things. But…they’re good when only used prudently and not as your constant frame of thinking. It’s been shown that when you stop and appreciate, and you are TRULY grateful for where you are just in that moment, you can actually have greater success in that ambition, drive, and can create better things.
You open the door to clearer thinking and possibilities because you’re not always in the state of craving. You are actually more receptive to what may come from within yourself or from others.
Just why is this? Well, because if you steer away from that constant, nagging pull of longing for what you don’t have, your thinking process no longer focuses on the state of being without. Instead, you’re more open to positive thinking and that releases frustrations which block this flow of good things coming your way. I really believe that what energies you put out there are exactly those you get back.
So, if you put out to the world that you are grateful for what you already have, you generate a stream of more good coming to you. That could be time, money, health, material goods, people, jobs – there is no limit. Because your resistance to this is eliminated, it can now come to you.
I hear your arguments coming through: “I can be all happy and grateful, but it doesn’t eliminate the fact that I can’t go to Hawaii whenever I want to. It doesn’t give me that new car. It doesn’t change my long hours at work.”
I know – life’s realities really are a kick in the ass. But…if these things are happening anyway and you’re constantly coveting what you don’t have, it doesn’t change what’s happening. It just keeps you mired in that mindset of frustration and stress. By shifting your thinking to home in on the good stuff, even the tiny, itty bitty good stuff, you lower that stress, create more joy in your life and can be ready to invoke those positive changes, which are what you really want, right?
The challenge is on. The gauntlet is down. You DO have the choice. You CAN shift your thinking from Want to Gratitude. It’s all in the attitude. And that is something that nobody but YOU can control.
I am ‘grateful’ for each and every one of you who read this. I appreciate all of you who support me in my journey, and ‘want’ for nothing more than to see you ‘appreciate’ your own journey.