Be Grateful For What Is
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” — Iain Thomas
While I know it may not seem evident, you have everything you need to thrive. It is a mistaken belief that having more will help you advance in life. People think if they had more money, better looks, a better job or lived in a better area of town, they would be happy. I wish to remind you that everything comes with a price and having more money means being responsible for managing large sums. If you do not have the emotional intelligence to manage money, having more of it can pose problems. Thriving then is a state of mind. The key is to appreciate what is in your life now by recognising your gifts, talents and genius. It means knowing your life is bountiful as it is.
Though you have wants and needs, you mustn’t allow them to overshadow what is present. This is the basis of this entire piece; being grateful for your goodness instead of focusing on what is lacking. I realise it is easy to focus on what is missing when your basic needs are met. For example, if you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear and food on the table, your basic survival needs are catered for. However, millions of people do without these luxuries. Perhaps these basic necessities are not enough because we want more: money, fame, better relationships or a successful career. History has shown people succeeded with the bare necessities.
How do you feel about this? Are you content with what you have or do you constantly wish for more? Several prominent companies nowadays began operations in less than desirable conditions in the garage of their house. You have all you need to thrive, but you believe it isn’t enough compared to those with plentiful. But if you look behind the scenes of those you consider rich, you will find emptiness and a longing for something deeper than material luxuries. Whatever is plentiful in one area, will be lacking in other areas of life. The root cause of suffering is not appreciating what is apparent in our lives and striving to fill the void.
Abundance and Prosperity
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” — Maya Angelou
Underlying this want for more is the fear that someday your needs will no longer be met. Your partner will fall out of love, you will run out of money and be homeless or forced out of your job or worse still, death. However, this is an illusion because your thoughts are turned towards fear instead of towards abundance and prosperity. Abundance and prosperity does not mean being filthy rich, but recognising the abundant nature of your life. Having your basic needs met is abundance. Half the world’s population do not have access to these luxuries and make do with less than optimal conditions.
One need only look to the current refugee crisis and see people’s homes and basic needs taken from them. For many refugees, not having food, water and shelter constitutes a significant change in circumstances. Yet, for someone living in the United States, this is a basic necessity often overlooked. You will continue to suffer if you believe the source of your happiness is outside of you. If you hang your hopes on someone or something to provide for your happiness, you will always long for more. The moment you move your awareness to what is bountiful, you shift to gratitude to what is available. This doesn’t mean you should not have better things to enjoy. However, if your attention is fixed on what is lacking, you neglect to value the goodness in your life. Is this something you are comfortable with? The notion of being provided for well above your means?
Happiness must not be subject to constantly having your needs met. I assure you, not everything will go to plan and occasionally you will be disappointed. This is no less true when a partner leaves a relationship and the other person is left to contemplate why it dissolved. However, in time, their broken heart heals and they soon find love again. This time, they recognise their partner is not the only source of their happiness, but someone who compliments them. To appreciate what you have, focus on the source of your joy. Write down or recite what you are grateful for upon waking up or retiring to bed each night. A warm cup of coffee, shower, bed, family and friends to share a home with, living in a safe neighbourhood, a job that pays well and an employer that appreciates you are the unlikeliest sources of happiness. These are basic essentials, which when magnified add to your sense of appreciation. From this place of awareness you create better circumstances in which to thrive. Appreciation enriches your life as abundance and prosperity, as long as you recognise it is always enough.