“We often take for granted the very things
that most deserve our gratitude.”
How often do you pause to appreciate your life? How often do you stop dead in your tracks and think, “Goodness, I have it pretty darn good”?
Even when life is far from perfect, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Many people in this world wish they had what you have. Here’s why:
1. You are educated enough to read this.
If you’re reading this, you have something brilliant to be thankful for. It’s called an education. Believe it or not, there are roughly 774 million people in the world who don’t have this ability. That’s a significant percentage of the human population.
Literacy is the bridge that closes the gap between discouragement and confidence, between confusion and understanding, and between sadness and hope. It’s the greatest platform of personal growth, and the means by which every human being can realize their full potential.
Isn’t it crazy to think about how many people aren’t educated enough to make use of this basic human right?
2. You are reasonably healthy.
In other words, if you got sick today you could recover.
Never underestimate the gift of your health. It’s the greatest wealth you will ever own. It’s the foundation for every chance at happiness and success life has to offer. Your body is the only place you will truly ever live.
If you’re lucky enough to have a body that’s in good health, be wise enough to keep it that way. Doing so is easier than most of us make it. Too often we focus on the negatives. We think about how hard it will be and all the sacrifices that must be made. But one of life’s greatest joys and one the primary benefits of good health comes from focusing on the positives of a healthy lifestyle – what we gain through living and feeling well.
The secret to good health for both the mind and body is to live in the present moment openly and earnestly, to eat lightly, breathe deeply, exercise daily, cultivate happiness through acceptance, and maintain a general interest in whatever it is you spend the majority of your time doing. Read Crazy Sexy Diet.
3. You have the freedom to choose.
If you often worry about what you’re going to do with your life – your career, your family, the next step, etc., be grateful. All details aside, this means you have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make your own decisions.
In the space between your yes and no, there’s liberation. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one others want you to walk; it’s the gap between who you could become and who you want to be; it’s the legroom of free choice – a liberty that should never be taken for granted.
4. You have enough wealth to live comfortably.
You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You awoke this morning with a roof over your head. You had a choice of what clothes to wear. You have access to clean drinking water and electricity. You are online right now.
You have plenty to be comfortable. Being wealthy is a mindset. Be sure you understand this. Want less and appreciate more. Read 1,000 Little Things.
5. You have a home.
Home isn’t a physical structure, or a specific location on a map. Home is wherever the people you love are, whenever you’re with them – even if your encounter is virtual. It’s not a defined place, but a space in your heart and mind that builds upon itself like little bricks being stacked to create something stable that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.
The love and admiration shared amongst friends, lovers, and family members is a true gift that provides a shelter for the spirit as it grows. If you have this kind of love in your life – like so many of us do – you are one of the lucky ones.
6. You still have a chance.
Time is precious. Everything you know is ending. Not yet, but soon enough.
What you must decide is what you want to do with the time you have left. If your lifespan were to expire this evening at the stroke of midnight, would you be at ease with how you have spent your time today? This is not a rhetorical question. Nothing is guaranteed.
Someday, like many others are experiencing right this second, your time will expire. Don’t be afraid. Be alive in this moment and make the most of it. Right now is your chance. Read The Power of Now.
You and I are extremely fortunate. There are many people in this world who wish they had what we have.
So tell me: What are you most grateful for today?
Photo by: Laurence and Annie
Keith Clarke says
Very, very true. In all our striving we often do forget just how lucky we are with what we have. It doesn’t mean it is bad to try to improve ourselves; our behaviors; our relationships; our finances and our lives in general – but being grateful keeps us grounded and humble giving us perspective. Definitely something I could benefit from doing more often. Great article.
@Talia: Thank you! =)
@Genevieve: That’s such a positive way to look at it.
@Carol: Your story is a great reminder that love can carry you. I’m sure you will be able to work out the financial issues in the long-run. Thank you for sharing your story.
@Julia: You’re too kind. We appreciate your feedback.
@May: Even the most everyday things, like a bed, sometimes forget to be grateful for. Thank you for reminding us.
@Dee: Happy Birthday! =)
@Keith Clarke: So very true. It’s all about being grateful for what you have as you pursue your goals.
Thank you for reminding us of how precious our lives are. We should cherish the moments more, to realize regularly what we have accomplished and how wealthy we are. In a split second, especially the second reason could change. Fortunately, with the modern technology, even less healthy people have access to computers and can communicate with the world.
Just today I was observing the joy of life that a young man I work near was experiencing, and I thought how much I used to be like that. I hoped that he would never lose it as I have. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate the wonderful gifts of reasonably good health, a simple but comfortable home I love, and being financially secure. Maybe I grew up a little too much. I plan to recapture the passion for life that I lost along the way. Then there will be another reason people will will want to be me!
Really great article, freshened me up. Thumbs up marcandangel!
I’m thankful for everything in my life – and one of the best things was finding this website recently and being able to read all you posts. I really appreciate it… thank you 🙂
Thank you for this post really, I felt somewhat ashamed after I finished reading it. There are times I am grateful for what I have, but there are times I wonder “why me” or “if only I had more.” I am too fortunate to be easily affected by the small setbacks in life.
Thanks for some great perspective Marc. We are, indeed, the most fortunate people who have ever lived. I am grateful for a life filled with things I love to do and for the resources to do them.
I’m thankful that my boyfriend shared this site with me.. Marc and Angel very inspiring website. I can’t stop reading.. Thank you:)
Rachael Bath says
I’m thankful I had a rollercoaster of a day at work today where I was exhilerated and very disapionted all in one day. Then begrudgingly I decide to browse blogs & Twitter and I found this blog. I have never read your posts before, but I have bookmarked this. I believe things happen for a reason, and finding your blog was meant to happen.
I am loved by and I love my family. We are all healthy. we have food, clothing and shelter, and we give to others when we can.
Thank you for this post, I can now go to bed satisfied.
Julie Sheridan says
A timely reminder. Thank you.
Wow… 774 Million people… That is going to sit in my heart/thoughts a while… that’s a staggaring number…
Struggling with #3 lately, spinning my wheels & getting caught up in it… need to remember what it really means, which I usually beat up on myself about because I think I dont have these traits, but I guess this is proof I do…
Need to remember your lovely definition of # 5 (& share with a few people who could use it as well).
Marc and Angel You are just amazing and you brings us to the true life, the life of joy and peace within, your words and phrases are soooooo strong and powerful and revive everyone’s soul.
Thank you so much.
I have been reading trough many of your articles for a few days now, but i think this is the one who has really changed my perspective of my current life situation..
As hard as it feels right now, i have realised i actually DO have things to be grateful for, and that i should take a moment to just smile and let go of any negative thoughts…
What am i grateful for this moment?
Looking forward to eating a delicious meal in an hour or so … that’s something many can only dream about …
THANK YOU for being such an inspiration!!!
Davis Nguyen says
Thank for the beautiful reminder that problems and troubles are relative.
I am grateful today to be alive.
I’m grateful for the reminders above, and today we had terrible storms and tornadoes so I am grateful that my family is safe from injuries during this weather. Life in itself is enough to be grateful for.
Thank you so much Marc and Angel. You guys have been a blessing to my life. I am grateful that you two exist to encourage me each day.
Yes, the gift of being able to walk wherever you want to go for however long is really astounding! If you have that, you really have a lot! But even though I don’t have that right now, there are many, many things for which I am grateful! Losing things that are important to you makes you thankful for the things that no one can take away….Who God is; what He has done for me; and what He will and is still able to do for me!
I am grateful for who I am. I overcame lots of hardships that my mum and her friends did not overcome when they were at my age…
Thank you really for delighting my way of who I am.
Wow. very profound. Excellent post. Cheers
Ananya B says
We never realize the perks of having a seemingly ‘normal’ life until something goes wrong! Thanks for making us realize the small but very important things we have. Great read!
Don’t forget: Having well paying jobs. Some injured people or people who can’t find a job for other reasons are not able to earn enough money for them and their families.