A New Perspective: A Life of Gratitude is a Life of Riches

gratitudeAmid all of the poverty, war, and economic turbulence in our society today, we all have good reason to be frustrated, as well as whine and complain about how life just isn’t fair.

Foreclosures are everywhere, the unemployment rate is sky high, people are behind in bills, and there seems to be no where to turn.

All around us there seems to be more sadness, more emptiness, and more and more people complaining about what they don’t have. We have all of a sudden become a society of have-nots.

I’m sure you hear it as much as I do…people whining and complaining about bills and being “broke”.

People bitching and moaning about being tired or “sick”.

People are stressed out beyond belief, and digging themselves into a massive hole of depression and despair.

You may not believe me when I tell you this but you are already wealthy.

Yes you. You’re rich.

Now, you may be behind in rent, a few months late with your credit card payments, the repo man may be searching for your car, and your cell phone may be turned off, but regardless, you’re rich.

You may feel run down, tired all the time, “sick”, sore and achy all day and night, but regardless, you’re good. You’re healthy enough to have options. Zip it.

Here’s the thing. We live in a privileged society.

If you are reading this right now, that means you probably have an internet connection. If you have lived in America your whole life, you probably don’t see the big deal, but in many parts of the world having internet means you’re a king.

The world is full of people who have absolutely nothing, and to most of these people you are living a rockstar lifestyle just by being able to read this post today, or by being able to check your email or download an ap to your phone.

If you have been chilling in the North American bubble your entire life, the things you take for granted like a washer, dryer, toilet, bottled water, clean food, air conditioning, medicine, hospitals, etc are practically non existent in many parts of the world.

Get this, tons people in the world survive on less than $2 per day. Hell, you could probably find that much in your sock drawer. Another shocking stat is that your average minimum wage worker in America makes more money than 75% of the rest of the world.

Crazy but true.

Some other interesting stats:

-At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

-24,000 children die each day due to poverty.

-Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

-Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

-Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.

-Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea.

-In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking.

For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:

– 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)

– 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)

– 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)

-2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized

-15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)

-10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy)

-1.4 million die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation

gratitude_poverty

You may think your life sucks right now and you may be struggling to make ends meet. You may stress over bills and worry yourself sick thinking about the prospect of losing your home, car, or job. You may feel trapped and be living from paycheck to paycheck. You may have bad credit. Bill collectors may be after you.

You may have been sick and have medical bills piling up or need to save up for an expensive surgery. You may feel helpless and think that there is nothing you can do about it. But you CAN DO something about it, and you can start doing it this very second and it won’t cost a thing.

Appreciate What You Have. 

That’s right. Gratitude.

You can be grateful and appreciate what you have right now. As you sit there checking your Twitter, Facebook, and email, just remember, you are living a rockstar lifestyle to most people across the world. There are over 6 billion people in the world today and I bet that well over 5 billion of them would gladly trade places with you RIGHT NOW.

Just look around you. Take a self-inventory. I’m sure you’ve got clothes, food, real friends, Facebook friends, decent health, a cell-phone, a computer, shelter, family, a car, etc. I bet you ate a nice meal today and will probably eat another one later on, perhaps 2 or 3 more plus a snack.

You may have even stopped at your favorite coffee spot on the way home from work for a nice hot latté. Shoot, you’ll probably even paid for it without even thinking twice. Just swiped your bank card!

You probably got into your car and drove to your air conditioned home or apartment and then turned on your nice TV or computer, or even chatted on your cell phone. Maybe you even did laundry, ran the dishwasher, or walked your dog. I remember my first visit to South America, many people had never even HEARD of a dishwasher!

You go to your fancy gym several times per week, drink bottled water during your workout, and down an expensive protein drink post-workout. You probably shop at a nice grocery store for food or perhaps even Whole Foods Market and only eat the best fare.

All of these “simple” things that we take for granted are luxuries that we should be thankful for. Most people I know all bitch and moan about having to do “chores” like laundry and dishes. Try washing your clothes in the muddy river (which is also your drinking water) or eating your food off the ground with your hands, then get back to me.

Your life does not suck, and you are not poor. You are rich, and in fact you are living like a king. Of course you may not have as much stuff as some other people do, but from where I’m sitting, we all only have blessings not problems, regardless of how fat or skinny your bankroll is. If you have good health on top of that, well, you’re sitting pretty my friend.

I was driving home a few days ago and a shiny red Ferrari pulled up next to me at a stoplight. Almost instantly, I felt unappreciative of my car and wanted that guy’s car.

Then I thought to myself, there is some guy out there riding to work on a mule just to make a few bucks a day to feed his family…there is a kid out there somewhere who walks several miles per day with no shoes to work in a field or factory for just pennies per hour…and I instantly snapped back into reality.

Here I was, driving through Malibu, California feeling totally unappreciative about a major blessing that I had in life. Negative thoughts? Get real. Reality check.

These sort of negative thoughts/emotions happen to all of us, but here’s how you can nip em in the bud for good.

Focus On The Positive And Eliminate The Negative.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “you become what you think about the most”. Eliminate negative thinking and focus ONLY on the positive. Whatever you think about the most somehow always invites itself into your life. If you change your attitude, you’ll consequently change your altitude. There is definitely power in positive thinking.

If you are constantly thinking about what sucks, you’ll invite more sucky things into your life. If you stay positive and focus on what’s good, by appreciating what you do have, you’ll attract more good things into your life. I don’t know why it works like that, but the law of attraction plays by its own rules.

When you wake up each day, take a minute or so to say “thank you” for what you have. For your husband, your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, dad, brother, sister, best friend, kids, car, house, phone, yard, dog, the air you breathe, good health, the grocery store, internet, dishwasher, clean water, toilets, a free country, protein shakes, gyms, microwaves, organic foods, etc.

Many people in the world will never ever experience any of these things.

gratitude_mason

I am grateful for my super-awesome nephew, Mason 🙂

Don’t take the blessings you have in life for granted, because one day you may wake up and everything could be gone. Every single thing that ever comes into your life can also go out of your life. By appreciating what you have, even if it is not much, you’ll feel less stress and you’ll also feel much healthier. You won’t feel as anxious and you will feel no fear.

Your spirits will be lifted and your “bad mood after 3pm syndrome” will be cured. You won’t feel as sick and many of your body aches and pains will mysteriously vanish completely.

Your stress levels will return to normal and you will be at peace. By opening up your spirit and mind to all of the blessings that you have, you will be on your way to living a much healthier life that’s full of vitality and vigor – and that’s the best prescription for stress relief you’ll ever get.

Here’s to a brand new outlook and a whole world full of riches.

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Comments 6

  1. You are so right!!! We all tend to forget about what we have and always want more, or what the other guy has we stop to appreciate what we do have!
    Thanks for the reality check i think we all need it every now and again, i know i do!

  2. Thank you for this blog post, you are so right about how much we take for granted in this country. We are a nation of complainers, never happy with all the wonderful gifts we have and always looking for the latest greatest when we should be looking to help others in need.

  3. We are so spoiled in this country! If we don’t have the latest eletronic gadget, or the latest model car, we feel inferior. Beautiful post, i will print it out for eveyone I know, particularly my spoiled chidren, who constanty complain about not having enough!

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