Developing Gratitude With A Dose Of Reality
Not to sound too much like a motivational meme, but today I’m talking about developing gratitude.
Not only gratitude, but about developing a sense of reality.
About 2 years ago, I really developed the travelling bug.
At the age of 29, I had finally got myself to the point where I could start seeing the world.
And the more places I get to, the more I feel grateful for.
(I’m currently on my 4th cup of coffee here at 2pm as I battle to post-holiday blues.)
So hopefully this will make sense.
Be Grateful For What You Have…
….because so many people out there are worse off.
The last year, I try get to places that really open my eyes to how good we have it here.
And why we have so little to complain about.
Two places of note have been the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro and Soweto in South Africa.
Walking through areas of poverty, corruption and crime, you cannot but get a slap of reality.
In Brazil, I seen shacks of houses, stacked 3 high, riddled with bullet holes.
Along a narrow path, 2 teenagers sat with AK-47’s because kids are used by gangs as they can’t go to jail.
Horrendous living conditions, no running water and huge unemployment.
Yet they were smiling, happy, playing football and getting along.
However, we somehow find things to complain about here.
In Soweto, they have no electricity, communal water sources and huts for bathrooms.
They scavenge steel from scrap yards to build make shift houses for themselves as shelter.
They struggle to keep their kids in school.
Yet here we sit, complaining.
Getting A Dose Of Reality
Now I’m far from a saint.
But over the last few years I’ve started to see life through a different perspective.
By putting myself into environments like the above, I get a great dose of reality.
We complain about the speed of our broadband.
Get insulted when someone doesn’t like our picture on social media.
Complain online about how shit our life is while using a €700 smart phone.
Yet every day, we sleep in a warm, secure house.
We have running water.
We have hot meals and plenty of food.
The only major inconveniences come when the snow stops us from getting to the pub.
We live in a first world country, yet we lose touch with reality and how good we have it.
So every now and again, just take a moment and ask yourself
‘Is what I’m complaining about actually that big of a deal?’
Think of how much worse off you could have it.
If you’re healthy, able bodied and free from poverty, illnesses poor living conditions, then any real issues are generally a creation of modern society.
They’re not really that big of a deal.
Complain less, worry less and appreciate more.
Be thankful for everything you have and don’t worry about someone having a nicer car than you.
None of that really matters.