“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama
We human beings have an insatiable appetite for things and wishes. We also have the biggest capacity for taking things for granted. We may have so much more today than what we did years ago, yet we are able to find the slightest opportunity to complain about the little things that we don’t have.
If you find yourself in this situation often, look at the following ways to start appreciating what you have in life more and complain less.
Keep a gratitude journal. In this journal, write down everything that has gone right in your life. Stop focusing on what is wrong simply because the world’s richest and most successful person does not have it all right either. When you see a visual list of all the blessings you are enjoying, your conscious and sub conscious mind shifts focus to the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. When you focus on the positive, you also invite more positive energy into your life.
Wants VS Needs
In the current days of endless demands, we sometimes go overboard in our wants. Having excessive wants simply puts a toll on how hard we have to work in order to earn enough for all our wants. This vicious cycle never ends. Your wants are always going to be more than what you have in your bank account. Distinguish between your needs and your wants. Don’t get carried away in the bandwagon of estimating your self worth based on your possessions. Once you begin to detach yourself from material possessions that are unnecessary, you will find that you are happier. Do you own things or do things own you?
One great example is of a successful businessman who achieved great success in his life. Instead of splurging and heading down the lane of a lifestyle where your wants just get bigger and your complaints even bigger, both the businessman and his wife gave up material possessions. They limited themselves to a certain amount of new clothes every year and led a simple life. His hobby of running a successful business continued, but their needs remained the same as before. While you don’t need to take such a drastic step, think twice before investing in that lovely red car or the swanky home. Do you really need it and add to your worries?
One of the most humbling experiences of my life has been helping out at orphanages and old folks’ homes. When you see how happy these children are with the little possessions they have and what a difficult life they are leading, you start living life a bit more realistically. These places have a very humbling effect on people – literally brings you down to earth. Here we are complaining about the size of our home and how the children constantly fight. Go and spend a few hours at an orphanage and you will be glad your children squabble. You will be glad you have a place to call home. If you have children who don’t often appreciate the number of things they have, encourage them to join you at these regular voluntary service trips. You will hear less complaints pronto!
Remember that we all have different lives. Comparing yourself to someone else is completely unfair if you are not willing to take on their share of grief too. Appreciate the things you have in life, be positive about the things you want to achieve and be optimistic about your life. Good things come to people who are optimistic.
Lets get to work and rethink what society instills in us. Then turn this life of existence into a life of living.