Thing #4: How Great Life Is

It’s not always obvious to us just how incredibly lucky and blessed we are.

People (myself included) tend to focus on the negative.  We judge days as “good” if not many “bad” things happened, rather than realize just how many things went right for us.  If we bomb a test, screw up a job interview, tap someone’s bumper on the way home from work… those things stand out to us.  They bother us, and can change our entire perception of our day.

Why?  One reason only.  They are the outliers, the odd situations, and the uncommon occurrences (unless you take pre-calculus, then get used to bombing tests).  95% of most people’s lives contain only things to be thankful for, or at the very least, nothing to be sad about.  So when something does come along, we have difficulty seeing around it.

Most people reading this will have gotten out of a comfortable bed this morning, eaten breakfast, maybe showered with hot water, and put on clean clothes.  I did the same thing.  Just that should have been enough to put a smile on our faces, but more likely we were internally complaining about something.

I could list hundreds of statistics about the lives of struggling people throughout the world, and go on for a long time about how much luckier we are to live the way we do here in the US.  But just like learning history through facts and figures doesn’t really give the full picture, typing up dry numbers isn’t very effective.  So how about a magic trick an example?

Not what I meant.

Let’s take one of those mornings I described.  Mornings are good examples, since it’s easy to be depressed when all you can think about is the fact that you’re not sleeping.  Picture yourself in the most “normal” morning you can imagine.  What’s going through your mind?  Probably one of these things…

…when in reality, you should be being thankful that the thousands of processes keeping your body running are occurring in the correct way; not to mention the excessive number of other things that are currently going great for you.  Are you being chased by mad axe men?  Is a rampant elephant smashing your town to bits?

Seriously, though, I recommend everyone think about this kind of stuff the next time they’re feeling down.  If we can think of more and more ridiculous situations we’re thankful to be avoiding at any moment, maybe life will get better and better.