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.

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7 thoughts on “Thing #4: How Great Life Is

  1. Alex, I really enjoyed reading your post! I agree, although it is only human to dwell on the negative parts of life, we need to step back and reflect on what we have. Even though I tell myself that I have to stop thinking about little bad things that happen and move onto the good, sometimes they stay in the back of my mind. We are a lot luckier than we think, and we should take the time to appreciate all of the good things in life.

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  2. I do feel like this almost every day, thank you for making me look at the bright side Alex. Your gifs are always on point; the batman gif had me rolling! There are thousands of processes running in my body right now, but I wish at least one made my mood better. I am not currently being chased by mad axe men but deadlines might as well be their equivalent, haha. Thanks for the laughs.

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  3. So, so true! I think perspective comes with age, as teenagers are designed to see themselves as the center of things (not saying you are like that, but in general, that’s where teenagers are developmentally). I have noticed that the older I get, the less the little things bother me (although I still hate waking up early!). I liked this post- it was cool to see you shatter another misconception but through your own reflection. Nicely done! And yes, as Ben says, your gifs are always on point indeed!

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  4. This post was really uplifting 🙂 and the memes/gifs made me laugh too. I liked how you made this topic fun to read about and also interesting. I liked the approach you took when elaborating on it. I think most people would have just rattled off lists of why we have all the reasons to be happy and discuss all the problems with the world. I appreciated how instead of doing that you focused on something like mornings and your tone was very approachable. I felt like I was talking to you in person.

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  5. I agree with you on this post. Many people don’t appreciate the good things in life. In order to really know how much you have, you need to see firsthand how people are suffering in third world countries, with little food and water, and without the warm beds that most Americans have. We “need” the latest clothes, video game, or technology. People in third world countries need food and water.

    Also, I loved your use of gifs in this post! It brought some humor to an otherwise serious topic.

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  6. AHHHH!! Alex this blog was great. I can definitely say I am guilty of being one of those people who sees the negative “outliers” you talked about. It is definitely hard to just forget about something, like failing a test, when so much pressure is put on people to not make mistakes. But maybe that pressure is just something we put on ourselves. The second we take a step back and respect that everything will never be exactly perfect, and instead we just feel grateful for the things that are pretty close to perfect, so many more people will be so much happier. Great job!!

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  7. Your gifs Alex are very much on point, as everyone already said. I totally, completely agree with you on this blog post, and sadly I am one of those people, but I’m learning to change. I realized this as all of the work started piling on with this year, and I also realized that it’s important that I think about at least one good thing that happened and not only focus on the bad thing that happened. Just thinking about the one good thing just made me so much happier, but through your post I realized that it doesn’t have to be something that happened, it could just be the fact that I’m healthy and have parents to take care of me, a house to live in, friends that care for me, etc. Every year I go to India and see so many impoverished people and it breaks my heart that while I complain about these small little trivial things, these people don’t have a place to live or food to eat. I think this something that everyone should know and understand. I love this post!

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