The Danger Of Disregarding Delicious Donuts

Most of us in the developed world live in a culture where we’re told we’re each special and unique, and encouraged to be our best, follow our passions and pursue the great happiness we rightly deserve.

As a coach myself, I help people do these things. Which is all well and good. Except if there’s one little important factor missing, however much you achieve, you’ll always been unsatisfied.

That little factor is gratitude.

A short story as an example:

Josh was an eight year old boy with a sweet tooth. His mum took him to a local bakery and coffee shop, and Josh picked a ring donut to eat. But just as he was about to bite into it, he glanced at the boy on the table next to his, and noticed he had a whole donut. A donut without a hole in the centre.

image: sidereal

So, Josh asked his mum if he could change his donut for one like the other boy had. His mum, not wanting her son to have any less than he deserved, ordered another donut.

So Josh got his new donut and took a big bite into the centre. As he went to take another, he noticed a girl a few tables across with a very similar looking donut in her hands, but she had strawberry jam all around her mouth. Josh’s donut didn’t have any jam. So again he asked mum for another donut, as now he’d seen one with delicious strawberry jam in, how could he possibly be satisfied with his plain one?

His mum obliged once more, Josh got his third donut of the day, and bit in deep, the sticky jam slowly dribbling down his chin.

Then, he saw a boy across the bakery with jam AND chocolate around his face. His donut had no hole, was filled with jam and had a chocolate topping.

Of course, Josh instantly rejected his current donut and pleaded with his mum for the chocolate topped variety.

I’m sure you can see the moral of the story. If you’re always striving for a bigger, better, jammier, more chocolatey donut, you’ll never enjoy the delicious one you have right in your hands.

When you focus on what’s you don’t have, what you feel is missing, you’ll be forever dissatisfied, whatever you achieve.

Switch your focus to all that’s positive and good and delicious in your life – in other words develop your gratitude – and you’ll enjoy life so much more.

A simple way to begin is to write down three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.

This will soon become a habit and your awareness will heighten, meaning you see more and more to be thankful for in your life.

You may well also find that the more positive and grateful your outlook becomes, the more good stuff you seem to attract into your life too.

Don’t stop shooting for the stars and chasing your dreams. But make sure you appreciate just how delicious every donut along the way is too!

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7 thoughts on “The Danger Of Disregarding Delicious Donuts”

  1. Hey Dan!
    This was a good article. I am sometimes guilty of wanting more than I have and not appreciating what is in front of me. I think it may be why I change what I’m working on so abruptly.

    Of course, this is sometimes good too, because I’ve never tried embroidery until I “desperately” wanted to have a sampler like the one I saw on someone else’s blog… lol! I found I really enjoy it.

    Thank you Dan!
    Lotus

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  2. Thanks for your input Lotus.

    I wrote this thinking it was all about gratitude. But I’ve realised it’s just as much about focus.

    If we get fully focused on whatever we’re creating, or whatever moment we’re experiencing, we appreciate it most fully and enjoy it best. If our concentration is so surface that we’re constantly distracted and drawn elsewhere, then our whole lives – creative and otherwise – will be a far more shallow and less fulfilling and less meaningful experience.

    I think I’ll explore this in future articles, how we can allow ourselves to be fully present in, fully LOST in, those moments so they mean so much more.

    Thanks!

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  3. Dan,

    As a dad of three young kids, your story put a smile on my face. Gratitude is one of the more difficult things to teach children these days — especially with so many cultural pressures pressing in on you at any given moment.

    Your advice of writing down three things you’re grateful for at the end of the day is spot on. Our family has a little twist to this: Each evening at dinner, we go around the table and each person talks about what they are most grateful for today. Sometimes, when I hear one of my kids express a very simple thing they are grateful for, it does wonders for helping to ground me even more in what it means to live deeply and deliberately each day.

    Hope all is well,
    Bill

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    1. Thanks for sharing that example Bill, sounds a lovely way to do it, involving the whole family. Kids have a wonderful way of reminding us how much pleasure can in the moment, and in the most simple things.

      When they’re upset, they cry, when they’re happy, they laugh. Then it’s over and forgotten and they move on to something else. We can learn much from such mindful young living!

      Appreciate you stopping by.

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  4. To paraphrase Indiana Jones: “Why did it have to be donuts?”

    I have a sweet tooth. I used to be (and still am, down deep inside) that person who ate the whole package of cookies, the whole box of donuts, the whole bag of candy–in one sitting. I can taste all those donuts you described. I salivate. Oh god I want a donut. But I mustn’t. No.

    I am grateful that my husband is cooking dinner tonight, and it will be tasty and have lots of veggies, and just a modest amount of pasta.

    I am grateful that my blog’s readership is expanding and the collection of blogs that I read is expanding, too.

    I am grateful that I can paint tomorrow, even though I was too tired today because I had to deal with a difficult family situation.

    Those are my three things to start. It helped to take my mind off of donuts a little ;D

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    1. I’ve got a pretty sweet tooth too Meg. Chocolate the main culprit!

      Even if you have a bar of your favourite chocolate in your hands though, and see someone else with a different bar, there’s still that questioning that goes on in your head – “Hmm, I wonder if their bar might be a little tastier?”

      It’s about gratitude for what we have, but also getting focused, and eliminating all the other things that distract us from creating what we need to create.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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