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.
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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