I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Sometimes we get too used to our lives.
I recently returned from on all-expense paid trip to play in a golf competition recently, I started to feel like what I was doing was routine.Then I returned to Pittsburgh and realized amongst the lives of my other friends, what I do for a living is not routine and that it’s pretty spectacular that I get to do what I love for a living.
When we begin to think our lives are routine, it is easy to lose sight of how the seemingly insignificant things hold greatness. I began to feel as though I had lost an appreciation for my own life.
Each day we are presented with a gift. This gift that is bestowed upon us is often unknown, but everyday there is a surprise: a smile from a stranger, a compliment, a parking spot close to work or school, an unexpected friendship, all of which many of us take for granted. It is easy to forget that these simple things make up the whole of our lives. Imagine if all of your seemingly insignificant tasks disappeared from your life. You would be left with no routine, like going to your favorite coffee shop and getting your special cappuccino with just the right amount of foam, or going to your favorite local bar to meet up with your friends. Once the things you take for granted are gone, they do seem like gifts.
I have heard several stories of people from America visiting third-world countries, only to find many of the local bathrooms there to be disgusting by our standards or the availability of clean water to be nonexistent. When they came back to the States, they were so appreciative of their own bathrooms and tap water. Yes, the seemingly unimportant things can be viewed as gifts when we regain perspective of our lives and of the world. But how do we begin appreciating our lives and treating each moment as if it were given to us by someone very special?
I look at it like this: Do you remember when you worked hard for something, whether it was a grade in school or the fact that you had saved up money for a pair of shoes or a new car? Whatever it was, do you recall how happy you were when you got what you desired and labored for? That feeling of satisfaction and worth? You might even remember saying, "It was worth all the hard work."
We work very hard for these moments in life. They aren't just handed to us without a cause or reason. These moments are ours. But these moments are also a product of how much energy and work we put into our lives. So if your life is not gratifying it might be a result of the effort you are putting into it.
We can't always expect happiness or fulfillment no matter how hard we try, but I can guarantee you that you will receive more satisfaction from life when you begin to take joy in what you normally might disregard. You will begin to see the world differently. You will have a greater understanding of yourself and connect on a deeper level to the happiness you already have in your life. Plain and simple, you will get more out of life.
twoday magazine wants to know: What are you appreciative of in your life? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Follow Anya on Twitter @anyaalvarez.
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The Self Improvement Project, by Anya Alvarez
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