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What if you woke up tomorrow morning with ONLY the things you thanked God for today?

This is such a thoughtful question to ponder because many of us fail to see that we are so very blessed! They say the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. Some of the things that we think are so small or insignificant are real blessings that we might fail to give God credit for.

Early this morning I came across these boys sleeping on the corridor of a certain shop in town. It got me so worked out considering the fact that yesterday it rained heavily and the weather was quite cold last night. I found myself imagining me in their shoes. I could feel the cold, that cold floor, the mosquitoes, not forgetting the possibilities of uncountable dangers that these kids have to face every night on the streets.

That is when I realized how blessed I really am. More often than not, it is often a pivotal and life-changing moments that leave us re-evaluating the important things in life… the things we often otherwise take for granted. We are all so much more fortunate than we give ourselves credit for because we constantly preoccupy ourselves with thoughts of the (material) things that we don’t have and experiences we are missing out on.

People get sick or are in life-altering accidents every day. Every single minute of your life someone is dying. Shouldn’t we just thank God that we have some food on the table and a roof over our heads? We fail to imagine all the things that are right in our day but instead, immediately hone in on our to-do list and all the mini fires we plan to avoid.

So many people in the world would do anything to get these things, but we still complain every day that we do not have enough. Every morning we open our eyes and immediately start thinking about everything we have to do, or that we do not have a job, or the job we are in is now getting stressful or we do not have money to do this or that. We fail to notice the sun shining through my blinds. We take advantage of the people in our lives, say family and friends, making that fatal mistake of assuming that they will just be there for us without providing extra effort. We take the love of our parents or spouses for granted and never value their worth a bit.

Things like our health, the people around us, the internet, water coming out of the faucet, electricity, cars, etc. They are so consistent in our lives that they have become part of the wallpaper of life. It is quite natural to take things for granted. It is the default mode we all go into. Human beings are wired to acclimate to everything because if we didn’t, we would be stressed out of our minds every second of the day. But like all things in life, we run into a bit of a paradox. We want to stop taking things for granted but it is so hard to do that because we are wired that way.

We often get so caught up in our busy lives that we tend to forget just how important it is to truly live in and experience each and every moment in it is simplicity. We live for the big things, the exciting things and never  appreciate the little things. We live for the weekends, the holidays, the wonderful job or that ideal partner we have been dreaming of for years. This is a natural occurrence that happens to everyone in his or her life. It is a default mode we all get into when we become complacent in different aspects of our lives.

On those days when our minds go into that defensive pessimism mode, conjuring up everything that could go wrong and creating plans to circumvent those things, it feels imperative to stress ourselves and plot how to get out of that ‘mess’. The irony is that while this type of thinking does nothing to avoid chaos and struggle, which are both inevitable, at least on some level, it actually creates the type of situations you would prefer to dodge. A busy, cynical mind is more apt to find problems than solutions.

It is therefore a very good idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted and one of the best ways to fully enjoy the moment is to appreciate those very little things going right in your life like:- you had a bed to sleep in,  you woke up breathing, you have the freedom to choose what to do today, even if you have some limitations, you have the means to have a meal today though not a balanced diet, you have a cell phone, even if it isn’t an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, you got a job though it is not well paying etc.

The next thing to do is to really maximize the benefits out of all those things. Honor them by optimizing them the best you can. This will help you further pull them out of the background. You should then imagine what life would be like without all those things. Remember, if you don’t take a proactive approach to not taking things for granted, life will actually throw you a curve ball so that you do. Life has several wake up calls – health being one of the biggest examples. To prevent it, be conscious of your health, optimize it, imagine life without it – and that will begin to help you do the things necessary to prevent the outcome of what it’s like taking your health for granted.

In order to achieve wanting only the things and people that you, have you need to look into the positive things you gain from having these people/things around you. The things you take for granted are the things others are praying for. The fact that you have an old car for instance says enough. It says that you can afford the necessities and live a pretty comfortable life. It says that you have water to drink, food to eat, and hopefully a roof over your head. This is a luxury very many people don’t have.

Be thankful you got sick or in that accident or may be a close relative just passed on. It will teach you to be better aware of your surroundings and to be a better person altogether. You can choose to look at every situation in two ways: positively or negatively. You either wallow and waste what you consider to be a bad day on the gamble that you’ll be given a new and better start tomorrow. Or you can accept that you are simply having a bad moment and move on.

We often become so busy trying to build a life, that we sometimes forget how to simply just live one. 

Every positive thing in your life represents a single unique blessing. Every negative thing in your life has the opportunity to become a double blessing. For when you turn a negative into a positive, you gain twice. You are no longer burdened with the negative situation, and in addition to that you are strengthened by a new positive force.

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