Super Habit #11: Be Grateful for What You Have

It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you might be envious of your neighbor. However, that attitude will likely never get you far. There are many people who have much less than you. Think about that and be grateful for what you have. This is Super Habit #11.

You Likely Have More Than You Think

I’ll admit that sometimes I am envious of others. I wish I had the freedom that those with more money could have. Of course, most people with more money don’t actually take advantage of that freedom. They just buy more stuff and get deeper in debt. Their lives are likely harder than mine.

Looks can be deceiving. Just because others appear to be doing better than you doesn’t mean they are. This said, we should just stop comparing ourselves to those who appear to have more than us and be grateful for what we do have.

I can look out my window and see homeless people walking down the street several times a day. That actually makes me want to live with less, not more. It also makes me thankful for the things I do have. Let’s consider what the average American has:

  1. Home: Whether you live in a 3000 square foot house or a travel trailer, chances are you have a warm place to call home. Be grateful. Many people around the world live in much worse conditions than some of the poorest people in America.
  2. Car: Most of you reading this post probably own a car. If you don’t, it’s either because you live in a place where you don’t need a car, or you choose to not own a car. In some parts of the world, most people don’t own cars. Here’s some data.
  3. Job: You might not be working at your dream job, but you probably have a source of income. As a college teacher I’m doing something I love. I don’t break bank, but I’m helping others. I’m grateful for my job.
  4. Technology: If you’re able to read this post you might just be in the minority. As of a few years ago, less than half of the world’s population used the Internet. If you have an Internet connection, a computer, and a smart phone, be grateful. Many people don’t.
  5. Family: Most of us have at least one family member we can turn to. Although I don’t have a large family, I have several family members who I know will always be there for me if I need them.
  6. Friends: Sometimes friends are just as important as family. Most of my immediate family members don’t live near me. But I have a handful of friends who are nearby who I can turn to in need.
  7. Too much stuff: Okay, chances are good that you have a shitlaod of shit in your house to fulfill your needs. In fact, you likely have much more than you really need. Remember that. Be grateful.

Be Grateful and Life Will Be Easier

I know you see hundreds of blog posts about how being grateful will make you happier. I’m not going to tell you that being grateful is a magic button. But there is some truth to all those posts. Here’s why…

When we’re not grateful, chances are good that we’re burning up oodles of energy being grumpy fucks. I know I can be guilty of this, especially during this overinflated Christmas season. But if I take a few moments to be grateful, I’m more likely to shed some of the weight that comes with being grumpy.

So by default, being grateful will make you feel more content. If you feel more content, life will feel easier. It might not be easy, or a magic button, but it is common sense.

So I encourage you to do your best to practice Super Habit #11 and be grateful this holiday season, and always.