There are a lot of things in life that can keep us down. Breakups. Arguments. Despair. Coronavirus to name a few. And the rough times will come for all of us. Life will inevitably have its ups and downs.
It’s just the nature of the beast. We can’t live on cloud nine forever. And when things hit the fan, it’s important that we look back at our memories with gratitude. To realize that we have it good in life. That we’ve had a wonderful family. Kind friends. Awesome relationships. And had a ball of a time when we were young.
It’s these memories that I cherish. It’s looking back on everything that life has given me that has made me feel full and content with it all. It’s not something that is hard to attain. It just takes a little bit of perspective.
Gratitude can go a long way towards contentment and happiness. This elusive thing called happiness that we chase on a daily basis can be found in gratitude of the mundane. The seemingly normal happenings of everyday life can be traced back and appreciated.
Appreciation can similarly go a long way towards inner well-being. When we appreciate what life has to offer, we feel fuller with what we have. And there is no need to reach for the stars and the almighty heavens. The here and now is sufficient and just fine.
So, that’s why I try to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Today, I’m grateful for getting up and going to see the wonderful dentist. I am grateful for his skill in calmly navigating and cleaning my teeth. I am grateful for being able to text with my girlfriend. I am grateful for my parents cooking a scrumptious dinner meal for me to enjoy. I am grateful for my cousin sharing a laugh with me over food.
I am grateful for my dad giving me endless advice on business. I am grateful for my mom taking care of the cooking. I am grateful on a daily basis for the endless wonders that people are. How it seems like everyday, the people around me rise to the occasion and put on the superhero costume to make my life as full and content and wonderful as possible.
I am grateful for the trials and tribulations that I encounter here and then. How these moments make me grow through challenge. How they test my patience and my perseverance. I am grateful for those moments as teaching lessons to be gleaned. How every event and action is a learning opportunity to get better as a human being.
I am grateful for the endless nature that is this world. I am grateful for New York City being such a wonderful community for me to live in. To practice. To play. To learn. To grow.
I am grateful for the wonderful community that is Toastmasters. For harnessing my potential and improving my public speaking skills. For helping me develop confidence in my leadership and communication capabilities. How it encourages me to continuously learn and develop. To continue to develop into a well-rounded person and professional.
I am grateful for the friends at Cornell that have brought me so many treasured memories back in college. From playing Halo 2 into the wee hours of the morning. To playing basketball after class. To getting lunch together at the mess halls. Just simple pleasures and joys that bring my memory to life. Making me realize that I’ve had a full life thus far, and there is hopefully still a long way to go.
These times make me feel warm and grateful that I’ve had so much in life. And it makes me looking forward to the adventures that have yet to come. But, more importantly, it has made me treasure the nature of giving to the less fortunate. To the people that have lost something of value in their lives. To people in New York City that are in dire need of support.
It has made me realize that sometimes, the most purposeful thing you can do in life is to give back a little bit to society. Give back to the community that you were raised in. To the people that helped nurture and raise you. To the well-being of the whole. It’s more meaningful to find a larger purpose you can give back to, then to simply look out for yourself. It’s not rocket science, but it works.
So, whenever you’re feeling stress or burdened, just take a deep breath. Step back. And practice some gratitude of the here and now. It makes you realize that life in the grand scheme of things - is fine and dandy. Everything will be okay in the long run. You just need to stop and smell the roses.