An Attitude of Gratitude

I love what I have and I want more…

We always want more from life. We expect more from ourselves, circumstances and people. And that is not a bad thing. But how many times do we really think about what we have? I had never given this much thought. Who has the time to count their blessings as they rush by the day to complete yet another day at the job called life!

Last year, when I was looking for yet another interesting workout routine, I came across Yogalosophy, by mandy ingber. It started out as a casual read, but turned out to be so much more. In her journey of 28 days to the ultimate mind-body makeover, Mandy described small changes we can make to our lives everyday to reach towards a healthy and happy life. And I thought, lets give it a try. On day 4, the task of the day was pretty simple —

Write out a list of five to ten things you are grateful for. At least one of them should be about your physical body.

Day 1 was easy. But doing this everyday, for something new, takes a lot of thought. It makes you realise how fortunate you are to be living the way you are. Everything you have been upset about, every missed opportunity, every change in plan, was actually a step towards something even better than what you wanted in the first place. It was all a blessing in disguise. One day I ended up with something unexpected on my list — I am grateful that my interview for a great job opportunity got cancelled

It was a well paying job, much higher than what I ultimately went for. You would be wondering why I would be happy about this. Well, here is the reason. When I look back at that role, I know I would not have been happy doing that job. As a Marketing student, a job with the leading organisation in the FMCG sector is a dream. But I ended up becoming a Product Manager for the mobile app of one of the top banks in India and that was the best thing that could have happened to my career. Missing that opportunity changed my life completely, for the better.

There was an important thing that Mandy mentioned in the task — at least one thing that you are grateful for should be about your physical body. And this, I think is tougher. The world talking about higher standards of beauty; the culture of body shaming in the society is destroying lives all over the world. We have become very critical of ourselves, of our bodies. We need to realise we are perfect, just the way we are.

We need to love ourselves. Not punish our bodies for the mistakes we did. Running an extra mile for the cake that we ate last night is not right. It was our fault. Not our body’s. Realise that you shouldn’t have had that cake and ensure you eat healthy in the future. Extra workout or starving yourself the next day will not help you or your body. Add this to your gratitude list instead —

I am grateful for the extra kilos that I have put on.

Sounds crazy? Not really — those extra kilos have pushed you to think about adopting a healthy lifestyle that can change you completely. It worked for me. I can work for you.

There is another angle to this story. This list definitely makes you realise all the good things that have happened to you. But how long can you keep this up? Once you start, you want this list to grow, right? So what can we do to make sure we have a never- ending feed of input to this list? The answer is simple —

Ask for more!

Never stop. Being grateful for what you have makes you humble. But you should also value your needs. Desire for more from life is a natural human behaviour. The motivation to fulfil our desires from life keeps us going. Be grateful for the things that help you achieve your desires. Be grateful when you accomplish something. Because completing something means you can now start with another.

Have an attitude of gratitude, love what you have and ask for more.