More iCards (inspiration cards) here.
More iCards (inspiration cards) here.
We all have those moments when we feel low, unhappy or a bit depressed. Somebody said something that hurt. Someone didn’t notice your good work and you felt bad. Your actions didn’t produce the desired results, and you got depressed. The problem with such feelings is the negative cycle they create, so it’s important that you quickly reverse the emotions. There are many ways to do that, but the one that takes the least amount of time and effort is gratefulness.
In an earlier post, less stuff = more happiness, I shared how and why I started simplifying my life, five years ago, by reducing my possessions. Once I had done that, the challenge was to keep it that way and ensure that the old habits don’t creep back in.
My short shopping spree today made me realize how religiously I follow certain rules that have allowed me to keep my possessions to the minimum and continue to have a clutter-free life. These rules can be summarized as three simple strategies that anyone can follow. Simple, but not easy…
A piece from “Today is Your Best Day” by Roy Lessin:
It’s not your best day because you feel like it is, or because you prevent that it is. It is not your best day because everything is going perfectly, or because you are living in ideal circumstances. It is not your best day because you are in optimum health, or because everything is going you way.
Here are four reasons why today is your best day:
God doesn’t make bad days for your and good days for you. God makes each day fit perfectly into his plans for you.
[Photo of sunrise from one of the McLehose Trails in Hong Kong]
How different would our days (and therefore life) be if we noticed, acknowledged, enjoyed and were grateful for even half the things we take for granted every day? Would we be happier, more cheerful and have more enthusiasm? Would we complain less? You bet.
Right now, I am grateful for the long battery life on my mac, the comfortable sofa, the cushion on my lap absorbing the heat from the notebook, the lamp, the cool breeze from the window, the family sleeping quietly, the calm of the morning (4 AM), WordPress, Facebook, people who ask me when they don’t see a new post on my blog… a fridge full of stuff, mostly healthy!
Please share through comments (here or on my Facebook page) what else we usually take for granted, every day. Thanks for reading and sharing.
[Self photography during a beautiful drive in Surabaya yesterday, feeling the rain and breeze]
I wonder why can’t we greet each new day with the same cheer and optimism. Isn’t waking up each morning a reason to be grateful and happy? Isn’t every day a chance to celebrate life and everything it has to offer? If that seems a bit too extreme, then how about ‘happy new week’? Could we not be as excited about the challenges and surprises that each new week brings?
This year try new month resolutions at the start of every new month. I can tell you from experience, they work much better than new year resolutions.
Next time you get a ‘happy new day’ or a ‘happy new week’ greeting from me, you’ll know why 🙂
[Photo of sunrise this morning by Sara]
She is a 15-year old girl who goes to school in the morning and sells flowers at night. She lives with her aunt who gives her ten bouquets every night. And she can’t return home until she sells them all. It can take her anywhere from two to six hours to sell all ten bouquets, depending on the day of the week and time of the year. The price of USD1 per bouquet doesn’t make it any easier. She goes to the road-side restaurants and coffee shops around the Cathedral in HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City), where she can find foreigners who are usually better customers.
She considers herself fortunate to be be living in a city, to have an aunt who takes care of her, to have a job that pays for her food and school, to have customers who buy her bouquets.
Do you feel a little more fortunate, if not incredibly blessed? Please share your thoughts through comments.
[An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse including the worst forms of child labour in communities, schools and institutions. As reported by UNICEF]
Over 100 million people are homeless throughout the world, the majority of them women and dependent children. Overall, at least 600 million people live in shelters that are life threatening or health threatening in developing world cities. Every day, some 50,000 people die as a result of poor shelter, polluted water and inadequate sanitation. Some 70 million women and children live in homes where smoke from cooking fires damages their health. There are over 23 million refugees worldwide, and 27 million internally displaced people- within their own countries.
Please remember this, the next time you feel like complaining for lack of space. Another reason to be grateful.
[Photo taken in Bangkok yesterday]
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It was one of those days when I was able to notice most of the good things in life – big and small.
Waking up to a new day – alive and healthy! Running water, hot and cold! Nice clothes to wear! Fresh juice to drink! A job to go to! Beautiful weather – neither hot nor cold! Train station close to home! Train that’s always on time! My favorite corner seat! An hour of thinking and reading time! Nice office – with a sea view! The old cleaning lady who cleans with a passion and greets with enthusiasm! Clean pantry with filtered drinking water! Lots of work to do – mostly enjoyable! A Mac that’s always reliable – no virus, no spam, no hanging up! High-speed Internet access! An email from Hamza recommending another productivity software! Lots of people who trust me with their problems and impossible deadlines! An unexpected lunch meeting in a nice and quiet restaurant with the most divine tempura! New things to learn! Central air-conditioning to keep us cold, and a portable heater under the desks when it gets too cold! Lots of things to laugh about! Coming home to a loving family! Still being in love with the same person after almost 30 years! Kids (many) that we are proud of! Amazing home-cooked food for dinner…WOW!
What kind of a day do you think I had? Amazing, exciting, wonderful, of course! There were some problems for sure and a few challenging situations, but somehow they all looked small and insignificant! On any given day we all have more good things than bad things. But when we fail to notice and acknowledge them, even small problems and challenges look big and we end up having a lousy day! If our days make up our life, we can pretty much control the quality of our lives, can’t we?