My computer died the other day. Completely kaput. Funny how I can use something everyday and not really notice how much a part of my life it had become until it was no longer there.
You ever notice that?
How something can be essential in your life and yet you only truly appreciate it when its gone?
One of the most inspiring stories I have ever heard was regarding a woman who lost her legs in a bomb attack on the London Underground. Years later she was interviewed and what struck me was her attitude. I can’t find the interview so I can’t directly quote what she had to say, but essentially she said the day she lost her legs was the day her life started.
You see before that day she was in survival mode, just getting by - alive but not really Living. A cycle of wake, work, sleep, repeat. Her overwhelming response when she came to in the hospital was one of gratitude for being given a chance to live. Her focus was not on the legs that she had lost but the fact that she was still alive.
The bomb was her wake up call - it shifted her attention from merely surviving to truly living. It shifted her focus from what she didn’t have to what she did have. It showed her she didn't have any time to take anything for granted, that life itself is an incredible gift.
I see so many people who don’t realise how truly rich they are. They have so much, and yet they don't realise it simply because they take big chunks of their life for granted.
I had an ear infection the other day meaning I had no balance. Even the act of sitting up in bed and getting to the bathroom was a major achievement. As the infection left, how sweet was it to walk freely? Very.
I can’t tell you how powerful the simple act of being grateful is. Going out of your way to be thankful transforms your attitude to life. The simple fact that you are alive becomes a source of richness and wonder.
If you decide to be actively grateful, even for the small things, the following will happen:
You will become very present
Your life will come truly alive. It will become a continuing source of satisfaction.
Your relationships will grow and become deeper - simply because you are nurturing them.
You will complain less and less.
You will be less able to stay self absorbed, in worry or guilt or doubt.
You will realise how the world transforms according to your attitude.
You will realise that your happiness is your choice.
You will become someone who others want to be around. Your happiness will inspire others to be happy.
There’s probably a hundred more, but try it, live it for yourself.
You want more from life? Start by being grateful.