Let’s start with a simple exercise that I just concluded with a lady.
Pick a pen and paper. Draw a vertical line across the paper and number each side from one to 20.
Now, write on top of the left column: “20 Things I Don’t Like About My Life.”
Title the right column: “20 Things I Like About My Life.”
Okay. I want you to first complete the left column by listing 20 things you don’t like about your life.
Great! Do the same thing for the 20 things you like about your life.
Now sit back and let’s have a quick chat.
The lady I referred to above is still with me as I write (Well, don’t ask me who she is).
She came here about 90 minutes ago with loads of complaints and almost everything I said to her fell into deaf ears. So this exercise came to mind and she became interested.
Guess what, she completed the first part of the exercise within five minutes.
It took her almost 30 minutes to come up with eight things she likes about her life. Just eight and she gave up.
How long did it take you to come up with your own list of 20 things you don’t like?
And how long has it taken you to complete the other part – those things you like about your life?
I can almost bet that it took you a longer time to complete the “good part.”
This is so for most people for three reasons:
- We often focus attention on those things that are not working well in our life than we do for those great things happening to us;
- Many people don’t value those little things that play major roles in their life so they consider them to be trivial and fail to show gratitude for them; and
- We have little or no knowledge of what simple gratitude can do in our life.
My lady “candidate” listed the following as part of what she likes about her life:
- I have a personal car;
- I have about N2m in my bank account;
- My dad is rich;
- I’m a graduate.
But, as I said, she couldn’t go beyond eight items!
So I sat her down for a little lecture.
Those things we consider to be trivial actually matter. If only we could give them due recognition and show gratitude for them, we would realize that they do matter and can actually change our point of view of life. We will begin to relate with people better and appreciate whatever we already have the more. Our complaints will become lesser, and our criticism of others will reduce, and we will show more love.
Following the short lecture given to my lady here, she has become more enlightened and, you may not believe it, she now has 30 things she’s so grateful – things she likes about her life. Her lists now include the following, among others:
- I like the fact that I have a good job;
- I like the fact that my environment is peaceful;
- I’m happy for the good health I have;
- I’m happy that I have good siblings and a loving boyfriend;
- I like the fact that my friends are great people;
- I like the good weather we have here;
- I thank God that He’s always with me;
I watched her closely as she wrote those words down. I could sense the happiness on her face and the joy flowing in her heart.
That was it. The message sank, the attitude changed, and I’m sure she now has a new habit – the habit of seeing the good side of her life instead of concentrating on negativity.
That’s what we should all do daily. We should always count our blessings.