During one of those weekend hangouts, I bumped into one of my old friends. Thinning hair line, and face with stubble and sideburns, dressed in pair of distressed jeans and casual white tee which said “YOLO” he came with a victorious smile that one gets after ridiculously mocking someone with all the sarcasm that one has within his heart.
The next thirty minutes were the most boring thirty minutes. Our friend is from the upper middle class background with a doting life partner & very liberal mother who rarely complains. Inspite of all this, he has become a hamster, caught in the spinning wheel with no direction at the end of the day. One LinkedIn post is enough to rattle his entire mental peace. All promotions around him are nothing but “UNDUE, UNFAIR”, except the one which he has earned after bragging about it endlessly with all of us.
But, if you compare his life with the majority of people living in the country battling the aftermath of pandemic, he is already in the creamy layer. I wonder whether our friend has ever had the time to stop, pause and reflect upon this aspect of his life whilst he is busy complaining, mocking and drinking himself to bed on most of the days.
Not just him, I have seen several people who often live their life sleep walking and not paying close attention to those around them until it’s too late to get up and revive relationships. Such is the cost of not showing gratitude to people or things around you. It got me into wondering what can one do to cultivate appreciation in everyday life. Afterall, we all learn to understand the essence of gratitude gradually when we get to experience different situations in life.
Everyday we get around 60,000+ thoughts in our head. It is difficult to put up an ever smiling face and be the ideal poster boy/girl that self help authors paint in their books. But with daily training, one can unlearn negative thinking patterns and reflect on positive things emerging out of every situation.
Noting mental chatter everyday is very helpful in understanding your mind better. Over the last one year, I have noticed that when you take time to write down things that bother you, or thoughts that constantly haunt you, you begin to get into the actual root cause of the issue instead of dodging it.
If someone is good to you, make sure you end up appreciating them instead of pushing it to some other day. Funerals are often filled with regrets from people who never appreciated the dead when they were alive. Never park your appreciative words for another day. Be generous and be kind.
Due to today’s fast paced social media worthy life, one hardly takes time to appreciate the little things that we usually take for granted. Like the kind house owner, who shares savories with you without even expecting a thanks from you…. The next door neighbour who agrees to drop your kid to school on their way to office or your partner who diligently picks up soiled laundry everyday and helps you have clean clothes in your wardrobe.
If there is one thing that the world has understood by the sudden reset by the once in a century pandemic is that, nothing is permanent. The jobs which you thought are 100% secured might not be there the next day. We lost so many folks due to pandemic or due to a mental breakdown.
The inflation and broken demand supply chain dragged farmers, small and medium scale business owners and others penniless. There are still more than 50 countries struggling with chronic shortage of food.
So if you have a loving family, a job which can cover your basics, and savings that can sustain you for another six months, then you are already LUCKY by many standards.
Expressing a sense of gratitude or appreciation gives you a clear sense of ground reality but also helps your moral compass stay in the right direction. It helps one navigate tough situation. It acts as a guiding light to everyone around you. People who are happy attract more happy people. The star dust rubs off everyone who comes in touch with them.
Complaining does not solve anything. Might as well, start appreciating what you got in your hands, than keep a tab on all the regrets and situations that are barely under your control.