Today I was watching my favorite TV preacher, Joel Osteen, and he gave such an inspirational message for me that I really thought that everyone could benefit from such a message. It was all about having the "Right Perspective" in life.
Sometimes it becomes a little too easy for us as people to focus on the obstacles or challenges we may be facing or the things in life that we don't have. It can be easy to take for granted what we do have like our family, friends, job, opportunity, our health. We really need to start practicing to appreciate the gift of today. The reason we don't is because our perspective is off. If you were to put two people in the same situation or the same circumstances - one would be just getting through by enduring but another would be enjoying. The only difference between the two people is perspective. It's all in how they choose to see the situation.
Don't let the obstacles of today take away your bliss. Don't let the focus on the things you don't have to take away your joy. It's truly a choice in perspective. The foundation for a happy life is having a grateful spirit. The seeds of discouragement can not take root in a grateful heart. If you are feeling discouraged, or not happy with what is going on in life the solution is to start feeling grateful and to focus on the things that you do have - not what you don't have. Even if it's a lost job, lost relationship, ill health, etc. - it's all a matter of perspective.
There was a story about a man who complained about not having any shoes til he met a man that didn't have any feet. After that, his perspective changed. He decided that maybe it wasn't so bad not to have shoes. The truth of the matter is that somebody would LOVE to have your life! You have a roof over your head, you have food to eat, you have a job, you have your health, you have AC in your home, you have more than so many others! Be thankful for what you do have. Because so many others have less than you.
If you need to spark a grateful spirit - make a list of at least a dozen things that you are grateful for and put it somewhere you will look at it several times a day. When did something work out for you when you were sure it would not, when were you at the right place at the right time, when were you protected from an accident or bad situation, do you have healthy children, the ability to see or hear or think or move. When you have the right perspective, you release a sense of faith and a knowing that everything will work out.
If your perspective is off and you need to get an enthusiasm back for life - even amongst the mundane life routines - being thankful will spark a new happiness. It's all in your mind. Your life will follow your thoughts. Life is precious and fragile - it can easily be gone in a blink of an eye. Let's not waste any part of this gift of today or any other day being negative. When the obstacles come, re-read your list and shift your focus back to being grateful.
I don't HAVE to go to work - I GET to go to work. I don't HAVE to take care of these kids - I GET to take care of these kids. When tough times arrive and linger - remember this too shall pass. Atleast I am still alive. If you have your health, you have something that some people would pay billions of dollars for. Appreciate the simple things. I can dress myself, I can feed myself, I can see, taste, smell, touch. I can walk, I can work, I can breathe.
If you are having trouble sleeping - remember those who don't even have a bed.
If you are stuck in traffic - remember those who don't have a car.
If you are having a bad day at the office - remember those who don't have a job.
If your hair is turning gray - appreciate that you have hair. :)
If you are having a difficult time finding things to appreciate - think about the following:
1 million people per week die - you are still alive.
If you have a roof over your head - you are better off than 75% of the world's population.
If you have $15 - you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthiest people.
I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For the taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed. For the clothes that fit a little to snug becuase it means I have enough to eat. For my shadow who watches me at work because it means that I am out in the sunshine. For the lawn that needs mowing, the windows that need cleaning, the gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home. For all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech. For the space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means that I am capable of walking. For the huge heating bill because it means I am warm. For the lady behind me in church, who sings off key, because it means that I can hear. For the piles of laundry and ironing because it means that I have clothes to wear. For the aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive. For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm alive.
It's all a matter of perspective - all in how we choose to see our experience, our life. How will you choose to see your day today? Hopefully with the right perspective. We all have something to be thankful for even amidst difficult times.
In love and kindness,