Are you the type of person that looks on the bright side? Do you find it easy to be grateful?
I know people like that. People who always put a positive spin on things. People who can look into a shit storm and have something good to say.
I aspire to be that person all the time.
I am that person some of the time, maybe even most of the time, but not all the time. I want to feel thankful all the time. I want to be a glass half full person, all the time.
I have found that when I’m having a hard time accessing gratitude, it’s usually due to one of these reasons:
- Living in the past: Wanting or wishing for things to be how they used to be.
- Living in the future: Being preoccupied with what may happen instead of living in and appreciating the moment.
- Comparisons: Looking at what others are doing; looking at what others have.
- Having a negative outlook: Seeing the glass half empty.
- Expectations: Having certain expectations of how things should turn out; how people should act.
- Living in absolutes: Having hard and fast rules about things. Frequently using the words should, must, always, never.
- Being egocentric. One of the best ways to develop a heart of gratitude is to reach out and help others.
- Not making it a point to count blessings.
When I am in the ocean, I am really good at seeing the positives; better than when I’m on land.
Surfing has taught me how to be grateful. Being able to do a sport I love, in nature, brings out the gratitude in me.
Over the course of 12 years surfing, I have had my share of bad conditions. Small waves/big scary waves/crazy wind/ strong currents/ shark warnings/crowded lineups.
I’ve been hurt by my board and I’ve been stung, several times, by stingrays.
In surfing, everyday is different, I never know what I am going to get.
Some days are so amazing, I become greedy and want every day to be just like that day.
But, they aren’t. They can’t be. Life’s not like that.
There are days when I pull up to the beach expecting shoulder-high glassy waves and I see blown out slop.
Some days, I want to have perfect little peelers with few people to compete with, but get overhead waves with a punch and 52 of my closest friends.
There are days I hope for sunshine, but get gloom or fog.
But, as in all things, the bad times are what make the good ones all the sweeter.
If we never had bad days, we’d never appreciate the good ones.
And here’s the sweet juicy cherry on top, even a shitty day surfing is still a pretty good day.
It’s the same in life.
Things don’t always go as planned. Stuff happens we don’t expect. We get disappointed. Sometimes we even get hurt (hopefully not too bad.)
But, we are still walking, breathing, and hopefully smiling. It’s still a pretty good day.
Unfortunately, there will be times when things will happen that drop us to our knees.
But on a whole, this is still a good life.
If we’re feeling ungrateful, it’s time for a reality check. Time to look at the list above and see what is keeping us from our blessings. Blessings that are all around us. We just need to take the time and make the mental shift to notice them.
And realizing, the more we show gratitude, the more we have to be grateful for.
Crazy how that works.
What are you grateful for?