“Someone, somewhere is happy with less than what you have.”
It sounds very noble, doesn’t it? To practice Gratitude. It has that wonderful aura of something ancient and mystical. Like a magical sprite in a fairy tale that flits hither and thither, turning darkness into light, pain to joy, sorrow to happiness. In fact, it’s been touted as such a cure-all for difficult times and misfortune that it’s becoming somewhat of a joke. A parody. Just another ‘new age fad’, like hot yoga, or positive thinking. Or coconut oil.
WE DESPERATELY WANT TO BELIEVE THEM
And I confess, I used to think the same. I thought, ‘yeah, right – here’s the next ‘secret to life’ that won’t actually make any damn difference.’ I dismissed Gratitude as a contrived way of looking at life. A ‘comfort blanket’ to pull out of the bag when things weren’t going so perky. A kind of band-aid for a bad day. Something for kids, not adults. What to believe? Skeptical, maybe. Cynical even. But there is so much stuff out there. So many things we’re told are the answer to all our problems and pains. And we desperately want to believe them.
SOME GREAT THINGS AND SOME BAD THINGS
To believe all we need to do is take the latest, greatest miracle cure for all our ills. Then magically we’ll be transported to a Disneyesque World where the only problem is how to find the time to count all our limitless blessings. Pah! Humbug even! Do you know what mostly happens? Not fairy tales, Disney or not. But Life. Daily life. And in life things happen. Some great things. And some bad things. some angels and also some devils, it’s all about the choices we make. But on the whole, daily life consists of you and me trundling along with our daily routine.
I TRIED TO ELIMINATE BAD DAYS
No massive ups or downs, no great dramas. Or celebrations. Perhaps the truth is daily life is rather, well, dull. And it’s hard to be grateful for ‘DULL’. It’s natural to want more than that. To imagine how life could be. To start looking at what others have got, and wanting that. To look past Gratitude and keep searching, just like I did. But there was one small problem with all my skepticism and doubt about Gratitude. I was wrong. But first, let me confess. You see, I went all out to try and eliminate those ‘DULL days’.
HAPPINESS IS AN A FOR EFFORT
To switch the ratio of ordinary days to crazy exciting ones and yet still pay the bills, file my tax returns on time and get to do “ordinary” as well. It was a good plan on paper. Or in a movie perhaps. But in real life? That’s not how life works. Not being a fictional movie character my daily life simply became more stress than stimulation, more hassle than happiness. A for effort – D minus for results! So I switched focus. I CHOSE to make the so-called ‘dull days’ my happiest. After all, the DULL, every day, is what life is really made of.
Do you share my sentiments?