Author: Catherine Pulsifer
"Reflect on your present blessings of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes,
of which all men have some."
We all have been blessed in many ways.
One of the blessings that you have that
is often taken for granted is that you are alive. In fact, you will have
no reason to moan and complain
once you are dead.
If you made a list of all the things you could be thankful for, for the things
you think about at
the list would
undoubtedly be longer than your misfortunes.
Make A Move Forward
Accept whatever your misfortune is and move on. Sometimes what is
considered a misfortune may in fact be a blessing. We'll talk more
about that later.
There are some things over which you have no control, and to dwell
on them serves no useful purpose. Adopting the "poor me" attitude
gives no promise and offers no gain.
Rocks On The Road
Some people believe that they are owed a better life, or a better job or a bigger house. This kind of thinking puts you in a class of people who only spend their time wishing and not doing. Every one of us could simply sit around and complain about everything we don't have, or what we cannot do because we do not have the money to do these things. But, that will not serve any purpose except to create thoughts that keep us bound to have nothing or be nothing. No one succeeds without hardships, without work, without taking risks or without taking action.
One of the greatest misconceptions is that people who are successful are
lucky. Well, let's look a little closer at this. One of the first things to
realize is that most successful people didn't start off with a silver spoon in their
mouth. They didn't inherit fortunes that gave them a start nor did they walk
into a successful
business that had already been established by one of their
family members. I'm not saying that this hasn't happened; I'm saying that this
is not the success stories that are much more prevalent than inheriting
wealth or position.
Here are a few examples of those who succeeded on their own steam.
An inventor known for his many failures
long before his successes,
Thomas Edison was even told that he was "too stupid to learn anything"
by one of his teachers early on in life. Thanks Thomas for showing the
world how to succeed, and thank you for the light bulb you invented.
Walt Disney was reported to have been fired from the
Kansas City Star because of his lack of imagination and lack of good
Wow Walt, I guess you showed them a thing or two.
The Beatles, Soichiro Honda, Stephen King, Harland David Sanders
(Colonel Sanders), Elvis Presley, and J.K. Rowling just to name a few
all had to deal with rejection of one kind or another. But, today we all
recognize their manes. Were they just plain old lucky? Hardly.
Did they fight the good fight and never gave up? You bet they did.
Not An Issue At All
One thing that I have observed over and over again is a testament to hard
work displayed by those people who have immigrated with barely the
clothes on their back but have gone on to own their own homes and have
provided for their children so they can go on to university or college.
Sometimes, these are the very people who take those not so great jobs
to get a start, and oftentimes, these are the same people who crowded
several families into one house in order to have enough money to survive.
These are also the same people that you may now be renting a home from
or going to their stores to buy what you need.
It has been said that long time westerners are just too proud to take menial
jobs. They seem to think that they are privileged or too good to stoop
to such levels. Really? What they seem to forget is that hundreds
upon hundreds of people would gladly trade places with them to have
the opportunity to work, to live without starvation, to live in freedom, to
live in a democratic environment and to be free to move from one location
to the other without restrictions.
We do not have to start with money in our pocket in order to be successful.
It is much more important to start with the right attitude
Do Not Complain
A lot of the things we take for granted would be considered a blessing
by someone in less fortunate circumstances. Take our health care system,
for example. It is only a dream for millions of other people in the world,
yet it's something we take for granted. When you think about your life,
think first about the blessings you have. Don't focus on misfortunes,
for they are but a faint shadow.
And, know this. Maybe, just maybe one misfortune could lead to an
entire new beginning.
Take for example the person who loses their job because of a closure.
This closure may obviously present some initial difficulties such as paying
bills or a mortgage. But, on the other hand, maybe this misfortune is just
the blessing you've needed. How's that, you might ask. Well, it's your
opportunity to start afresh by taking or engaging in training that can give
you a much better job or a more secure career path. Sure, there are going
to be a few hurdles to overcome.
But, if you only see a path that decays in front of you instead of the
bridge just down the road, you will never see the beauty around you
or the sky filled with radiant blues, or a sunset that splashes colors across
the evening sky. If you look for doom and gloom, I guarantee you'll find it.
If you look for blessings, engage life fully in all its' ups and downs,
you'll find more blessings than troubles.
It Could Be Worse
And, remember that your circumstances could always be worse.
You could be living in Aleppo, Syria. You could be trapped amongst flying
bullets and dropping bombs. You could see your family home blown
apart and your loved ones hurt or killed. You could be scrounging for
scraps of food willing to eat anything that you can find.
Here's a simple method that anyone could employ to give one an idea
of blessings that you may just be ignoring. Shut your hydro off for a day
or two and see how you make out. You may find yourself going to the tap
for a cool drink of water only to remember that it takes electricity to run
your pump - electricity you no longer have. You go to the fridge to take
something out to cook for dinner when you realize that you can't cook
because you have an electric range. You go to the bathroom and try to
flush the toilet just as you remember that you have no water to flush it.
Do I need to keep going with more examples?
I can tell you first hand that you will soon count your blessings when
the electricity is restored.
Blessings are all around you. You may not consciously acknowledge
them but you will if they're no longer available. Blessings come from
family, friends, neighbours or even strangers when you need a little help
or a shoulder to cry on.
Take a few moments right now and think about all your blessings.
Better yet, right down every blessing you can think of. If you have a
spouse or a family, get them involved with you. Make your list as detailed
as possible. This is the list to which you will turn towards when you
or someone in your family starts to moan about how unfair life is.
Take out your list and have them read it out loud.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Above all, the best part of gratitude is that you do not even have to be grateful only for the blessings that you receive but you may as well be grateful for the struggles that you have faced and you are facing."
"When you have an attitude of being thankful, you never take anything you have for granted."
"Regardless of your situation, an attitude of thanksgiving will release a pleasant aroma leading to life."
Nathan D. Pietsch
"Tenacious people don't rely on luck, fate, or destiny for their success. And when conditions become difficult, they keep working."
John C. Maxwell
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