We all have demons. That’s just a fact of life. Abusive people in our past, our own mistakes, the cruel intentions of others and so many other things that just want to drag us down. The world at large would like to see us become cold and jaded because that’s the easy path and it’s the path they took. I’d rather see a world in which we are warm, kind and grateful because it makes everyone’s life better, yours, mine and the lives of those that see that example.
Allow me to tell you a couple of stories to clarify why warmth and gratitude is better than being jaded and cold.
The first guy, had a background with a family he was always at odds with. They had different beliefs, different perspectives, and just couldn’t get along. His mother left when he was young, he blamed himself, hated himself for the fact his family was incomplete and the only reason he could see for any problems in life was that he just wasn’t good enough. Not good enough to get along with his family, not good enough to maintain friendships consistently, he really just never felt good enough. He grew up cold, and jaded. He trusted no one. He was more than willing to manipulate those around him just because he was bored, and like all people that are miserable, believed that others should be miserable too.
The second guy, had an identical background. The difference was that he learned to view things from a different perspective. Instead of being hurt, offended, or jaded, he learned to be grateful for what he had gone through. He realized that through his experiences, he’d gained a wealth of knowledge, and a greater capacity for empathy than most people. It lead to him helping friends through their pain, helping them relate to their problems and realize there are other people fighting through things too (which can be hard to see in the midst of your issues). He helped other people see the good in themselves even while he was learning to love his own flaws, and work through his own problems.
Now, I know both of these stories because they’re me at different times in my life. When I focused on nothing but my anger, and my pain, those were the things I amplified in my life. I was willing to hurt other people and lash out because that’s what I focused on. I’ve learned though, through the examples of loving friends, mentors, and even strangers, that when you focus on the good in life that is what you amplify. Happiness isn’t measured by what you do and do not have, happiness is measure in how much appreciate what is in your life.
I have yet to meet an unhappy person that was grateful for their position and what the future could hold for them, they were too busy being focused on what they didn’t have and what they felt entitled to. On the flip side, I’ve never met a happy person that wasn’t grateful for those around them and what they’ve been given or worked to earn. It doesn’t have to start big, just start picking the little things and feel grateful for them. Friends that reach out to you after a long silence, the guy down the street waving good morning, the fact the barista was nice when handing you your morning coffee. As you start adding those things up, as you start being grateful for the little things, you’ll realize you’re undergoing a change in perspective. The big things seem easier to be grateful for, your challenges seem less like a burden and more like an opportunity to grow.
We will always have hard times, but that doesn’t mean we have to be hard to get through them. It’s easier, because you care less, because you give less, but you will also receive less. If you live a life of kindness and gratitude, I promise you won’t just be happier, you’ll see the people around you become happier and kinder as well. People are energy sponges, we play off what other people put out, so be one of the people promoting the growth and happiness of those around you and watch your life change for the better.