Embrace your critics. Love your enemies. Be grateful for the challenges life throws at you. Every mistake is a new lesson to learn. We hear it daily. Every other website is trying to instill an attitude of gratitude in us. Facebook are chock-full of gratitude-related quotes, videos, and posts. People click “Like” mostly because others do it.
When I asked a few friends why they liked my “gratitude” quote on FB, their answers astonished me. “Gratitude is a thing now.” What? A thing? Are you sure? Gratitude is not a thing, guys; it is a state of your mind and soul. It is something that helps us during the rough times. It is something that helps us find inner happiness.
Gratitude is present in all aspects of our lives and I know it from my personal experience. Here are five biggest gratitude-focused life lessons I learned the hard way.
1. Taking 100% responsibility for my life is a critical step
I was guilty of playing a blame game. Often. Always. I blamed my parents, my siblings, my friends, my bosses, and anyone who could have affected my life. All blame was just a waste of time and an excuse to avoid responsibilities. I know I’m the only one who can be in charge of my life. It is up to me – no one else.
2. Giving people another shot is a wonderful feeling
I’m one of those girls whom people call “complicated” or “hard to deal with,” without even ever knowing me. But the more time they spend with me, the faster they start calling me “the best friend.” That’s great, however, the problem is I have never allowed myself to be friends with those who have once looked down on me. Those who have no faith in me.
“Complicated” girls are actually easy to deal with when you at least try to understand them. When you don’t judge them. It is so stupid to tell that someone is “complicated,” “boring,” “shy,” or “naughty” after a 5-minute talk. Right? No wonder, people that hurt us are always on our blacklists.
One situation in my life, though, made me realize that giving a second chance is an act of gratitude. The person I refused to give that chance two years ago helped me in the most unexpected way, without asking for anything in return. All she said was, “You know, I made a mistake when I judged you. I acknowledged it. I apologized. But you turned your back on me.”
Yea, I did. We all make mistakes. I learned my lesson and today I’m willing to give even the fourth chance to those who really deserves it. I’m grateful to them for the things they taught me. Sure, they sucked the soul out of me. They made me cry. But they also made me a much stronger and better person than I was before.
I have so many fears that I can’t even count them. Probably ten people don’t have so many as I do. Why? Because I have been trying to escape them for years until the time I realized I gave my fears too much control over my life. Chasing a fear is scary yet it is the only way to change life, gain new experiences, cherish happiness, and cultivate a gratitude attitude. I’m thankful to myself for the ability to find that source of power that has already helped me fight so many fears.
4. An open mind is like an open door
I get it; the world is cruel. Still, I focus on the positive part of it. There is always a black or white line. If I stick to a black one, I will hang a dark curtain that will hide my mind and stay closed to self-improvement. If I choose a white line, I will keep my mind open to new knowledge, new changes, new challenges, and new experiences.
I will enhance my life and look inside myself to find the answers to the most important questions. I do choose to open my mind and recommend you to do the same. It is up to you whether to make the world black or white.
5. Papers kill relationships
I must confess, I was totally obsessed with money. I lived my life like a hamster on a wheel, going around in a constant cycle, trying to earn more money and buy my so much needed “happiness.” Just like a little creature in a cage, I was going nowhere in my life. I denied my potential. I denied my own truth.
No matter how much I earned, I was never satisfied. I wanted more and more and that brought so much tension and stress in my life. I lost so many friends and boyfriends because I thought they prevented me from achieving my financial goal.
What I learned the hard way is that money is nothing more than just a piece of paper. I don’t need to have a lot to be happy. In fact, it costs $0.00 to be happy. I’m not rich and don’t have designer brands and expensive cars. However, I’m grateful for literally everything and everyone I have in my life. Although it sounds like a cliche, we often forget about it.
When you are not grateful for your life, you limit your ability to fully focus on your inner freedom, happiness, and potential. Transform your mind today and you will see enormous progress in all areas of your life tomorrow. What are your gratitude-focused lessons that you learned the hard way?