(Editor’s Note: This was originally posted in June 2012 and was subsequently picked up a few other places, but I thought it was fitting as a reminder for Thanksgiving here in the U.S.).
Let’s pause and look around us – and be grateful for everything that we do have. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own world: things that are driving us crazy, holding us back, or not turning out as we planned. But have you recently looked outside of your sphere (and your current woes), to reflect on what you have?
I’m in the business of turning negatives, challenges, questions, into amazing positives. Don’t have a job that brings in six-figures, I’ll help you land that. Not sure if you should stay in grad school or take a promotion at work, no problem. Can’t seem to break into the corporate world with your current set of resume materials, easy breezy fix. I listen to people’s problems and help them on their path to find a solution – and I love every moment. But are our problems really that bad?
After watching the first half of the Secret Millionaire, I was touched, inspired, and questioning my own world perspective. A little disclaimer – I love this show; I love how it highlights how different people live throughout the United States, that it attempts to show and share the reality of life for so many people that are not represented in media, that it reminds us of the impact that volunteering (and yes, money), can have to so many people. But as I was watching kids being taught how to landscape a cemetery so they can add that skill to their resume, I paused the show and literally stepped away from my TV.
When was the last time that you stepped out of your current life woes and reflected on the things you do have? I know that it has been too long when I was worrying this morning about how to bring in new clients while sitting at Starbucks with my venti iced coffee in my hand and my laptop computer on the table (not to mention all of the other gadgets in my purse). It’s not about things – but how amazing is it, that these issues are the ones that I’m lucky enough to worry about. I have a beautiful apartment, I don’t have to worry about my next meal, clothes, things galore, and so much more.
Our own life decisions and challenges are important – it’s not about how you compare to people who may be less or more fortunate. But at what point do we give our personal crises a break and realize that we are very lucky to be having those types of problems in the first place? When you put your decisions into the perspective of others, the problem doesn’t seem so big or overwhelming.
So I urge all of you to take a moment and reflect on how lucky you are to be struggling YOUR struggle. Even as difficult, challenging or overwhelming it may seem, there are so many others who are struggling for things/decisions/options that you have either overcome or accomplished. Remember that: you have accomplished! Each time you pay your rent check, buy groceries, get in your car, call someone on your cell phone – your hard work, dedication, determination, and perhaps luck, have helped you do that. Be grateful for what you have and figure out how to pay it forward.