We have a tendency to want more.
More time, more money, more opportunity.
I watched a documentary last week called Minimalism. The film is about two guys, Joshua and Ryan, travelling across the states inspiring people to live more meaningful lives. They interviewed a doctor who says we’re wired to become bored and dissatisfied, which is why so many of us are always hunting for a “new” to fill the void. We assume we’re missing something.
“New” can be shopping for clothes you don’t need. “New” can be buying out your cell phone contract just so you can be one of first to have Apple’s latest iPhone. “New” can be depending on someone else to make you happy.
These things are all fun exciting, except they don’t last. Give it a little time, and those new boots will scuff, one day the iPhone 8 will come out, and the honeymoon stage is fleeting. These things come from outside ourselves, and they come with a ticking clock.
It sounds cheesy and cliché, but happiness — a genuine feeling of contentment — is internal, it comes from within. It doesn’t need a job promotion, a Victoria’s Secret body, or a trip around the world (mind you, that would be the best thing — ever) to last.
All happiness needs to last is gratitude.
A little more than a year ago, a friend of mine wrote an essay about the power of manifesting gratitude. She has a gratitude journal — a notebook she writes in every day, acknowledging what she’s grateful for.
Growing up, my parents often referred to “the law of attraction” — think Thumper’s Golden Rule in Bambi — and how it applies to every area in life: your mind, body, career, relationships…the energy you put out eventually comes full circle.
The tricky part is manifesting it — appreciating the good in situations, even when it’s not so easy.
The connection between my friend’s essay and Bambi persuaded me to start my own gratitude journal. After asking Pinterest for guidance on how to start one, my first gratitude entry won’t dig deep. In fact, it’ll only be five words; a list of five things I’m grateful for. As time goes on, I’ll try to write based on some of the tips I read, like “breadth over depth, “acknowledge the negative too,” and “uncover gratitude in unexpected moments,” but for now I’ll start simple.
- I’m grateful for the unknown — I’m approaching another pivotal point of change in life. I have no idea where I’ll be a year from now, and I love it.
- I’m grateful for graduation — I’m three months away from earning my degree and college diploma.
- I’m grateful for unexpected friendships — One of my closest friends is someone I originally wrote off as too different from me. Opposites attract, I guess!
- I’m grateful for Winnipeg’s yoga community — I’m three weeks away from putting on a large-scale wellness fundraiser. It would never happen without the generosity of local yoga teachers and businesses.
- I’m grateful for choice — Which job should I take? Which apartment should I move into? Which city should I live in?
It is not happy people who are grateful, it is grateful people who are happy.