Gram’s Wisdom 7
One of the most important lessons Gram taught me was to appreciate the small. The tiny wins, the little casual conversations, the minute unremarked events, the small kindnesses. She said they were bits of gold and silver that fill out the majority of time between larger happenings. It’s when you buy a new house. Sure, you remember that event, but what you appreciate are the years of small things remembered as you raised your children in that new, now old home.
Gram also said we should set an example of what it is to be appreciative for others to see. How the people in our lives not our possessions are most important. That what you appreciate should become entries in your gratitude journal so that you don’t forget how fortunate you are
Be the example for those around you
If you could help others find appreciation for all the small aspects of life, you make life better for everyone associated with you. People can forget that life has much to offer. They become bitter over time. It happens to many people, and they become unpleasant to be with for any length of time.
You don’t have to go overboard, but frequently mention how you enjoy your life giving them reasons why. Relate experiences about your weekend to your friends or colleagues and explain why you felt appreciative of those experiences.
Stay as positive as you can, even if the bitter people are negative. That is not easy as negative people can sour the moods of the people around them. But, by keeping a positive outlook, they will have a difficult time justifying their negative behavior.
Sometimes, bitter people just need to talk to someone. They haven’t been able to get their problems off their chest. These problems often build, which is why they become bitter. They feel as though no one is listening and no one cares about them. It’s not necessary to advise them, and this can be the wrong tactic to use. Simply let them talk. It can make a world of difference.
Get them talking about hobbies, sports, etc. Even if they aren’t active in these events, ask about their past experiences. When they start talking it may reignite a spark. That can be a great starting point in helping them get through their issues.
Some people will never break down their barriers, and that is unfortunate. They have stopped living their lives, and they are unappreciated of any aspect of it. Attempting to help them through their situations can bring some people around. If you can change one person’s life for the better, you are doing something good. Part of their change is usually to become more pleasant to be around.
People are more important than possessions
You spend a good portion of your time protecting your possessions. Certainly, you may appreciate them, but the problem is, you may be putting too much emphasis on them. Consider that when you depart from this world, those possessions are no longer yours.
Even if you inherited them from the day you were born, somewhere along your lineage, someone didn’t have possession of them. They were acquired during the short duration of your ancestors. You can show your appreciation of someone by gifting them with one your possessions that they have long admired.
Suppose you somehow lost some material item you valued. Perhaps you misplaced it, or it was stolen. Can you replace the item? It is understandable that it’s inconvenient to have to buy something that you already possessed. However, it’s not the end of the world.
The relationships you form are much more important than the items you possess. Loss of a family member who passes on cannot be replaced. You should hold this form of possession as being much more valuable. However, many people take this for granted until it’s too late. You don’t get back the time you spend (or don’t spend) with them.
There are other ways to lose family members. If you are constantly working and not spending time with your family, they feel unappreciated and you will alienate them. Your spouse may decide to move on, and your kids may be resentful after a while.
If you are so focused on obtaining material possessions, you risk losing friendships as well. Many of these friendships took a long time to develop. They can be destroyed quickly by your prioritizing of your possessions.
Money does help make your life easier. There’s no doubt about it. It’s just that you cannot make it your entire purpose. If you find you are too focused on obtaining money and possessions, take a step back and determine what your family and friends mean to you. Learn to appreciate them for they are priceless.
Show your appreciation by being grateful
You may forget the little things you appreciate in your life. However, if you have them in plain sight, it can help you reinforce your gratefulness. Therefore, why not write them down, and keep them close to you?
Think of all the things you appreciate and start listing them. What makes you feel you have a fortunate life? If, you get stuck, think about the people in your life. Who makes you happy? List out the aspects of what those people do to make you happy. If you love the way your spouse smiles at you, write that down.
Your entry can be something simple, such as I am grateful for the time to read the newspaper on the train. The point is, no item is too small to add to the journal. Perhaps, you love the jokes that the coffee person tells you when you get your cup of coffee and your muffin. That goes on the list, too.
Your list should never be complete as you will find new experiences and people to add to it. Each day, there is potential for people to make a small difference in your life. But, remember that you make differences in other peoples’ lives as well. Try to make those experiences positive.
Your gratitude journal can be a paper notebook, or you can store it electronically. How you store it is your choice, but you want it to be accessible. Commit to reading it and update it regularly. Add to it as you find more things that you appreciate in your life.
Maintaining your journal could be the basis for a book that you write about appreciating your life. By publishing your list, you may help others do the same. When they read your ideas, they may become inspired to appreciate what they have in their life and be grateful. Their list will not likely be the same as yours, but people are different so it’s only natural their list would be different.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. I would appreciate it very much if you would share it with your friends.