Few weeks ago I had a discussion with my mentor and it made me realize that one’s mindset can change a situation.
More specifically: as an expat, in over a year, I wasn’t able to find a job that would make me as happy as the previous job (which I gave it up in order to move in my boyfriend’s home country).
It’s not that I do not have everything that I need and a bit extra, but I was focusing on me not having a job so much that I started to feel discouraged, disappointed and sad.
While having a conversation about this with my mentor, God bless her soul, she shifted my focus from what I do not have to what I have. And suddenly, I became wealthier.
So I was thinking…
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of ungratefulness. It’s so easy to constantly complain and feel pity for yourself. There’s always “not enough”- not enough money, not enough friends, not enough vacations and the vacations we do have are not far enough or long enough. The houses we live in are not big enough, our job is not exciting enough, our children are not good enough (and all this while our friend’s and neighbor's house, job and children are obviously better).
While I agree that life is hard sometimes, joining the vicious circle of complaint and ungratefulness won’t help you.
Yes, there is a vicious circle: you point out all the things that you do not have, therefore, you feel sad, disappointed, angry and you might even end up saying that you failed, as a human being. Therefore, you sink into a pool of self pity, and negative thoughts wash your brain. To add to all of these, you feel down, your motivation to do something drops and your ability to adapt to the situation and get out of it weakens.
Can you see how this is not the dance you want to dance?
But what’s to be done?
Count your blessing for they are many
Be grateful! Of course that things can be better- usually, there’s always something better.
Still, while you do not have it all, you do have something.
Story time: Few days ago I felt from the bike (yeap, I know…) while going to work (I work about 3 days per week as a housekeeper). And at work we host the participants for a para archery competition. Suddenly, I was happy that I was able to fall from the bike... some can't even ride a bike even if they want to.
Gratitude doesn’t mean that you will always be in a state of content with everything you have and give up chasing your dreams and wanting more. No.
Gratitude has its own circle- a circle of empowerment which gives birth to the abundance mindset. By being able to acknowledge what is that you want more of while being aware of all the things you already have, you experience gratitude, hope for a better future and faith that once you start working towards your goal you will learn, you will evolve and have more of what you now lack.
Having an attitude of gratitude before you carry on your endeavors means that you start your journey toward a better future from a place of hope and faith- faith in yourself, in the world around you. You realize that until this moment in your life you were able to bring to life so many goals, you were supported by your peers and sometimes, you even received more than you expected. Therefore, you have proof that you are capable of doing more and the world is not a terrible place of scarcity and a constant competition.
5 steps towards an abundance mindset
1- be grateful for all the basic things you have: food, shelter, people who are by your side, good health.
2- count your blessings from time to time. Make sure you pay attention and are thankful when you receive more that you asked for.
3- be generous- if you have to give 100 Eur to charity, give them, but if you have only a bottle of water to give it to a thirsty homeless man, it's good enough, too.
4- having less demands will bring you more. Remember that no own owes you anything- so, receive everything with gratefulness and enjoy every gift you get.
5- save but also splurge- especially when it comes about money, many of us (and I was guilty of this, too), save so much and are so caught up in this, that sometimes we forget why do we save and feel like, after so much effort, at the end of the day we have nothing to enjoy. So, treat yourself from time to time.
Back to basics: food, shelter and a tribe to support you
Being grateful requires mindfulness- your body is not a given, the food on your table is not a solemn promise, the roof on top of your head is not your to keep no matter what. And these are only the basics. Be grateful for all the things you are capable of doing- starting from being able to go to the toilet by yourself to thinking and solving complex problems. Show gratitude for the food in your fridge and the house you live in. Pay your respect to all the people around you who taught you well and had a helping hand to give. Because all of these- can be gone in the blink of the eye- after all, you do not get to decide if you will even wake up tomorrow.
This is what gratefulness is- to humble yourself and slow down, acknowledge how many things you actually have, how many times circumstances were in your favor and when you thought you were lost, you actually found yourself.
Gratefulness gives you hope and faith- when you look at the future having faith in yourself and in your life, hoping for a better future and having a goal to pursue, the future becomes exciting, abundant and fulfilling.
The Gratefulness journal is here!!!
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