“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve always been the happiest “unhappy” person you’ll ever meet.
Like a clown, I’d joke around, laugh a lot, and put on a big show to hide the negative emotions that had been feeding on my soul for years. Whenever someone would ask me about the most important thing in the world, my answer would always be “happiness.” Naturally, we always crave what we do not have.
To support my answer, I’d reference the famous John Lennon quote, “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
My best friend once told me, “I’ve never seen you happy and, to be honest, you’ve always been depressed.” It hurt like hell. I came back home that night even more depressed and started contemplating on the events of my life, my character, my inner-self, and my approach.
What hurt me the most was the fact that she was right. The problem was, I didn’t know what happiness meant, where to find it, how to start, or where to go from there. I had tried in the past to buy stuff, go places, meet new friends, find nice jobs, and be in relationships, but to no avail; none of those made me truly happy.
Pleasure lasts for fleeting moments, and once everyone is gone, I go back to zero. It’s like taking Tylenol for headaches without trying to find the reason behind the pain. I wanted this dilemma to be over as soon as possible because I lost half of my life being miserable.
To be honest, if someone had come up to me years ago and told me that happiness is within everyone’s reach, I would have laughed out of cynicism. I would have said that happiness is just a pursuit and there is no human being out there who can be truly content.
I’ve always hid my misery behind a dangerous mask we call “sarcasm.” However, being cynical and sarcastic were not the reason for my misery; only by-products.
The fact that I have always been ungrateful and unable to enjoy what I have was causing all that pain.
I started repeating a mantra that has turned into the art of practicing gratitude. Well, it turned out to be the first step toward the long-lost treasure we call happiness.
At first, I thought I had nothing to be grateful for because, like so many people, I disregarded the little joys in life, so I made a list and I was surprised to find out that I have a ton to be grateful for.
Here’s my list that might inspire you to write your own. You might not have some of the things that are on my mine and vice versa, but in a world of abundance, we all have something.
8. Beauty in all shapes and forms
9. Books and the ability to read
11. Food—especially avocado
12. The ability to move around
14. Water (showers are really underrated)
15. The sun
17. Clothes and shoes
19. Flowers and plants
20. Coffee—and coffee buddies
26. Typing fast
31. Medicine and doctors
35. Movies, documentaries, series, and plays
36. Cellphones (a blessing that can turn into a curse in no time)
39. Electricity, the Internet, and technology
45. Difficult people
Each and every single one of us is responsible for their own paradise on Earth. When asked about this, Johnny Cash simply replied, “This morning, coffee with her.” Cash found his safe haven in the simplest and purest acts ever, having morning coffee with his beloved, June. Today, where is your paradise on Earth?