To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have. Ken Keyes, Jr.
It is natural to compare and feel jealous and that is what makes us really human. The real problem though is not one of mere jealousy or comparisons but a problem of wanting to covet an others possession and / or feel hurt and upset that life has not been fair to us. In fact we spend a lot of time in trying to rationalize why someone who in our opinion does not deserve, is so richly blessed. This in effect is like mentally stating ‘it is ok that I don’t have it but it is very unfair that some else who does not deserve it has it’. More often than not the focus of our attention is on the material possessions that others have and which are simply not within our grasp.
Where many of us lose focus, is in not appreciating that we are blessed with so many gifts, talents and happiness almost of which we take for granted. The fact that we have a roof on our heads, a steady job or good business, a reasonable bank balance, a good family life and good health are all assumed to be our right and fair due. However if have some setbacks be it some relationships issues, health worries, financial burdens or simply stress we immediately correlate it to mean that we are unfortunate as compared to our neighbors, friends and relatives. In effect the outcome is frustration, hurt, acute anxiety which is coupled with envy, jealousy and negativity.
On the other hand if we changed our outlook and counted out blessings, we would suddenly realize that we are so much better of then those whom we envied. Happiness lies in counting ones blessings for then every day brings new surprises and wonders. The real benefit is that we stop envying others, do not make odious comparisons nor have unrealistic expectations for ourselves. The greatest benefit is in loving our life for what it is. The small niggles and occasional problems are seen in the right perspective that they are nothing compared to the bounty that we are enjoying. Do you really think a person with enormous ill gotten wealth would really enjoy a good night’s sleep? He would be more worried that his nefarious activities would be found out, he would be terrified that his wealth would be taken away by the law and he could paranoid that his respect, clout and status would be trampled over if he is ever found guilty or jailed. If you enjoy a good night’s sleep you can consider yourself as one of the really blessed people in the world.
By focusing on what we have, we can really make use of our talents and abilities and improve ourselves academically, economically, socially, psychologically and professionally. We would be more pragmatic in our outlook and actually enjoy seeing another person grow and prosper. When we reach that stage in life, we can look back with a sense of pride and happiness that we have actually made good use of all that we have been showered with. We would accept our problems with a smile for we know that they are nothing compared to what we posses. By focusing on what we have we make new discoveries about our hidden abilities, latent talent and deep resources like empathy, understanding and affection. We then begin to share all that we have and make the profound realization that life gives to us much more than what we give out.
Remember: “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” Charles Dickens
- For one day attempt to do as many tasks as possible with the help of your weaker hand. Perhaps you will make a sudden discovery of how much you take your stronger hand for granted.
- Make a list of 5-7 special abilities/ gifts/ blessings that you feel you have got. Ask if you are really using those talents. Make an action plan to use the talents that you have not used or not using effectively. Eg. You believe you are a good organizer. However you have never been involved in any major work that requires good organization. Work out where you will volunteer to offer your services.
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