I used to count what I don’t have in life. To some extend, I still count what I don’t have but instead of don’t have, it is yet to have. I used to envy everyone who have what I don’t have such as a car, house, child, qualification etc. Even though I knew that I am on my way to achieve what I wanted to achieve, I was living in a state looking for more to prove myself.
One day a friend said ‘instead of telling me what you don’t have, can you tell me what you already have?’ I was surprised and frustrated because I was telling this friend how much things I don’t have in my life which meant I don’t have much in life.
So, my friend started asking me what I might have or not have.
Friend: Do you have a roof over you when you sleep every night?
Friend: Do you have a clean water to drink when you want to?
Friend: Do you have food on your dinner table?
Friend: Do you have access to computer?
Friend: Do you have a good health?
Friend: That’s five things already that you have some people might not have in the world.
This listing exercise changed my perspectives about how much I have. It made me realise that I have taken everything I already have for granted rather than appreciating the fact that I, myself, have something that others might yet to have in their life.
Those who always have a sense of appreciation and gratitude never reach an impasse in life.Daisaku Ikeda
My friend actually continued with this listing exercise.
Friend: Do you have access to education without any restriction?
Friend: Do you have friends around you?
Friend: Do you have access to good healthcare?
Friend: What else do you need in your life to make it better?
I had to stop and rethink what I really need in my life to make it better. I now noticed that I have so much on my hands. I already have so much things in my life that I lost my count. Without realising how much I have in my life, I was unnecessary wanting for more. I was expecting for more.
Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes for you.Anthony Robbins
I realised that I was too caught up in this wanting and expecting. I can use these feelings resourcefully if it encourages me to move forward. However, obviously, I was using it un-resourcefully which limited me to move beyond.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.John F. Kennedy
Since then, I started to count on what I have instead of what I am yet to have. This exercise reminds me that I should not take anything for granted in life. It is great to have more if I need to but whether having it or not, will not determine my happiness.
What do you have in life?
What else do you need to have in life to make it better?
What is the purpose of having it in your life?