Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 30, 2019

32 Things You Should Be Grateful For

32 Things You Should Be Grateful For

There is so much that is wrong with the society we live in. There is so much about ourselves that we wish to change. In an attempt to make ourselves better and to change our society, many times we forget to be grateful for the things we do have. We focus so much on the negative that the positive loses its place in our hearts.

Here is a list of some things we all should be grateful for, for gratitude itself is a virtue.

1. Your Life

No matter how you think it is, it is a gift. So many individuals don’t get a chance to make it as far as you did.

Disease, poverty, famines, and droughts claim thousands of lives each year, but you were lucky. You got to live, to survive, to exist and to be able to dream. Be grateful for your life.

2. Your Situation

Wherever you are, if you’re reading this you are already in a better situation than the hundreds of millions of individuals who are struggling to have two square meals a day. Be grateful for your situation.

3. Your Friends

They’re the family you picked. Think of the crazy inside jokes, the embarrassing memories, the late night phone calls and the fact that they’ve always got your back. Be grateful for that priceless relationship.

4. Your Parents

Your biggest fans and most honest critics. The only beings who could possibly love you more than you could ever love them. Not all parents are great, I agree, but they did choose to let you live and gave you life.

Be grateful to your parents for their support, their encouragement, for their strength and undying love. Be grateful for the opportunity of life that they gave you.

5. Your Courage

You’ve lived so long, you’ve come so far. You made it despite heartbreaks and pain, though disappointment and failure. Yet here you are, alive, motivated and rearing to go.

Remember to be grateful to whatever is giving you the will to drag yourself out of bed and face the world. Be it your motivation, your goals, your God, whatever, be grateful for the courage.

6. Your Strength

The fact that you didn’t break down that once. The time when you supported your friend in despair, that time you smiled for the family photo when all you wanted to do was to cry, but you didn’t.

Be grateful for your strength to face your troubles and overcome your sorrows.

7. Your Mind

A complex science, a firm friend. Your mind can wander to destinations unknown and yet be back to the present in a fraction of a second. It keeps you hoping, dreaming, thinking. It is in essence a part of what makes you, you.

Advertising

Be grateful for your mind’s ability to contribute to making you who you are.

8. Your Heart

Scared, wounded, healed, and still up for more of the same, your heart is like the spirit of a three-year-old. No matter how much it bears, it bounces back. If it were to stop even for a second, your life could be in danger.

Be grateful for you heart for its mettle.

9. Your Senses

To touch, to smell, to see, to feel all the beautiful feeling we take for granted. Think of a day when you couldn’t feel. Think of the misery if you couldn’t taste. Think of the beauty that you would miss out on if you couldn’t see.

Be grateful for your senses that make the world so pretty.

10. The Things You Love

Everything you love gives you joy. It becomes a part of you and can easily make you smile or tear up.

Be grateful for its presence and its effect in your life.

11. Your Belongings

Your bag, your clothes, your couch, your table, everything that’s yours has a story. Even if it’s boring, it’s a story. When you got it, why you got it, how you got it, when you used it, every little detail works its way to make your life more complete.

Each story captures a moment in your life that will never come back. Be grateful for those moments hidden in your belongings.

12. Your Tears

Remember that time you cried in joy? That time when you thought you couldn’t be happier? Do you also recall that terrible night when you thought your heart couldn’t take any more?

Your tears bear testimony to the best and worst times you’ve had. Be grateful for the emotions your tears brought forth.

13. Your Mistakes

A clouded judgment, a tinted perspective, an unfair remark, that stupid, stupid, phone call. Some mistakes that were forgiven and some that weren’t. Some mistakes that warranted an answer and some that didn’t.

Every mistake helped you grow, to learn, to understand. Be grateful for the wisdom that your mistakes enabled.

Advertising

14. Your Life Lessons

A lesson could be anything. Basic etiquette, the touch of a hand, the path back home, the stranger who helped, the little girl you learned to console.

A lesson in life is one that only experience can enable. With every lesson learned, you’re one step more experienced than you were yesterday. Be grateful for the experience.

15. Your Mentors

Be it your family, friends, professors, or bosses, be grateful for those individuals who took time out of their lives to help you. To make you feel more competent and give you the cheat sheet of life that they never had. Be grateful for their guidance.

16. Your Happiness

Happiness is a misunderstood, often misquoted commodity. To be loved is to be happy, to be an artist is to be happy, to walk in a park alone with your thoughts is to be happy.

Happiness is how you define it. Many people are robbed of their happiness for they often try to follow someone else’s definition of it. It’s a rare commodity today, one that the world is scrambling to own. Be grateful for your happiness.

17. Your Disappointments

With every disappointment that you encountered, be it academic, emotional, physical, artistic or mental, you got a little stronger. Your disappointment temporarily saddened you though, taught you to overcome the sadness and be happy again.

Be grateful for the strength your disappointments gave you.

18. Your Job

For all the hard work you put in and for the job that pays your rent. It may not be the best yet, but it could help you get the best.

It’s one door that will lead to another. It’s a door that you had to fight to get to. Be grateful the door opened.

19. Your Enemies

Your enemies taught you about the world the way that no book or reality show could. They taught you how to fight, how to be true to yourself and, most importantly, what not to be like.

Be grateful to your enemies for showing you who you never want to be.

20. Your Teachers

They encouraged you, corrected you, motivated you and applauded you, asking for nothing in return from you. Some you loved, some you didn’t, yet they cared for you all the same.

Be grateful for their time and effort that they spent on you.

Advertising

21. Your Heartbreaks

Each heartbreak made your heart stronger, wiser, more experienced. It gave you the wisdom to tell between loyal and faithful, a lie and a truth, and eventually between reality and expectations.

Your heartbreaks taught you to bounce back and introduced you to your quieter side and your best friends. Be grateful for that knowledge.

22. Your Laughter

To be able to extract humor from a situation is nothing short of a talent, a gift if you will. To be able to look at something with such an eye that you couldn’t help but laugh.

Be grateful for the talent that enables you to laugh.

23. Your Body

It’s able, it’s healthy. Be grateful that your body is responsive, healthy and yours. Your body is yours alone and for that be grateful.

24. Your Pain

The funny thing about pain is that when you feel it, it hurts so bad; but when it’s gone, you can’t remember how it felt.

You have an idea that you hurt but not how much. Be grateful that it’s over, that the pain you once felt is no more. And the pain you feel will slowly die out.

Be grateful for the pain for it introduced you to a greater joy after it passed.

25. Your Siblings

Your first and last friends, your partners in crime, your shoulders in despair. Your siblings are the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Whether it’s an inside joke, an anniversary gift, a heart break or even plotting a plan, they’re always there and always on your side. Be grateful for your siblings.

26. The Sun

Every day, it comes and spreads its light over all of us. Unselfish and kind, its warmth spreads in every direction.

Be grateful for the sun, for without it food wouldn’t grow and your body wouldn’t experience its tender warmth.

27. The Trees

Ask any child, they’ll tell you why. But if there isn’t a child around, let me tell you.

Advertising

Trees make the world prettier, give us fruits and purify the air. Be grateful for the selfless trees that allow us to live so well.

28. Your Privileges

No matter how few privileges you have, at least you have some. You may work towards a fairer society and that is awe inspiring, but don’t forget to be grateful for the knowledge of their existence and the power to utilize your privileges.

Be grateful that you know your privileges.

29. Your Choices

Your choices — good or bad — were yours alone. You were lucky to have an opportunity to make your choice, to do as your heart desires and to be able to pick from among options. You were lucky that it wasn’t just one way.

Be grateful for the opportunity to make your own choices.

30. Electricity

If it’s hot, we have fans. If it’s cold we have heaters. Imagine those who have nothing.

Be grateful that you have electricity to pamper yourself. It’s not a right, it’s a luxury.

31. Drinking Water

Every day on the streets of my hometown, I see children begging for mercy, for food, but even more so, for water. Be grateful for the water you drink. For the ease of the availability of that water and the purity of the water.

Be grateful, for millions are dying because they don’t have water. For water, too, is a privilege.

32. Your Name

It’s an identity you were born with. Your name gave you a place in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you changed it, or kept it or hate it, it’s your first, not only, identity, but an identity nonetheless.

Be grateful for an identity.

More About Gratitude

Featured photo credit: Constantinos Panagopoulos via unsplash.com

More by this author

Sanah Rizvi

Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

32 Things You Should Be Grateful For The Unwritten (Now Written) Golden Rules of Friendship Top 7 Things Managers Look For What My Introverted Best Friend Taught Me 13 Truths You May Not Know About Domestic Violence

Trending in Communication

1 12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons 2 4 Types of Toxic People and How to Deal with Them 3 Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It 4 Why You Need to Ask for Feedback…and How to Use It 5 6 Challenges in Life You Must Overcome to Become a Better Person

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 14, 2019

12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons

12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons

The most valuable thing an experienced person has is their experience. People make mistakes, learn from them, and adapt their life around them to become better people. Those people would then tell tales to others to help teach those lessons so that others would not have to make the same mistakes.

People still tell these stories today but in a slightly different format — they use speeches to express their experiences. Here are some valuable life lessons you can learn from some of the greatest inspirational speeches:

1. JK Rowling teaches us to not fear failure no matter how bad things become

It is a well-known fact that JK Rowling’s now-famous Harry Potter series was turned down by several publishers before it was finally picked up. Those publishers are likely kicking themselves in the pants right now. However, before that, JK Rowling was in a fairly dire situation and was on the brink of failure. Despite being turned down time and time again, she kept trying. Her efforts paid off. Harry Potter is now a ubiquitous character in today’s world culture. Despite failing over and over again, Rowling kept trying and fulfilled her dreams. You can watch her deliver some valuable life lessons in her Harvard commencement speech video above.

2. Steve Jobs teaches us to never settle

Steve Jobs had a fairly tumultuous life. He co-founded Apple, was kicked out of the company, came back, and then re-defined the mobile phone space with the iPhone. Even if iPhones aren’t the rage they once were, its iconic value is forever written in stone. One thing Jobs never did was settle. He lived life on his own terms and was rewarded for it by being dubbed one of the most revolutionary voices in technology of our time. In the Stanford commencement speech above, Jobs explains how you should never settle for what someone else wants out of your life. It’s your life and you should do what you want with it.

Advertising

3. Admiral William H McRaven teaches us to make our beds every day

Anyone who has gone through the basic training of a military service will tell you it’s pretty difficult. However, every seemingly obnoxious step is actually a life lesson in disguise. This even applies to flawlessly making one’s bed every single morning. As Admiral William H McRaven teaches us, recruits are taught to make their beds every morning to remind them that even the little things in life matter. After all, how can you be expected to handle the biggest obstacles in your life if you can’t even handle the small and the mundane like making your bed every day? You can watch the entire speech in the video above.

4. Author David Foster Wallace teaches us that we’re a part of a greater existence

David Foster Wallace found fame in 1987 with his book The Broom of the System. Nearly 20 years later in 2005 he game a commencement speech at Kenyon College that is worth listening to at least once. In his speech, he reminds us that was are but a part of a huge, dynamic, ever changing interaction of life forms. In order to truly experience life, we need to leave our personal bubbles and interact with others even if it’s in an unpleasant way. Wallace states, “It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” You can watch the whole speech above.

5. Stephen Colbert teaches us that life isn’t something you can plan

If there is anyone who knows about improvisation, it’s comedian Stephen Colbert. In his commencement speech at Northwestern University in 2011, Colbert reminded students that you cannot plan life. Life throws too many curve balls. There are too many unpredictable things that can happen. The most successful and happy people are not those who have a plan, but those who can roll with the punches and overcome the obstacles. He goes on to site his time as an improv comic and how all of the actors working together to create a scene out of literally nothing are all working for one another. He states that like improv comedy, you don’t know what happens next in life. You just make it up as you go along. You can watch the whole speech above.

6. Kurt Vonnegut teaches us to not sweat the small stuff

Some of our younger readers may not know Kurt Vonnegut. He is a famous author that found of of his success during the middle of last century. In 1999, Kurt Vonnegut was at Agnes Scott College giving a commencement speech. During the speech, he mentioned that in order to live a more complete life, people needed to let stuff go. He argued that you cannot reasonably expect others to forgive you for your mistakes if you cannot forgive others and that you cannot live life fostering a personal vendetta against others.

Advertising

7. Neil Gaiman teaches us that success can be distracting.

Neil Gaiman is most known for his work in a number of literary mediums including journalism, comic books, and novels. In 2012, Gaiman gave a speech at the University of the Arts where he talked about success. He stated that when you become successful, you may be unintentionally swayed from performing the actions that made you successful. Gaiman recalled his early success and how he felt pressured to answer emails all day long and it actually prevented him from writing as much as he wanted. So he reminds us to keep doing what makes us successful and to not let others get in the way.

8. Barack Obama’s life lessons teaches us that you really can beat the odds

We know that not everyone likes Barack Obama but that doesn’t mean the man can’t deliver an amazing speech. In this 2004 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convenction, Obama reminds that it is possible to beat the odds and become something great. He cites his own upbringing as an example and how he was never expected to make it as far as he did. It shows that when you’re passionate about something and when you try hard enough, you can accomplish almost anything. It’s important to note that Obama talks about this in 2004 and would become the President of the United States just four years later.

9. Robin Roberts reminds us that we each have the courage to overcome challenges

Robin Roberts knows a thing or two about courage. She is a breast cancer survivor and has done battle with a rare blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome. Her sister once had to donate bone marrow just so Robin could remain alive. She was also ESPN’s first African American broadcaster in the early 1990’s. She’s a woman who works in an industry predominately populated by men. So when Robin Roberts takes the stage at the ESPYs and delivers a short lecture on having courage, we would do well to listen!

10. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that some things are more important than success

We all know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. So much so that we have a day of the year to celebrate him as a national holiday here in the United States. Most of us have listening to segments of his famous speech where he told the world about a dream he had. The main message of his famous speech is that racial inequalities needed to end and he was absolutely right. However, he also reminds us that there are things that are more important than success such as equal rights and treating each other with respect and kindness. If you somehow made it through school without watching the famous speech, we’ve got it linked above.

Advertising

11. Jim Carrey reminds us that even if you keep it safe, you can still fail so you might as well go big

Jim Carrey delivered a commencement speech at Maharishi University recently that went absolutely viral. You may know it as the one minute video that will change your life. They weren’t lying but they weren’t telling the whole truth because the speech was actually 28 minutes long. During the speech, Carrey talks about his father who wanted to be a comedian but decided to take the safe route and become an accountant. As it turns out, his father was laid off and his family ended up poor anyway. With that, Carrey tells us that you can still end up failing even if you play it safe so you might as well swing for the fences and do what you want to do.

12. Bill Murray teaches us that it’s the hard times that determine if someone really loves you

You may have heard the story about Bill Murray crashing someone’s bachelor party and delivering a speech. It turns out the speech was both short and fairly epic. During the speech, Bill Murray challenged the bachelors to travel around the world with the women they love and go to places that are difficult to go to and deal with. He says if you can get back to the United States and you still love each other, then you should get married right then and there. It’s a great message. It’s easy to love one another when times are good but do you still love each other when the times are bad? If so, that’s true love according to Bill Murray.

Final thoughts

Inspiration comes from everywhere and from anyone. There are a countless number of speeches and stories that can teach us an incalculable number of life lessons.

All these speeches almost share the same message: Don’t be afraid to fail and keep trying.

Advertising

If you also want to live your best life like the above successful people, this is what you should start doing:

You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out

At the end of the day, everything is inspirational. It’s just a matter of finding the message that we need to hear to change our lives.

Featured photo credit: Miguel Henriques via unsplash.com

Read Next