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5 Unconventional Ways to Be More Grateful

5 Unconventional Ways to Be More Grateful

Gratitude is often correlated with high levels of happiness, as it births patience, perspective, and understanding. We all try to be more thankful for what we have, but unfortunately this idea slips between our fingers on a daily basis. Need a solution? Look no further– below are 5 unconventional ways to be more grateful!

1. Wish for what you already have

This weird trick works magic, no kidding! Wishing for what you already have allows you to be more aware of and thankful for the things you usually take for granted.

According to the tendencies of the hedonic treadmill, people constantly feel the need to stay in the loop. Once you satisfy your luxury tooth for the next iPhone, you will once again desire something more, something even better… and so the cycle continues. Through this process, it’s not actually likely that you’d achieve the expected level of happiness– because the hedonic treadmill is a trap. In other words, stop wanting, stop wishing, stop expecting… but I’ll admit, those rules are pretty harsh. Instead, the trick is to wish for what you already have.

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Case in point: Last year, I completely forgot that people receive gifts on their birthdays. So you can imagine my shock when I got presents as I turned a year older! Unlike previous years, I hadn’t been counting down the days to my birthday with a wish list in one hand and expectations in the other. From that point forward, I spent every birthday wish, every 11:11 wish, every shooting star wish… on something I already had.

Your turn: close your eyes and “wish” for a loving family, or “wish” for a home, or even “wish” for your life. Now open your eyes. It’s there, just as it has been there all along.

2. Go volunteer

People often say, “Remember the starving children in Africa.”

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It’s a wake up call for sure, and it’s true and real for sure, but the effect varies. Many people will feel guilty to some extent, although it won’t make them feel much better or grateful. Even still, others may feel annoyed or simply detached because the reminder is so overused.

But there’s a way to avoid that sort of detachment, and there’s a way to grow a fresh pair of eyes. It also involves remembering the less fortunate, but it’s actually hands-on this time: volunteer.

Volunteer and actually help those people or groups in need. Through actual contact and involvement, you will experience it for yourself. Helping others is fodder for a much-needed paradigm shift, and one that will make you more thankful.

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3. Remember that things could be worse

This is a mental trick that helps keep ingratitude at bay. Challenge yourself to think of a worse scenario than the one you encounter, and make it a point to repeat this process each time you experience adversity. Rather than being frustrated after misfortune, be thankful that it wasn’t something worse. Lost your wallet with $50 in it? Phew, at least you didn’t lose $100, or at least that one card with your life savings wasn’t in your wallet! Got a nose-bleed while giving a presentation in front of 20 people? At least it wasn’t in front of 2,000, or at least it wasn’t a gusher!

4. Write down your blessings

Don’t just count your blessings; write them down! By giving yourself 5 minutes every night (or morning) to jot down what you’re thankful for, you practice active mindfulness. The physical act of writing can also make you remember better, and what better way to take advantage of that fact than to write your blessings?

5. Share the attitude of gratitude

Don’t keep gratitude to yourself! Spread the love. Take the time to thank someone in your life who has made an impact on you, big or small. Sometimes it takes a physical action in order for you to realize how grateful you truly are.

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Featured photo credit: Tyssul Patel via s3.amazonaws.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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