Work may be stressful, life confusing, your relationships a mess. You've got too many bills to pay, too many social obligations, chores and worries. How do you gain the energy to power through until tomorrow afternoon?
Be thankful! This is as good a time as any to round up and count your blessings, friend.
Let's think of all the ways in which you're blessed:
1) You've got a roof above your head. Think of the tens of thousands homeless people all around New York and every city right this moment. That's a BIG one.
2) You've got clean drinking water and a working toilet you can use. 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
3) If you are reading this, you likely own a smartphone or a laptop or a desktop - or all three. The world is at your fingertips. You have fast access to an endless wealth of information you can use to learn a skill or take a class, create and share your talents with the world, to start a business, access millions of books and movies, articles on any subject. That's better than 4 billion people all around the world.
4) The odds are, if you're reading this, you've got a good degree or two from a good school. Unless you are the rare self-made Harvard dropout, an entrepreneur and millionaire, you likely have a strong support network of friends and family looking out for you and are there to catch you if you fall. The great majority of people around the world don't have the same opportunities for self-advancement, with the same strong infrastructure for them to succeed as you. Take a pause and appreciate the people around you who make you who you are.
5) You have time for leisure. Most people around the world have to work 6 or 7 days a week to make ends meet. Even if you're an I-Banker or Consultant, at least you have your mandated day off to fly to Vegas, do a marathon, attend a friend's wedding, etc.
6) You have your health. Presuming you are reading this blog and are a busy urban 20- or 30- (40-?) something, you have at least some self-awareness about what you eat and how you live and have adjusted your habits to live a reasonable healthy lifestyle. You can choose to join a gym, shop (and even overpay) at Whole Foods, walk regularly, breathe relatively fresh air, get around town with relative ease to meet people and conduct business.
You're far ahead of two-thirds of humanity, amigo/amiga. Savor that thought and be profoundly thankful.
7) You have access to fresh food, including fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price (Whole Foods excluded). Even in the US, tens of millions of inner city dwellers have no access to fresh fruits and veggies, never mind the developing world. Enjoy that fresh green market in your neighborhood. It's LaLa Land compared to what most people have to do to get access to healthy food.
8) You are free to express your opinions and to act upon them within the confines of the Constitution. You're free from political oppression, war and strife (even the draft), state-sponsored discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin and other factors. You can freely practice what you preach, preach what you practice or do neither.
Imagine living in North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union or Venezuela. Yeah, count your lucky stars quick, buddy.
9) You are lucky enough to live in a time when you can fix almost any problem you have in life by instantly learning how to DIY from others (YouTube, Wikipedia, online forums) or by hiring someone to do it for you (TaskRabbit, Elance, Alfred). Now stop complaining and start fixing your problems!
10) You have the tools to communicate for free and instantly with family and others half a world away and won't have to travel more than a couple days to see them, if you want to and can afford it. That's never been the case before and most people around the world still have no such opportunity.
Now stop whining, pull up your breeches and get on with your day, soldier! Life's much better than you thought, even despite your First World Problems.
Do you have other things you're thankful for? Please share them with the Community in Comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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Yuri Kruman is a Healthcare Product Manager, published author, blogger at BlueprintToThrive.com and health tech entrepreneur based in New York.
*The views expressed herein are his own*