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How to Stop Taking Things for Granted and Feel Blessed

Happy Kids

“I count my blessings every day, quite honestly, because I take nothing for granted.” ~Mario Andretti

You know that feeling.

When you feel bad about yourself for not being grateful enough. Maybe not often, but surely sometimes.

You are busy working hard, trying to make things work. Busy at life.

But then you see a nine-year-old painting a picture holding a brush with his toes. He has no hands.

And it hits you: You’re so busy trying to make your life better, you forget that it is already beautiful. You feel guilty for not being happy enough.

How I Found My Hidden Blessing in Life

When I left for college it was the first time I went away from home to a different city. My parents were concerned about how I would adjust to life in New Delhi. But I was excited. I wanted to do this.

As my college life began, I faced a problem: I was bad at managing my expenses. I had no idea how to spend money reasonably. Until then, my parents took care of everything.

The unspoken message had been, “You focus on your studies, and we’ll take care of your needs.”

Middle class families don’t lack in money, but the expenses are always modest. So when I ran out on my monthly share in ten days, I was horrified. Exploring the city with new friends, eating delicious meals in restaurants, buying a pair of Nike trousers all contributed to my downfall. Expecting a scolding, I told them what had happened.

But there was no scolding, just a reassuring “I’ll put more money in account today.”

A few weeks later, the same thing happened. I was sure this time they would get angry. But they didn’t. They simply poured in more money.

And that is when I realized: My parents truly loved me, but I had been taking it for granted.

They had always been there for me. Taking care of me. Loving me.

I wasn’t a spoiled child, and I knew they cared about me. But now I felt blessed. Their presence was a gift I cherished. The fact that they loved me unconditionally brought my ignorance to light.

Why Do We Take Things for Granted?

Our minds run around unchecked all the time, either waiting for a better future or regretting the past.

We’re always waiting for the perfect vacation, next promotion, more money, more whatever. We think, “Someday when X happens, I’ll be happy.”

Or we regret the past, like the end of a relationship, a lost job, or financial setbacks. We think, “If only X hadn’t happened, my life wouldn’t be a mess.”

But whether in the future or past, there is one place our minds are not.

The present.

And this is where our blessings reside.

How to Stop Taking Things for Granted and Feel Blessed

When I catch a cold, I realize how nice it feels to be healthy. When there are thunderstorms on the day I plan to go out, I realize the joy of a cheery, sunny day with a cool breeze blowing across my face.

Because our minds are so used to running around uncontrollably, we don’t realize that our focus isn’t where we are. It is almost always somewhere else.

But hidden blessings are available right now, if you can take a step back and notice where you are.

Seriously, do this.

Look at yourself reading this post. Notice the environment around you. I’ll give you a moment.

….

This is your real life. Here are the blessings hidden from your incessant mind.

Ask yourself: What good things have brought me where I am today?

You can start with the fact that you can read. You’re smart enough to follow blogs like Tiny Buddha. What about your wonderful friends? Your pet? Your health?

What else?

Just like time, blessings are relative.

Growing up, I went to a school with lots of children who came from rich families. It would have been easy to focus on what other students had that I lacked, such as new lunch boxes and fancy bags.

However, I was nothing close to sad or miserable. In fact, I had fun at school. Why did I have fun, despite having less than others? I recognized how I was fortunate.

My parents grew up in villages and received modest educations. And yet, they were smart enough to understand the importance of a good education, and made sure that my sister and I studied in the best English school of the city.

Now, that is a blessing.

I didn’t feel unlucky. I feel my parents did their part wonderfully.

It’s time I do mine.

Hidden in life challenges are some wonderful blessings. The difference lies in how you look at them.

You can list all the things you don’t have and feel sad about it.

Or you could put those very same things as your goals, chase them with passion, and build tremendous character.

Time to Thank, Time to Love

Yes, there will always be things you want to accomplish. There are goals yet to be realized. The future surely does promise better things.

But you know what?

The present, too, is a portal to hidden gifts.

Underneath your routine life is a hidden treasure trove of countless blessings. Each of those blessings has helped you reach where you are today. They played a crucial role in molding your life into the masterpiece it is right now.

So go right now.

Tell your mother you love her.

Pat you pet.

Thank your friends for showing up.

Celebrate life. Right here. Right now.

Go live.

About Ankit Yadav

Ankit Yadav is a personal growth freak who helps people to grow in life. If you wish to improve life and go beyond your immediate self interest to make a positive impact on the world, click here to sign up for his upcoming blog GrowConscious.com

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  • Peace Within

    Thanks for sharing. Easy to overlook our blessings.

  • gary lockhart

    I noticed the birds singing in the trees today for a moment I was blessed . we are to busy in our modern lives to notice what fantastic things we have in our lives. we are caught up in paying our bills and going to work.. I am going to try and not take things for granted this is going to be my new goal. because one day they we all be gone I am going to enjoy them now.

  • That’s right Gary. 🙂

    We’re so busy that we forget to live.

    It takes conscious choice to focus on what we have and enjoy them NOW.

    🙂

  • Thank you for your comment Peace.

    Yes, it is pretty much automatic within us. It takes deliberate intention to look for our hidden blessing and feel happy.

    But definitely worth it. 🙂

  • gary lockhart

    That’s the key Ankit a conscious choice thanks for that thought I will try this method today. And see what happens.

  • Gaurav Dubey

    Ankit, it just made me feel fresh and blessed after a tiring day @office. Thanks buddy

  • Leah Taboada

    Lovely article. Makes me appreciate my own family.

  • Patrick

    Loved this piece so much that I had to share it with everyone I know on Facebook. Such a gorgeous reminder, a massive aha moment that I if not all of us need from time to time. Sitting here in my comfortable chair writing this to you is a blessing. Being able to share my words after having read yours. That’s a blessing and it’s also Love. Thank you so much.
    Namaste 🙂

  • Hey Patrick 🙂

    Glad you loved it.

    Thanks a ton for sharing it around. 🙂

    That aha moment is a portal to deeper joy in life. Not obvious, but always available, right here, right now…

    Stay blessed. 🙂

  • Hi Leah. 🙂

    Family is a great way to remind ourselves of the hidden blessings that make our life beautiful.

    Appreciate their value and you can find a solid foundation to ground yourself and face whatever challenges life throws at you. 🙂

    Glad you liked it. 🙂

  • Hey Gaurav. 🙂

    How’s it going brother. 🙂

    Glad you loved it.

    Where are you these days?

    I am returning to Ald in a month and have moved to a new home pretty close to yours.

    Hope to see you. 🙂

  • hey Gary.

    I wonder how did it go for you that day. 🙂

    Let me know. 🙂

  • Patrick

    Thank you Ankit 🙂 Everyday is a new beginning and a chance to get it right. Sat Nam…

  • gary lockhart

    hi Ankit still enjoying the great things around me but its very easy to fall into the old thinking pattern like the hamster on the wheel but like you said before its being aware of the present and the conscious choice and slowly applying it each day.

  • Radhika

    Motivating one… seriously need such kind of motivational article. To feel postive..