As this year comes to an end, many of us are starting to get ready to welcome in a New Year. This often involves reviewing the previous year and setting goals for the year ahead. ‘New year, new me’ is a phrase people like to use to signify a fresh start… a new chapter. Everyone is eager to make the New Year their best one yet.
As great as it is to set goals and strive to be a better version of yourself, sometimes we can get so caught up in this that we forget to be thankful. A quote that reminded me of this is:
‘Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have’.
The constant effort to change and improve your life can make you lose sight of the blessings you already have.
For example, maybe your goal is to eat healthier and exercise more so that you can finally change the parts of your body that you don’t like. But have you ever stopped to appreciate the fact that you have a functioning body? You have legs that can move you from one place to another. You have a mouth that allows you to communicate with others and enjoy food. You have a brain that allows you to learn so many new things every day. And, you have organs that keep your blood pumping, keep you breathing, and digest your food and more. Why get so bogged down about aesthetics when your body is capable of so much more? If you can do basic things like walk, talk, eat and breathe without pain, you should not take it for granted.
One in seven people in the world suffer from some kind of physical or mental disability and this prevents some of them from doing the most basic of tasks.
Yes, strive to be healthier but in the midst of it all, don’t forget to take time to appreciate the amazing, complex, functioning body that you have.
Or maybe your goal is to achieve educational and career success or obtain financial prosperity. However, compared to many people in this world, you may already be more wealthy and successful than you think. If you received a school education, know where your next meal is coming from, have clean water, shelter over your head and access to medical care, you are more fortunate than many people in the world. Globally 10.9% of the world is living on less than $2 a day and a third of the entire urban population live in unsafe, crowded slums. In 2016, over 63 million children were not attending school.
The things you take for granted may be the things others are desperately hoping and praying for.
So many people in the world are fleeing for their lives from persecution, struggling with life changing disabilities and living in poverty and fear. There is always something we can be grateful for regardless of the things that are not going our way.
This New Year, make an effort to be more thankful. Don’t let all the things you want to achieve make you forget the many things you already have.