My YMCA is old. It’s in a small town and I’ve often wished it had more to do, more child care, more swim hours, more activities, and better equipment.
I recently traveled to a bigger city and I decided to try out the local Y. I excitedly took all of my kids with me, thinking we would have a great time at this bigger, newer, nicer facility. When we got there I discovered that while there were lots of places for adults to exercise, and lots of nice new equipment, there was nothing for kids to do besides child watch, and basketball, and my kids were disappointed.
While we were there, I realized how awesome our old YMCA really is. It has racquetball, ping pong, pool tables, air hockey, wii games, board games, punching bags, a track, elliptical machines kids are allowed to use, and a weight room where older kids are allowed.
I didn’t realize how good I have it.
I have focused on how my Y needs to improve for years, only to have it all change in one morning.
Perspective has a way of forcing us to be grateful.
Human nature constantly sees what could be better.
I see all the problems. This serves me when there is something to solve, but it can blind me to how good I have it.
Take today - the chaos of my normal family on a normal day can seem overwhelming, there are appointments, responsibilities, bickering, mess, and lots to do, but if the alternative is a fire that destroys my house, that mess and to do list start looking pretty good!
Being grateful can change perspective and release negative emotions, replacing them with positive ones.
I think most people are grateful in some way. We just have to remember it!
This is an abundant world. I have so much that was unimaginable 200 years ago: refrigeration, air conditioning, cars, airplanes, the internet, modern medicine,…I could go on and on.
And yet my focus is often on being stressed that my house is dirty or my to do list is too long.
To put it all in perspective, I like to redirect my thoughts to indoor plumbing.
I have indoor plumbing!
Let that modern benefit sink in for a moment.
What would me life be like without it?
I don’t have to haul water to my house or use an outhouse.
Being grateful is Gratitude 1.0. It’s a good version, and relieves a lot of stress, but there is another way to take it all to the next level.
Gratitude 2.0 involves being grateful for the future.
What do you want in the future?
Not just what you think is possible, but I mean in fantasy land? If there were no limitations, what would your heart desire?
Make sure you keep the focus on yourself here, not other people. What is the result that you would want for yourself if anything is available as an option?
Really think about this and write it down.
Tonight as you go to bed, be grateful for things that you have now, but when you’re done, think about what you want to have in the future.