We live in a uniquely safe, risk-free, and good time.
Evolution is a beautiful thing (if you only look at the facts).
However, that’s not the full story. People are still miserable. Suicide rates increase. People have more depressions and burnouts. More and more people are on meds. I’m not going to flush you with all the hard statistics. It’s not pretty.
But there are also soft measures that show the ugly side of today’s world. When you walk around on the streets, go to restaurants, parties, festivals, or take public transportation, you see a bunch of zombies instead of happy individuals who are celebrating life.
Because to me, that’s what I think everybody is doing: Dancing around all the time and saying, “I’m alive! I’m alive.” I can’t be more wrong than that.
1. The reality is that we, humans, are ungrateful idiots. Always have been.
The Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who lived between AD 50–135, put it best:
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Why do we always desire what we don’t have? Desiring things you don’t have is not necessarily a bad thing. That same trait is also the reason the world developed the way it did. If we didn’t desire unattainable stuff, the world probably wouldn’t advance one bit.
But when I read about historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, the Wright Brothers, or Nikola Tesla, they used that desire for good things. They didn’t complain and had an innate desire to achieve things.
- Can you image Columbus saying: “Fuck this stupid boat. Let’s sail back home, I want to chill out.”
- And that the Wright Brothers said to each other: “Man, screw this flying thing. Let’s play checkers and drink beer.”
- Or that Tesla would say: “Who cares about current? Let Edison and his stupid DC current win. I’m going for a swim in the lake.”
Of course not.
2. Just Be Thankful For Goodness Sake.
Two words. That’s all.
Say it. Believe it.
Or you can go with a casual “thanks.” You can say it to people, but more importantly, you can also say it to random things.
When I wake up, I just say: “Thanks.”
I don’t even know who I’m thanking. God? The universe? Life? I’m just happy to be alive. And that mindset changes everything in your life. When you say thank you, and you truly believe it, you become a grateful person.
Gratitude changes the way you:
You can also say it to people. When your mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, colleague, manager, does something for you (no matter how small), say: “Thank you.”
What you will find is that people appreciate you too. Gratitude goes both ways.
- “Thank you.”
- “No. Thank you.”
Saying thank you is a habit. It shows that you appreciate everything. Big things and little things. And appreciation is an important aspect of a happy life.
French philosopher Voltaire put it well:
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
- If you want to enjoy life, start by appreciating it.
- And you appreciate things by saying thank you.
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