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What You Take for Granted May be the Key to Happiness

take for grantedTaking things for granted is natural and necessary. If we could take nothing for granted, we’d be stuck in a neverending battle with overwhelming uncertainty and worry.

Is the sun going to rise tomorrow? Probably a good idea to assume it will and go about your day.

What you take for granted is one less thing to worry about. Of course, we overdo it and take for granted things that we’d be happier appreciating more.

The good news is that you can stop taking things for granted while appreciating that you can do just that. Hmm…

This could be the key to daily happiness…

Consciously appreciate what you take for granted. 

You can “know” the sun will rise tomorrow and appreciate that you can take it for granted. 

I also love what thought leader Frank Sonnenberg has to say about taking things and people for granted this in his article: Do You Take it for Granted? Here’s Frank:

The problem is, when you take people or things for granted, you put them in jeopardy. It’s not enough to make up for neglect after they’ve slipped away. It’s important to be grateful every day for the wonderful things in your life. Think of this as a wake-up call.

What good things do I take for granted every day? Here’s a quick brainstorm:

• My wife loves me and is committed to what’s best for me – this is huge! Many people are not so fortunate to have a partner in life who is so committed to their well-being. I happen to be in that situation – how lucky!

• I have daily food, clothing, shelter, physical safety, plumbing, transportation and income to ensure these luxuries in the foreseeable future. So many people in the world don’t have the above, which is unthinkable, but true.

• I own my own business and therefore am rewarded by creative efforts and hard work, both of which I love to practice. There are millions of people who are stuck in jobs they hate; jobs that may not appreciate or adequately reward creativity or even hard work.

• I take for granted so many modern conveniences and luxuries that I would miss terribly if they disappeared. Still, losing these luxuries would only create first-world problems that don’t compare to the harsh realities that many in the world face every single day.

What I take for granted every day is almost embarrassing

I am one of the luckiest people who has ever lived, yet still manage to find things to complain about. At this moment, I only feel gratitude and compassion for those who have less, along with a desire to contribute more to improving the lives of those less fortunate than I.

I woke up today feeling low, as if my life were difficult. Now I realize it only felt difficult because I was taking for granted the rare advantages I enjoy. Should I feel guilty for having such advantages? I don’t know. I do feel a mild pang of guilt, but upon further reflection, that guilt is self-serving. What really matters is how engaged I am in contributing to the lives of others and not getting caught up in first-world guilt.

See more Gratitude Articles on this blog here

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What You Take for Granted May be the Key to Happiness

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.


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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). What You Take for Granted May be the Key to Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 17, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2018/05/take-for-granted-key-to-happiness/

 

Last updated: 24 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 May 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.