Each article in our ‘Conscious Questions’ series focuses on a particular question that you can ask yourself to increase your levels of success, happiness, and fulfillment. By consciously asking yourself transformative questions that are geared towards inner exploration and problem-solving, you will be able to get in touch with your untapped creativity and find innovative ways to increase your levels of life satisfaction. Each and every question is uniquely designed to bring more blissful understanding into your life. In this article, we look at the question, “What am I Grateful for?”
At the deepest level of our beings, we all share the exact same desire. Every action that an individual takes is done so in order to bring more fulfillment into their lives. Even in instances when someone acts out of revenge, they are taking steps, albeit the wrong ones, to feel better about themselves and their current circumstances. It is easy to point out the differences among us all, but there are also underlying universal similarities that we all share. Everyone that you know, at the deepest level of their being, shares the exact same goal of finding unwavering levels of life fulfillment.
Unfortunately, in a strange and paradoxical way, our behavioral patterns very closely resemble a dog that chases its own tail. We tirelessly pursue bigger paychecks, nicer material possessions, new relationships, and more status amongst our peers, but never attain ultimate fulfillment when we succeed in these endeavors. We naturally become conditioned to search outside of ourselves to meet our ultimate goal of happiness, however, it isn’t really possible to find what we seek in this manner.
Part of this problem stems from advertisers’ ability to make us believe that there is something left to be desired, while another part derives from our ignorant view of reality. It is all too common for Western citizens to live their lives based upon the idea, “If I only had this [or that] in my life, then I could be happy.” The problem with this way of thinking is that because everything in this universe is impermanent in nature, it really doesn’t matter what we obtain, because everything will change. An exciting relationship only brings complete fulfillment for a short time, you lose the thrill of driving your new car after a few weeks, and the pay raise you recently received only quenches your money thirst for two or three months.
Living with a mindset of not having enough will never bring us the levels of life satisfaction that we desperately seek. The good news is that by changing our perspective about our current life situation and circumstances, we can change how we feel in a way that brings about more joy and happiness. If we take the time to ask ourselves ‘What am I grateful for?’ on an everyday basis and focus our attention on the wonderful gifts that we do have in our lives, we assuredly will move closer to finding the fulfillment that we are searching for.
The legendary Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu is quoted as saying,
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Since our deepest desire is to find unwavering levels of happiness, it is imperative that we change our views about our current life situation and circumstances. If you are serious about finding fulfillment, you will have to replace your mindset of ‘I have to get mine before they take it’ scarcity with a mindset of ‘I have everything I need’ abundance. For the vast majority of us, the gifts of food, loving relationships, and home are taken for granted as we tirelessly pursue bigger, newer, and better things. By asking the question ‘What am I grateful for?’ you can begin to enjoy the miraculous gifts that you already have while peacefully resting in the present moment.
It would be hard to debate the fact that each of us is driven by our most innate desire to find lasting fulfillment. Unfortunately, many of us do not realize that our levels of contentment directly correlate with our levels of happiness and life satisfaction. The enjoyment that we get out of life is largely a byproduct of how grateful we are for the things that we have.
When you take the time to explore the depths of your soul and ask the question “What am I grateful for?” on a consistent basis, you will be able to shift your perspective away from the idea that you do not have enough. Once you begin to shift your mindset, you will move closer to reaching your supreme goal of fulfillment.
By asking “What am I grateful for?” each and every day, you can give yourself the gift of contentment, which is one the most liberating things you can do for yourself. It is important to understand that healthy contentment doesn’t mean that you stop striving to succeed, but rather that you pursue your dreams knowing that you already have enough. Even having the opportunity to strive towards your goals can be seen as a blessing when looked at from the proper perspective. When you focus your attention on the gifts of health, relationships, food, nature, and life itself, you certainly will inch yourself closer to reaching your ultimate goal.
Make it a priority to ask yourself “What am I grateful for?” every morning and you will begin to find the fulfillment that you seek.