This is a tough one for me because I know my views may not be aligned to many others. Maybe there is something I do not understand, or I am missing the whole point. I would love to be corrected if that is the case.
The concept of writing 3 or 5 things you are grateful for everyday. I hear this advice to be happy. I wonder whether that’s the right way of looking at life.
Isn’t being grateful something that should be with you all along. For every breath you take. I wonder whether it is even being grateful. It is just recognizing that I am lucky enough to experience what is happening to me. It is not those 2 or 3 things like ‘I am grateful that I have a job’ or ‘I am grateful that I have a family’, ‘I am grateful that I have food’ or health or whatever. If at all I need to be grateful, it is for the fact that I have a life assuming I am mentally stable to recognize that I have a life. We all have the same end, at least based on what science is aware of.
If I have to think through some of the things that I have in life to feel good about them (and as most things are relative, it might be linked to what we have and others don’t have), I am positioning myself to scenarios where I need to have something that is acceptable in the world view to make me happy. That drives dependence. Dependence drives uncertainty which then drives anxiety and very likely unhappiness, sooner or later.
If I can just be happy with my being, isn’t that better. Just having the ability to see and/or experience. When, as part of the exercise, I say I am grateful for something, I am probably also giving myself a message that if the thing I am grateful for, ceases to be part of my life, it will cause unhappiness. Isn’t that setting myself for a failure to be happy or content, whichever is the purpose.
I believe life could be well enjoyed when from time to time you can watch yourself as a third party. Just imagine you are the main protagonist of a novel that you are writing. Although you are the author and writing it but still you let the externalities influence the story. You as an author don’t have anything in mind. But you keep writing based on what you find fun. Sometimes you want to write something next but externalities influence your writing and you change track. And then you just sit and observe what the protagonist does next under those external influences. The protagonist could be struggling, could be crying, maybe helpless. You may feel bad for the protagonist, who is your creation but at the same time you know that all of it is temporary. The situation will change. Could be for better, maybe for worse. But it will change. It will leave you curious too for sometime, until you are again able to continue writing the story again. But you will still enjoy what you see. Because you know the end of the book. It will be a peaceful ending which will end everything that is not going right. Or even what is going right. End is the same. Might as well enjoy the rest of the book :)
Happy reading. And enjoy watching yourself as the main character of the book you are partly writing. I still wonder if there is a need to find things to be grateful for. The ability to enjoy the story in itself is enough reason to be content.