Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Art of Mastering Patience

Do you set higher expectations for yourself? Do you think that you behave like your own biggest enemy? Do you get upset when things don't go your way? Sometimes, it can be interesting to set the bar higher than our limits because we may come out as true winners by overcoming the obstacles on our way. But other times, this can lead to our own destruction. Today, I am delighted to share with you a post on one of the most important keys to a successful life: patience. Patience is just not the ability to wait but also the ability to remain calm with a positive attitude. The one who knows how to be patient in life knows the meaning of life. There are certain areas in which I excel as a human being but I must admit that I'm struggling a lot in developing patience so this is one of the reasons why I am dedicating today's post to this topic. In order to learn to be patient, let's explore the benefits of being patient because once the mind is convinced, the ways to become patient will automatically follow. 

The first advantage of being patient is achieving peace in our lives which is very crucial for our health. There's no better person than us who can understand how to take care of our mind and body. When we're feeling peaceful with the life we are living, this translates into a strong immune system. We live in a world where things happen at a fast pace and if we don't decide to slow down, life will always feel like a race when it's not. Let some events unfold on its own and do yourself a favor: let your mind rest and let it be responsibility-free from time to time. If needed, do some yoga or start stress-free hobbies (activities that awaken your creativity for example).

The second advantage of having a calm mind is to have more control over ourselves. No one likes to lead a life which he or she cannot guide. When we are patient, we can acknowledge the circumstances around us and choose how we want to react. Being patient allows us to make better and thoughtful decisions. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react. When we are patient, we have the privilege to direct our life the way we want to. When we get impatient, anxious and/or irritated, our brain basically shuts down and as a result, we act without thinking. One technique I could suggest to improve this is that you first acknowledge that you are angry and then take a deep breath and tell yourself that you still have control over yourself.

The third advantage of being patient is that we are able to make the most out of our lives. Some people always seem happy, don't they? That's because they have trained their mind to see the good in life and to not let negative situations affect them. We all want a happy life and the happiness of our life depends on the quality of our own thoughts. When we remain calm with a positive attitude, we take away the power of negative energy and/or obstacles to discourage or disappoint us.  Life is too short to put up with bad vibes. If you think you're living in an atmosphere that adds no value to your life, you are free to walk away from such environment or surroundings and you must do so. Go wherever you need to that will make you feel better and allow you to make the best out of your life. 

The fourth advantage of being patient is that we spread a positive energy in the universe and that makes it easier for life to offer us the right opportunities and to fulfill some of our wishes. Here, the law of attraction works. When we keep a positive attitude while waiting, we allow good things to attract us and come our way. That's almost like a reward. On the other hand, if we behave impatiently, life will not grant our wishes as it will first want to teach us how to be patient. I suggest you remember this motto: "You attract what you think" so whenever you set a new goal, don't think about how you will make it and/or how long it will take you to achieve it but believe that you can achieve it whenever it's meant to. Show life that you are resilient and that you can wait for the best to happen to you.

To end this post, I admit that this may look like it was easy for me to write but as I wrote every single sentence, I realized how difficult it can be to apply in real life. When I look back at my own struggles, I truly realize that had I been patient, my life could have been different and better today. I know it's still not late for me to learn from my mistakes and I have a chance to become wiser. That being said, I hope this post will shed some light on how mastering patience can improve the overall quality of your life. Take control of your life and remember, for every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness (Ralph Waldo Emerson). The key to your happiness simply lies in being patient.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Interacting With Others Is Crucial To Our Personal Growth

Though alone time is good in moderation, spending time with people can indeed be fulfilling and nourishing for our personal growth. I believe that spending time with people can provide us with so many enriching adventures and it is definitely an escape for people who spend more alone time and slip into an overthinking cycle. In the following paragraphs, let's explore the advantages of spending time with others. The primary benefits of interacting with others are: the feeling we get for being appreciated, the support we get to pursue our goals, the new sense of perspective we get and the possibility to add value in other people's lives.

First, there is something special about having a circle of family and friends close to us. They are the ones who know our flaws, our strengths and what makes us different from others. They appreciate our presence in their lives and these are positive vibes we must cherish. Sometimes, we may feel that we are good for nothing but the truth is that we are worth more than we think and we genuinely matter to some people. That's why when someone values us, we should reflect on our positive attributes and look for the good in us. People with whom we spend time bring the best in us and unconsciously, they are the ones motivating us to become a better version of ourselves and to be an example for others. Speaking of myself, when I feel appreciated by my surroundings, I automatically stop focusing on my weaknesses and I take a moment to be more kind to myself and be grateful for having such amazing people who believe in me.

Second, having a supportive network of people can open new doors for us to make our life journey more meaningful and interesting. No success has ever been achieved alone and therefore, exchanging our preferences with other people may someday provide us with opportunities that are crucial in the life path we are aiming for. Not just that but we need close people to share our success with. On the other hand, if we fall down, then we need people on whom we can count so that they can help us get back up. Obviously, we do not need to confide our goals to every single person we meet but once in a while, we meet trustworthy and reliable people who may encourage us to pursue our goals or to set new goals in life. It's such a privilege having people in our lives who care about our journey as well. To be honest with you, there aren't many such people in this world but the ones I have met, I have kept them very close to me. I may see them once a year and they are continuously pushing me to go for the best opportunities available.

Third, people we spend time with may give us a new sense of perspective on life. As we unknowingly remain in our comfort zone for a long time, we may not be paying attention to different opportunities that are around us and sometimes it takes another person to make us see things from a different angle. We have two ears and one mouth. We should use them in that ratio. We learn more when we listen than when we talk. Sometimes, it is enriching listening to other people's life journey and adventures as we may be inspired to follow their good gestures or we may learn from their mistakes. Once again, it's a blessing in disguise if we have people who understand our point of view and try to make us understand that there is another way to do or see things. As we expand our thinking, we are the winners as we gain more resources to make the best of our life journey.

Fourth, there is no better feeling than offering a part of our heart to and investing our time for others. We are usually focused on our needs that sometimes we may not be realizing that we could be adding value to someone else's life or simply brightening their day. Making others feel special and letting them know that we appreciate their presence in our lives are little gestures that surely increase our worth and make us feel good as well. I personally don't believe I should be kind to everyone but there are people in my life that I want to be there for during their best and difficult days, and that's my definition of kindness. I love celebrating my family and friends' joys and similarly, I embrace their vulnerability when their days are filled with clouds. We are blessed with more than we think, so if we are in a situation where our efforts and time could help someone or add value in his or her life, these are the opportunities we must not let go.

At last but not least, one must always remember that we become who we spend time with. So be cautious! Sometimes we just don't click with certain people whereas with others, we feel the strong vibes coming in our direction. If that's the case, then these are the people with whom we should build a connection and the previously listed reasons will emerge. Spending time with people can benefit other people as much as ourselves, it goes in both directions. Energies are contagious, so always beware of the energy you are spreading around. Everyone wants to have the best for themselves. Therefore, when people are drawn to us, it is most likely because they find something appealing in us and they are also willing to share their spark with us. This is how we grow, build memories with people and make the world a better place to live in. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Benefits of Spending Time Alone

Moderation is always good and today's post is exactly about why time spent alone moderately is beneficial for growth. The reason why I decided to write on this topic is simply because I feel like most people associate alone time with being lonely and I wish to shed some light on how spending time can be good for ourselves. In the following paragraphs, I will be discussing the main advantages of spending alone time which are: clearing our mind, reconnecting with ourselves and developing more self-confidence.

First, alone time allows us to relax ourselves and recharge our batteries. One may argue that this attribute describes mostly introverts but alone time can surely benefit extroverts from time to time. Being part of today's society has made many of us believe that we must always go after what we want and keep moving on to the next goal set. We have yet to learn that resetting our focus is the key to be productive and proactive in order to achieve a goal. Not doing anything does not mean that we are wasting our time. Not doing anything means that we are not pressuring our brain to think for a task that needs to be completed. Instead, we are letting our brain relax and empty any irrelevant information stored in. This type of relaxing is crucial to clear our mind. We can also slow down if we have been carried away in a fast paced type of life. Renewed energy is key to keep moving forward in life.

Second, the biggest advantage of alone time is probably getting the time and space to reconnect with ourselves. Alone time means we get the time to think about things happening around us and to think for ourselves without any distraction from the outside world. When there is peace around, we get to listen to our inner voice. We get to connect with the real person inside of us. It's the time when we do not need to think about pleasing or worrying about another person. We are free to do whatever we like and to ponder what we dislike. There is no one around to judge us whether we are listening to an unpopular music, watching a cartoon movie being an adult or wearing a pair of cartoon pajamas. It's a privilege having the chance to think for ourselves. Also, there is no competition involved when we are alone so we get to set the pace at which we want to do something. Alone time allows us to explore the endless possibilities we have for ourselves. Afterall, we are the CEO of our life journey.

Third, alone time helps to develop more self-confidence. We also learn to require less self-validation from others. It's one thing to be socially approachable and another one to be dependent on others to make the most out of our lives. From real life to social media interactions, we unconsciously grow up thinking that getting approvals and praises from others is what we need to have our existence validated. However, that is not true. We must believe in ourselves first as often as we can and not build our confidence on what other people think of us. Alone time teaches us to detach ourselves from others from time to time. We then get to reflect on how we feel about ourselves and to work on ourselves so that we can feel good in our skin. Once again, confidence plays a big role in helping us shape the life we dream for ourselves so we must make time and work on building our confidence.

To conclude, I hope this post has helped you understand the key benefits of spending time alone. This must not be confused with feeling lonely which is being surrounded by people and not having himself or herself understood and/or his or her presence acknowledged by others. Alone time allows us to relax, think for ourselves and helps us build our confidence. As explained in one of my previous posts, balance is the key to a successful life. We definitely live in a world where interacting with others is necessary but it is for us to make a switch to some alone time so that we can balance out alone time and our interactions with others.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ten Reasons Why I Love Running Outdoors

Summer, my favorite season of the year, is here and I am delighted to share with you a post unlike others about my passion for running outdoors. I am not an athlete but as I believe precaution is always better than cure, I have made running an important part of my lifestyle. In this post, I will be listing ten reasons why I love running outdoors and hopefully I can inspire you to start adopting a new habit so that you can also lead a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Growing up in North America means to spend most time indoors due to the cold seasons and the bad weather conditions that may happen in spring and summer. Furthermore, the way the school system and the corporate world work in buildings mean more time indoors. That leaves me with very little time to be spent outdoors so I have chosen to invest a part of that time in running outdoors. Afterall, life is not meant to be spent indoors all the time.

  2. Exposure to the sun allows our body to meet some of its needs for the vitamin D. Thus, when the sun is out, there is simply no excuse to not go for a run as being under the sun has some interesting health benefits. Sunlight deficiency can be bad for health and for those interested in more details, I definitely recommend the following articles:
    a) https://www.sunsprite.com/blog/9-ways-a-lack-of-sun-is-killing-you/
    b) http://www.lifeadvancer.com/sunlight-deficiency-deadly-smoking
    However, it's important to apply sunscreen before going out to run under the sun as sunscreen helps to protect our skin against sunburn and from ultraviolet radiations (UVA and UVB rays) that can cause skin cancer.

  3. Being in a green area allows to connect with nature and that is a privilege. For those for whom nature is important, being in a green environment can significantly increase the level of their happiness.

  4. Running is an excellent type of cardio exercising. While the treadmill might be doing a part of your job, running requires 100% of your effort. Frankly speaking, fifteen minutes on a treadmill/cardio machine will not even make me feel as exhausted as fifteen minutes of running outdoors. Try it to believe me.

  5. Running increases energy and decreases tension, anger and all sort of negative emotions. Some days, I happen to wake up with a bad attitude. Then, I decide to go for a morning run and later on, I don't even realize it but my bad attitude disappears and I am full of positive energy for the rest of the day. Basically, running helps to reset and recharge batteries.

  6. Running outdoors allows to breathe fresh air which is vital for the human body. Fresh air is much better than air-conditioned air found in the gym or any indoor places.

  7. Running is a solo activity meaning that you are your only competitor. You can set challenges for yourself based on your performance and you can go at your pace.

  8. Running helps to sleep better. For people who can not stop thinking, running definitely helps to shut the brain and get the required 7-8 hours of sleep everyday.
  9. Running helps to concentrate better and to develop creativity just like any physical activity. As you engage yourself in a physical activity, you will learn to focus on that activity and that will definitely help you focus on other aspects of your life and this is how you learn to achieve other goals in life you set for yourself.

  10. Running for great causes can help to raise charity funds. Since there are no gym membership fees associated with running, signing up for races happening in your hometown city (or even another city) is an excellent way to set a running challenge for yourself and to contribute to great causes.

To conclude, I hope the above reasons have inspired you to acknowledge that engaging in a regular physical activity has various advantages for ourselves. I hope that you are able to find your most preferred physical activity and that you make it a part of your daily life and hopefully you start noticing the quality of your life improving. Committing to regular physical activity can also help to prevent diseases. I believe precaution is always better than cure, so don't risk your health. It's always hard to start but don't underestimate the power of your small efforts. Every step matters and remember that no one ever regrets getting physically active.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Authenticity Is The Key To Stand Out

No matter how much we deny it, we live in a world where there is non stop competition. We compare ourselves with our peers instead of looking at the individual progress we have made from the past. We find our motivation through affection from people around us, achieving new goals and milestones that others don't have the potential to set for themselves, etc. In between, how much authentic do we feel about ourselves? In order to be the best version of us for ourselves and to win people's faith, we must feel good and true inside of us. This post goes hand in hand with my post of January 2016 on gratitude. Authenticity is one of the most powerful keys to make peace with your life regardless of what kind of circumstances life throws at us. 

Being authentic is about being able to live in and appreciate the present moment. As human beings, we are constantly focusing on moving forward in life that our present barely gets the attention it deserves. However, our thoughts, our behavior and our attitude towards the present can be a huge indicator of how our future will be shaped. Chances are if we are not enjoying the journey right now, we will not appreciate the destination. Therefore, it is important to be mindful about the present and to acknowledge that we are exactly where we are meant to be. By committing to the present, we are most likely going to be authentic to our other commitments such as life goals and relationships. 

Being authentic is to be aware of our strengths and weaknesses. It is okay not to be perfect. Once we identify our strengths and weaknesses, nobody can use them against us. We may not be noticing the little progress we make day after day but in a year from today, we will not be the person we are today. Thus, it's important that we accept the fact that we are not a "finished product" but rather a "work-in-progress human being". In order to help people around us, we must be able to recognize what we can offer without willing to impress too hard or fake something that we can not offer. It's easy to impress people with the superficial but when we're comfortable being not perfect, we leave something more for people to remember us: we are sincere and we will be appreciated for being genuine.  

Being authentic is to remain faithful to our values. Our family background, the friends we hang out with and our past journey are an interesting package that allows us to choose the values we believe in and that we want to carry wherever we go in life. It's important to have values because they create something unique out of us and they make us different from the rest of the people. It's good to get pulled out for a change once in a while but sticking to our life principles and not letting external factors or circumstances take away our main moral values show that we are resistant and resilient. Being loyal to ourselves goes beyond being honest. The latter just means that if we did something wrong, we confess it to ourselves and we usually feel guilty about it whereas being loyal is being thoughtful about the steps we take while keeping our values in mind.

I believe authenticity is a concept not widely spread or enough emphasized in today's world but when we are looking to make connections with people either on a personal or a professional level, a person who is authentic will always outweigh the one who isn't being his or her true self. It takes lots of courage along with vulnerability to present an authentic version of ourselves to others because nowadays most people are concerned more by the superficial than depth. Hence, we may not attract a high quantity of people towards us but we will attract the right quality of people towards us and that is more than enough to be at peace with our life and to make the most out of our life journey.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Balance: The Secret To A Fulfilled Life

In today's society, things are changing so fast that people don't get enough time to reflect on the changes happening around them. It seems like life is a race and most people are living their days according to the principle of "life is short" when in fact our time on Earth is determined by our thoughts, our actions and the energy we disperse around us. Balance is the secret to a successful life. In the following paragraphs, I will present five ideas on which you can hopefully reflect and make the changes, if necessary, to make the best out of your life journey.

There are notions, circulating on today's social media, that a human being should constantly be happy, live life with no regrets, etc. According to me, those are very destructive ideas.  Human beings were created to experience all kind of emotions from joy to sadness (you may refer to my post of February 2016) while social media is bringing the idea that we must suppress our unpleasant feelings. Being able to feel various emotions and having different moods are what make us genuine and real. If we are not happy, then that does not mean we have to chase for new happiness but rather we must face our current emotions. Having regrets can help us protect ourselves for next time such as by not repeating the same mistake twice in life. We are human beings and we do not need to behave as robots with a constant smiling face. Sure, at times, a smile on a face is the best way to hide our pain if we cannot explain it in words to others. Otherwise, when we are able to show people that we are vulnerable, it's a sign that we are strong, confident and aware of our emotions and our worth. 

As for resources, we all know that they are unfortunately not equally distributed on Earth. While some human beings are struggling to get access to water, food, clothing and shelter to survive, others are feeding their mind with the idea that they can get more than the luxurious life they have. Have you ever stopped to think about taking only what you need and letting other people have their share too? Be humble. It's not because we are given more of something that it necessarily means that we have to take all that is accessible to us. When we can acknowledge that what we have is more than enough for us, that means that we are blessed. And either way, the more we get, the more we want and the more we have to lose. In fact, "the more a person limits himself, the more resourceful he becomes" (Soren Kierkegaard) and this would be definitely an interesting challenge to take in our life journey. 

Have you ever been torn between "if it's meant to be, it will be" and "if you want it, go get it"? I believe we have all been there or at least I hope so. Now, think about how bored we would be to just sit down home and wait for everything to come to us without us doing a single effort? Or how drained we would feel for always having to chase what we want? Either way, we would not be feeling good on the inside. So instead, a mix of "if it's meant to be, it will be" and "if you want it, go get it" is what makes life more interesting. Living under these two principles would allow us to feel both peace and excitement. Sometimes we have to let life surprise us, not rush anything and surrender to that flow. Other times, we need to set challenges to stimulate ourselves and make the efforts to achieve our goals. Once again, today's society always encourages people to go after what they want instead of being grateful with what they have and let some events unfold at the time they are meant to.

Another questionable concept circulating in today's world is the one of being kind to others under all circumstances. Nowadays, not being kind is often translated into being either a mean or cold hearted person when in fact it could simply mean that someone is trying to take care of himself or herself first instead of being a people's pleaser or that he or she disagrees to support the other person because their values are in conflict. At some point in our lives, we have probably been torn between "treat others how you want to be treated" and "treat others how they treat you". Both of these ideas are good for real life because the first way allows you to offer the best version of yourself to others and the second way allows you to respond to the energy provided by others either by being a blessing or a lesson. By always being kind or wanting to be a blessing to people all the time, we sometimes please people who may simply want to take advantage of us and that is wrong. We are not less than anyone in this world. Thus, it certainly is a good thing to be kind but we should not let others step all over us. 

At last but not the least, I think the most dangerous concept in today's world is "do what makes you happy and don't care about what others think." I believe you may agree with me that people today focus more on short term happiness instead of long term happiness. All that seems to matter is the present because we are here today. We are encouraged to not think about the future because we may not be there tomorrow. However, what kind of world are we going to leave for tomorrow's kids? We need to learn that sometimes our actions affect other people. What we do is not just about us. We are all trying to make the best out of our lives by learning from each other, sometimes by not repeating the same mistakes others have done and sometimes by setting challenges for ourselves that others have taken for themselves. Our actions of today can be the echo of the actions someone else may take tomorrow so we must be careful in what we do and what we say. Then again, this does not mean we should always think about others before our own desires because there is indeed a challenge sometimes in walking on a path alone without anybody's support. It's all about finding the balance between doing what makes us happy and inspiring others to do good in the world.

To conclude, I hope this post has shed some light on how today's society is trying to impose certain ideas to people making them believe that it is how today's generation thinks. Real life is about balance. We deserve happy days but we must feel sadness at times. We can take what we need but we must let others have their share too. We can set goals and work hard to achieve them but we must believe that what is meant for us will not miss us. We can be kind to others but we must not let others feels that their needs come first and ours in second place. We can do what makes us happy but we must keep in mind that our actions affect others. Balance in life is achieved when the mind and the heart are in harmony with each other. The mind may seem tough while the heart is usually softer but both are essential to guide us in life. Beware of the energy you give out and remember that the secret to a fulfilled life is balance!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Understanding The Importance Of Emotions With The Movie "Inside Out"

When all seems to fall apart or you are confused with life, it's always a good idea to watch kids' movies. There is so much to learn from those movies and sometimes all we need is motivation to start back from square one. Today I want to share some of the realizations I made after watching the movie "Inside Out" (Walt Disney Pictures, 2015). My blog indeed focuses on the idea that we need to be positive to lead a happy life. However, it's important to acknowledge that life is made of ups and downs. It is ok to feel negative emotions at times. We learn to appreciate the good in our life because we go through the bad. In the following paragraphs, I will try to explain the importance of the five main emotions used in the movie "Inside Out": Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness.

First, we have joy, which is a feeling that leads to great happiness. Without joy, we would be having a depressing life. Joy is indeed a positive emotion and I believe joy is what triggers the feeling of gratitude in us. Life is meant to be lived one day at a time, so if we are having some better days than others, we must acknowledge that we are blessed with joyful days and it's really up to us to go store those joyful days in our long term memory. If our joyful days are meaningful, there is no doubt that these good memories will replay in our mind in the future to make us feel good and/or grateful.

Second, we have anger, which is some sort of strong feeling that makes us upset or annoyed. I think anger acts like a self-defense emotion, and that's essential because there is no better person than us to defend ourselves. Anger can sometimes engage us into a conflict with someone else, which is healthy for us at times and it can also push us to take action to make things the way we want. However, as it's mostly a negative emotion, we can end up taking the wrong steps and this can lead to bigger problems when in fact we just wanted to make a way for ourselves to be happy. Therefore when we are angry, it's important to be aware of this feeling and remind ourselves that the action plan that the angry emotion is creating for us may not be a suitable/wise plan we'd follow if we'd have a cooler mind.

Third, we have fear, which is the feeling of being afraid and/or worry about something bad or unpleasant. Fear is usually the result of our insecurities. Fear is an emotion that I believe is built from our thoughts and it's a way for our mind to protect us from a disastrous scenario if it were to occur. Nevertheless, once fear is gone from our mind, it's almost like we have made some accomplishment. Simple example: When a kid is afraid of going to school for the first time because of the unknown but eventually, the kid gets familiar with his or her teacher and makes new friends, the feeling of fear gradually vanishes. Fear is a special type of emotion: a negative one which can turn into a positive one if we step out of our comfort zone.

Fourth, there's disgust which is a strong feeling of dislike for something. Maybe, disgust was too much of a strong emotion in the storyline but I'll leave that to the director of the movie "Inside Out". Since we're not robots, it is normal to have dislikes. Being aware of our dislikes protects us from what may cause unhappiness to us. Having preferences is what makes our standards and what makes us humans and therefore we should not be ashamed of our dislikes as they don't make any less of us.

Fifth, there's sadness which is a feeling of grief or unhappiness. Just like Joy in the movie was continuously pushing away Sadness from Riley's memory, I realized that I've also been wondering what the purpose of sadness is in life? I found my answer in the movie. Sadness is to alert others and ourselves when we are overwhelmed and that we may need help. Sadness teaches us to be compassionate towards others and have sympathy for others. Sadness allows us to connect deeply with people; please remember that a person, especially a kind hearted one, will find you more valuable if you are present for her or him when s/he is sad than you being present when s/he is joyful. To understand others who may be going through sad phases, it's crucial for us to be sometimes sad so that we can relate with other people's sadness to eventually help them let go of that sadness.

I hope this post helped you understand that all five emotions mentioned, whether positive or negative, all somehow contribute to help us achieve happiness. Joy does not equal absolute happiness. Each emotion from joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness, has its purpose. The human mind is more complex than these five emotions actually. Being aware of the emotions that dominate us in a particular situation can help us understand ourselves, make the necessary changes in our thoughts and find a way to better deal with certain difficult situations in life. I believe it's important to embrace our emotions because they are truly what make us unique from others and we're all special people in this world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gratitude Is The Best Attitude‏

Happy New Year everyone! The past two years were some kind of roller coaster years for me that I could barely focus on my blog. That being said, 2016 is a new year and I truly want to make the best out of it and of course encourage people to do the same. It's a blessing for me to be able to think positive and share it in writing, so let's get started.

The concept of gratitude was unknown to me about a few years ago. Now that I've learned what it is, I think it's such a valuable key for anyone who wants to achieve a happy life. Gratitude is more than its definition of a feeling of appreciation or thanks. It's a state of mind and a positive vibe to spread around. Life then rewards us back in unexpected ways at unexpected times. 

As human beings, our focus is usually on what we want because we know that life goes on and we must keep moving forward. Sometimes we get discouraged as we still have a long way to achieve what we want. In that instant, we need to pause and look back at what we have achieved and how far we have come. It's important to take that present time to reflect on the efforts we have put and the good feelings that the past achievements have given us. It's a little step that shows that we acknowledge the good that life has offered or offers us. When we are grateful for what we have, we realize that we are blessed with more than enough and this type of thought lets us achieve a peaceful mindset which then allows us to think about the efforts we need to put to achieve our next goals. Basically, gratitude is an attitude that makes us feel good inside, it's that simple.

Let me give you a small personal example. I was and am constantly torn between "If you do not go after what you want, you'll never have it" and "What's meant to be will be." Just a couple of months ago, I felt like life rewarded me for appreciating what I had. I was in my world, giving my best and one day, a little reward knocked on my door. At first, I could not believe that such a day would come because I considered myself just an average human being. It was a minor accomplishment and I reflected on the attitude I had just days and weeks before. That's when I realized that weeks before, I was genuine to myself and had said something along the following words to some people: "I got a lot [of happiness] in my share, I don't need more for now..." I think this attitude of mine just made life reward me later on somehow. For me, it was all the power of gratitude. At that time, I was so happy that my mission of positivity is not just a dream in my mind but rather life itself is helping me make the best of my journey.

There's a saying "Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." I probably first read that three years ago and did not know back then but now I know that's exactly what gratitude is. If we don't take the time to reflect on what we have, we will never know what we truly have, we'll take for granted what we have and we will always want more and that's not the right attitude. We should not wait to lose something or the privilege associated to it to understand its value. We need to learn to cherish the good things we have and we get no matter how small they are.

When I say that we have to be grateful for what we have, it also applies towards the dear ones we have in our lives. We all know that people come and go whenever they want and not everyone is meant to stay forever in our lives. This may seem difficult to do, I am still struggling sometimes, but it's important to let people know at times that they matter to us. When our dear ones are nice to us, we must have faith in the positive vibes that they send us. We need to trust ourselves and listen to our inner voice that makes us acknowledge that these people bring the good in us and help us to be good human beings. Similarly, we have the power to make them feel special. Complimenting others is some sort of gratitude too!

I did and I am still doing this exercise of writing down each good thing that happens to me in a line and by the end of year, I easily find about 100 good things that happened in my life over the year. This helps me realize how blessed I am and to shift away my attention from the negative thoughts. For those interested, I invite you to try to do the same. Gratitude is an attitude for you, not to impress anyone around. We have nothing to lose with this attitude. When we are genuinely grateful for what we have, life just gets better and surprises us when we least expect it. Keep the faith in gratitude and watch the small changes that will add up in your life! Make the most out of 2016!