I’d like to take a moment to remind you that your life is awesome. Seriously.
“But dude, how could you personally know my life is awesome? You have no idea of who I am or my situation.”
True. But I can make some guesses based on the fact you’re reading this blog.
You came across it online, likely through one of my books. That tells me a few things:
- You have internet access
- You can read and speak English
- You realize that by reading and learning you can change your life
Where I live, parts of the country lack internet access and English is a skill that can provide an easy middle to upper class life in Thailand, not to mention dozens of other countries around the world. However, westerners in the US, UK and Canada may take this ability for granted because speaking English is normal where you’re from. But it’s not normal in most places.
Last, and the most important reason why your life is awesome is #3:
You believe you can change your life for the better
You’re reading this blog about meditation, mindfulness and happiness, which tells me you believe a better life is possible for you. You believe your actions can make a difference. If you read this blog and take my advice, then positive changes can happen.
I think most dudes don’t realize how important this mindset is.
Now, there’s no way to calculate this, but I’d be willing to bet more than half the people on this planet don’t believe their actions make a difference. They feel they’re not in control of their life and things just happen to them. For example, I recently heard Lebron James mention his mother had never voted in a single election up until 2020, because she thought her vote didn’t matter, didn’t make a difference. Lebron’s mother! One of the greatest basketball players of our time.
In Thailand, the vast majority of people don’t believe they’re in control of their lives. They believe they’re at the whims of karma and can’t do anything to change things.
But not you.
You’re reading this blog and by doing so took action to make a change in your life. Why? Because you know it’s possible.
And this belief alone gives you the power to create the life you want. If you’ve read An Ordinary Dude’s Guide to Habit, you know that belief is the first step to achieving any goal. Without it, you won’t go anywhere. Why? Because if you don’t believe something is possible, you won’t even try.
The fact that you have a belief in your ability to change is an incredible gift many people lack and you’re fortunate to have. It’s much more important than any of the other things I mentioned, dude—your life is awesome because you have the belief that you can make it awesome.
Experience the lives of those less fortunate
So here you are again, listening to me as I once again go on about Thailand. Guilty as charged.
But there’s good reason, my life here has ultimately changed my perspective. And that’s where this next point comes in. By seeing the lives of those less fortunate than me, I know just how fortunate I am. The thing is, in my seven years here, I’ve bitched about Thailand a lot. That is until I visited one of the poorest countries in the world in 2017: Nepal.
To gain a new appreciation for your life…to realize how good you have it, sometimes you need to see the other side of the coin. And you can do that by visiting places and witnessing the lives of those less fortunate.
Three years ago, I spent a week in Kathmandu—the absolute poorest place I’ve ever visited. The city was like a giant slum, with rundown buildings as far as the eye can see and thick, smog-filled skies. I used to always complain about how terrible Bangkok’s air pollution was. But after my Kathmandu trip…not anymore. In Nepal’s capital, you can get sick just from being alive and breathing. When I came back to Bangkok, I had a new appreciation for the cleaner air and also the luxuries I have access to—western food, craft beer and 24-hour electricity (blackouts are an everyday occurrence in Kathmandu).
The point is, sometimes you need to experience the life of those less fortunate, to realize how good you have it. Sometimes you have to experience shit, to really appreciate the good times.
I highly recommend international travel to third world countries for this reason. It’s not as expensive as you think (a week long trip can cost less than $1,000).
But you can also do something that doesn’t cost you a dime, like volunteering at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter or orphanage for a day. Most cities will have all three. And by doing this, you’ll not only feel good because you’re helping people, but you’ll also gain a new appreciation for your life and the luxuries you have that many people could only dream of.
Write down 3 reasons why your life is awesome
Take five minutes today and write down three reasons why your life is great. They can be simple. Something like you had pizza for lunch, have a warm bed to sleep in or even a hot shower (which I’ve not always had in my life).
There are really things all around you to be grateful for.
And when you start appreciating the little things, you do really start to see why your life is awesome. And that will give you a little boost of happiness and likely bring a smile to your face.