It’s 12:54am, 20th December, 2010. The year is coming close to an end, and it feels like just a few days ago that we said happy new year! The year has been quite eventful, we’ve made new friends, learnt new things, ventured into new opportunities and journeyed through varied experiences. There have been tough times, challenging seasons and great moments! There have been thoughts that crossed my mind, that I deliberately shut out, and there have been experiences I have savored way beyond the moment. He that thinks, thanks! I don’t know about you, but as I think about the last one week, and I think about the last 11 months, my heart wells up with gratitude, my face is flushed and my eyes teary. I’ve not had it all smooth, but there is so so much to be grateful for!
Can you think back and consciously find reasons to be grateful? Has it been worth it? You have a choice how you see the cup of your life. Half empty or half full is simply a game of perspectives. A failed attempt can be seen as one more way not to do it, or it can be seen as the basis for defining the time as wasted. Thinking back daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, there is so much to be grateful for.
Please count your blessings with me. Permit me to start from the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
1. Biological and Physiological Needs
For the basic needs of life – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex and sleep, I am truly grateful. Those who have been denied of many of these are not worse in character or less than human. Some are on constant oxygen supply, many find it difficult to feed, many thirst and many do not have places to stay. To refuse to think that we are privileged is to take things for granted. I am grateful. Can you remember anything to grateful for?
2. Safety Needs
For the Safety needs of life -security, protection, order, law, limits, stability, e.t.c. I am truly grateful. My family and loved ones have been kept from harm. Financially, health-wise and physically, we have enjoyed security, we have traveled far and wide and have been kept safe and sound. Some are unsafe and insecure, we are not better than them. For these and other blessings, I am truly grateful. Can you remember safety needs met, to be grateful for?
3. Love and Belonging Needs
For my love needs in life – family, affection, work group and relationships brought into my life, I am grateful! Nothing beats the chorus of “daddy”, “daddy”, “daddy”, when I get home, as my children compete for their hugs. Nothing beats hanging out with my wife for more than 14hrs everyday. Nothing compares with the A2W team, that surround me, and the relationships that this year has brought my way. In the area of love and a sense of belonging, I have a lot to be grateful for. What about you?
4. Esteem Needs
For the sense of worth and achievement bestowed on me in the course of this year, I am grateful. I am grateful for the awards, grateful for the achievements, the responsibility, the reputation and even the status bestowed on me. In the area of esteem needs, there is a lot to be grateful for. I am grateful, how about you? Mind you though, we are each motivated by the level we don’t yet have, so in case you have no esteem needs, be grateful that you have little or nothing to worry about.
5. Cognitive Needs
I am grateful for the hunger for knowledge that has driven me to read, to seek to know and to have a sense of meaning and of purpose. We talk so boldly and take it for granted, we have a sense of purpose, are driven to read and don’t see it as a big deal. There is so much to be grateful for, are you grateful?
6. Aesthetic Needs
For my personal growth and an increased appreciation of beauty, of balance and of form, I am truly grateful. I have been blessed with awesome sights, been thrilled by adrenalin pumping exercises. I have vacationed in different parts of the world, and enjoyed so many views, for these and more I am grateful. Do you now have reasons to be grateful?
7. Self Actualization Needs
For giving me the opportunities and the privileges to push myself towards achieving my God given potentials, I am grateful. I look at myself a year back, and I have learnt so much, and grown so fast it amazes me. “God, I am thankful”
8. Transcendence Needs
Nothing beats the feeling of hearing a “thank you” from someone you have labored to add value to and ensure turns out better than you. There is no greater joy than the joy that comes from pouring out yourself for others. Nothing equates with that feeling of rising to the height of ones personal potential and helping another person take the same journey. For the opportunities you have given me to help others become fulfilled, I am truly grateful. Are you grateful?
Make up your mind to enter into the new year with gratitude. If we think deeply enough, we can always find 5 things everyday to be grateful for. Once you can retain the attitude of gratitude, there is nothing big heading your way that will miss you. You will suddenly discover that you have become like a magnet for the things you desire.