How to appreciate what you have.

Perception is such an important concept.  It’s one that I talk about often in therapy with my patients, and it can help you feel good about your life, but it can also make you feel miserable.  Carnegie was correct.  What you think about your life is as important as how you feel about your partner, or your job, or your future.  If you think your life is miserable, it probably is miserable.  If you think your life is great, it probably is.  We have a way of creating our own reality, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  When you think about your life, what is your perception?  Are you lucky or unlucky?  Are you blessed or cursed?  Your perception is one of the keys to your happiness.

I have worked with patients over the years that felt that they were cursed, and nothing would ever go their way.  That perception is so hard to crack, because they tend to wait for life to make them feel better.   I don’t know about you, but life hasn’t seemed to help me when I needed it.  On most occasions, I had to turn my thinking around to feel better about my life.  In the movie Even Almighty, God come to a man and tells him to build an arc.  In the movie, the wife of the man struggles to understand what is happening, and leaves the man (played by Steve Carell) and ends up in a diner, eating French fries.  God comes to her, as a waiter, and talks with her about her inner turmoil.  He tells her that God doesn’t give patience, he gives people opportunities to be patient.  He also says that God doesn’t give people time to spend together, he creates opportunities to spend time together.  Those are paraphrasing, but the message is there.

No matter what is happening in your life, you have the opportunity to change it.  If you appreciate all your blessings (or whatever you call them), whether you believe in a higher power or not, it changes your view of your life.  If you appreciate the people in your life, and they appreciate you and the relationships are mutual and healthy, it can give you opportunities to grow and improve your life.  If your relationships don’t allow you to grow and better yourself, that can also have an affect on your perception of yourself and your future, in a much more negative way.  It’s like “you are what you eat”.  You are what you perceive.  Change your perceptions, and your self-talk, and you can change your life.

That change can be very scary, and if you need help, find help from a professional that can help you make sure you are on the right track.  If you see yourself as successful, you can figure out a way to be successful.  If you feel that you will never amount to anything, you will never realize your goals.  As long as your goals are realistic, you can achieve them.  I will never be a basketball star, at 5 feet 2 inches, and I’m not good at basketball, so that wouldn’t be a realistic goal for me, but I wanted to work with kids and families and I have realized that in my career.

How you think about your life matters.  It’s not about your past, or what you might have been told.  It’s about what you want to work toward, and who you want to become.  Sometimes, it takes a lot of courage to realize your dreams.  Never give up!  It’s all a part of being happy for life.