Seven days ago, my wife left me. It was completely out of the blue. The leaving, not the coldness. The coldness had been there for a few weeks.
My wife wants children more than life itself. As a matter of fact, I am 100% certain that she would trade twenty years off of her life to have a baby. As fate would have it, we cannot have children together. The fertility doctors have told us that our parts “should work”. They are absolutely healthy and we should be making babies left and right. Only we aren’t. We have gone through fertility treatments four excruciating times. Going through the cycle of intense hopefulness when the zygote is implanted to the crushing low when they gave us the news that it didn’t implant. Those experiences test the mettle of a couple. I thought we were like granite, but I was wrong.
She finally gave in to the crashing of the waves of sorrow and told me that she wanted to carry and give birth to her own baby. She did not want to adopt. When I told her that a biological baby isn’t something that we could have together, she told me that it is an experience that she must go through….with or without me.
As I staggered to catch myself, I thought of your writings. About how you had been on the floor writhing as your world crashed down around you. I didn’t need to to think about how I was going to make it through, because you have showed me the way. Over the past week, I have labeled a thousand thoughts as “not helpful” and moved on. I’ve been a superhero to countless homeless people and a few family members in need. I’ve also understood that the universe has a reason for giving me the gift of this pain, just as it had a reason for giving you the pain you endured. Steel must be strained before it becomes hard. It must be honed to become sharp. Those activities harm the material to make it better.
Reading your blog for all of these months has given me to tools to walk away from the abyss and into the light. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
after reading your post and your “call to action”, i had a weird thought.
i’ve always had this weird scar that rises up from my belly button. it’s odd, and it’s been there since birth. once, a doctor saw it and asked me if i wanted to remove it.
and despite my embarrassment, and the fact that i won’t remove my shirt in public, i said “no.”
anyway, i’m grateful for that odd looking scar, because it reminds me of my uniqueness and it gives me the ability to claim that i’m really not from this world.
simple as it may seem, i am grateful for each day.
technically, i am grateful for the conditions that allow me to be in ‘each day’
i am approaching 47 years old which is 2 years before my father’s age when he died (49) and 4 years before my mother’s age when she died (51).
my mother abondoned her family when i was 11 and my father had some serious health issues with multiple heart attacks and a stroke all in his earlier 40’s that left me parentless at 14. that being said, i’ve dealt with abandonment issues and have never felt like there would be anything long term in my life.
i can’t remember my father playing ball with me (or my brother or sister for that matter) ever. he was always working for next to nothing and because of his health he could never land a decent job. fortunately he was a carpenter by trade and had plenty of odd jobs. he died late one night after working his afternoon shift as a security guard. my mother floated in and out of my life for 10 years more until cancer took her.
well, lately it seems like i might just live past 50 years old. except for my parents, the remainder of my aunts and uncles are in their 70’s and 80’s. i have a job with good benefits and i love my work. im with wife number 3 (the charm!), and have 1 older (16) and 1 younger (4) kid. all are healthy and appear to be at least average in intelligence.
in recent years i’ve lost several friends/co workers to cancer and one long time friend to a hit and run bicycle accident. when im out for a run i often think of them and the fact that their lives were cut short and they would probably love to be running, riding, reading, doing anything other than being dead.
so, every day when my 4 year old is asking me a gazillion questions about everyhing from wastewater treatment to my favorite color lego, i think of my family, my mother who sought the greener grass, my father who tried to provide for his kids but failed miserably, and my friends, who no longer have a daily grind, and i try to answer the questions as best i can and i am grateful for the conditions that happen to be just right in my life that allow me to do so.
Just got a great new gig where someone pays me to think about inventions, I meet interesting very smart people and read a lot, plus just had a great holiday in Europe, plus have a great wife (2nd as well, some of your divorce stories and kid situation resonate deeply) and two great sons.
Also just got a very expensive education (3-4 business failures after 1 success) 🙂 which has just led me to a better place
Keep up the great stories and thanks for making me think about gratitude.
Just got around to reading this article…..wow, what am I grateful for? Let me count the ways….(Sonnets from the Grandma)
1. Eyes to see the beauty in every face
2. Ears to hear the laughter of children
3. Hands to offer hugs to the hurting
4. A nose to smell the roses along the way
5. A mouth to say “I love you”……
The past year has been a somewhat rough transition for me–not only did I go from college to the “real world” with it’s share of awful bosses and un-fulfilling jobs, but I lost the support of my best friend. Instead of empathizing with me as she always used to, she now tells me to suck it up.
What I am most grateful for then, is that I know something that most people (including my friend) do not– I know that it is entirely possible to change your circumstances. There is nothing in the universe, not money or bosses or parents that binds you to a miserable existence/situation. I am so fortunate in my young life to have already learned that we always have the power to change, and along with that, the power to be happy. We have the power to surround ourselves with the right people and to define our futures instead of letting our futures define us.
So the thing I am grateful for is truly being alive!
There were some desperate times in my life where I contemplated suicide. Now I have such a blessed life, that I am truly grateful I am alive.
I am most grateful for having had two parents who loved me. That has had an affect on all of my choices for the last 60 years. And I have learned how rare it is.
I’m grateful for finding your blog and most importantly, your TDP
webapp. I really like to record my progress in life and those four
sections (bodies, like you said before) suggested from the very
beginning gave me a path to follow. Thank you!
In my seek of self development, when I was 21 until two weeks ago,
looking for more, reading nutritive books and blobs on the internets I
found yours. I really like the person who you are and how honest you
are to the people you can not imaging meeting every one of them.
Well… hi, my name is Josh.
I feel like writing one to one in spite of knowing you’ve got
hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe more readers of your posts. Well,
I’ll not be time consuming. Thank you very much.
I am grateful for my dog spartan, my girlfriend Janelle, and the mountains.
Altucher: I’m grateful that life doesn’t just let me be a slug, but that somehow there is Love that keeps making me uncomfortable and dissatisfied, like an itch that demands a scratch. Like reading your damn blog. Thanks.
I’ve been reading you, Ferris, and Guillebeau for some time now, trying to create a new life. I’m searching for an income, some freedom, and a little peace. The “peace” part of the equation is really why your writing resonates with me. And I’m trying to follow your practices to get my idea muscles built.
At 49, I find myself with 2 failed businesses, an $11.00 an hour job (after 8 months of unemployment), two kids to feed, no savings, credit card debt, living in Taos, NM. I need to create my opportunity. That being said, I’m grateful and hopeful. Every day.
My passion is classic motorcycles. I’ve been trying to figure out a website or blog as a vehicle. Any brilliant ideas or thoughts?
Thanks again for sharing your musings with the world. As long as you want to write, I’ll be there to read.
p.s. – I don’t know that I can convince my boys not to go to college, but you’ve given me one hell of an argument against.
I am thankfull for living in the Netherlands where my parents where refuges from Montenegro (ex yugoslavia).
I can life in a peacefull great country.
I’m thankfull for my health
I am thankfull for making my own money online
I am thankfull for my family
I too am a father,well… In 2 weeks I will be. I’m grateful for 2nd chances. The ability to overcome past mistakes and make new ones with greater experiences. This includes 2nd chances of love, life, and family.
Grateful for my wife. She saved me from death.
One day I asked my kids where their “happy” place was. Before they
answered, I thought they were going to tell me: “the beach, Disney
World, the zoo, Grandpa’s house, etc.” But each of them told me it
was “home”. I agreed. I am grateful for my happy home with my wife
I am grateful for having a home and family I can return to after a crappy day.
I am grateful for the people in my life I can really talk to.
I am grateful for your blog, your work has changed my outlook and approach to life.
I am grateful for so many things so it’s really hard to say just one. I’m grateful that we have three wonderful sons who, although separated by 14 years, are very, very close. Tonight my wife, our youngest son Jake, and I will drive from Phoenix to our rental in Sedona. This makes me think I am grateful we can afford the time and money to spend every summer weekend in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona and we’re able to live and work here in the valley of the sun the rest of the year.
Tomorrow we will drive from Sedona to Flagstaff where Jacob will move into his dorm as an incoming freshman at NAU. I already know your position re: colleges and universities. In fact, I pretty much agree with it. But I do not wish to engage in a battle of wits with my wife/companion of the last 42 years! Our two oldest sons graduated from the University of Puget Sound and the University of Arizona, respectively. One works in the family business with his mother and me. The other is a very successful litigation support specialist. This makes me grateful that all three of our sons live here in the greater Phoenix area so we are able to see each other regularly.
James, when I began to write this, I thought the first thing I’d say was that I was greatful for my conversion to Judaism some 25+ years ago. And, no, I’m not some kind of religious fanatic. In fact, at times I find myself even wondering if there is a god/creator. Thank god I’m reform and not orthodox or this could be a real problem! While I’m on the subject, I’m grateful that my wife followed me and had her own conversion to Judaism a short time after me.
James, I came from a broken home with two alcoholic parents. No college education. Yes, I was a guy with a lot of “baggage.” So I am grateful I’ve had the common sense and strength to overcome all the garbage of my youth and to become a great father and a successful businessman. It’s been some king of a ride and it’s not even close to being done (hopefully!)
I’m closing now but I could go on and on about how grateful I am to be where I’m at right now.
I know it sounds cliche, but more than anything, I’m grateful for my kids. These pat few years have been very difficult. I’ve lost everything (my business, house, savings, etc) and had to start over from scratch. I have found inspiration in your blog and books, but my kids are the one thing that keep me going. Not just providing for them, but hopefully showing them how to overcome adversity and find success. All while not having to work for someone else. And at the end of the day, the privilege of coming home to them is what I am most grateful for.
I am grateful that you reminded me to be grateful. I lose site of who and what I have around me. I am grateful to be sitting in my beautiful garden with my partner, birds singing, sun shining, a breeze, and a moment to enjoy all the things I take for granted.
Every day I’m grateful for my health, my family and my drive to explore.
Today I am grateful for an excellent vacation with my family in the French countryside at the country home of my business partner. Excellent.
I really enjoy your writing. Please keep it up – it was very helpful during the financial crisis while I watched my millions slip away. I am now building them back up – if I only knew then what I know now.
I’m thankful for my two kids, two dogs and my second wife. Mostly, I’m thankful for living in Oregon and not….say South Dakota.
I’m grateful that I just celebrated my 63rd birthday hiking in Glacier
National Park, Montana with my sister and brother in law. Having
beauty, love and caring in my life is pretty amazing.
And thanks for your weird and wonderful perspectives – another thing
I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful for my family making me mentally tough enough to stand the bullshit thrown at me everyday from jobs/people/situations!
I’m grateful I have a wife I can talk to everytime we have a misunderstanding and solve it.
I’m grateful for my 15-month-old shining bright baby, healthy and loving and wildly loved by all.
I’m grateful our second baby could be alredy coming.
I’m grateful my baby visited her grandpa’s grave today and I felt he was happy that she was there (don’t ask me, I just felt it),
And I’m grateful my wife’s uncle got some results today and it wasn’t cancer.
Your email about gratitude was a very timely one. Despite some ongoing health challenges, I have a lot to be grateful for. But today I am grateful for my happy, healthy family, especially for my two boys.
You see, I live in a nice middle class neighborhood in Marin county California, with “great schools” – one of the many reasons we moved here. But late yesterday my wife and I found out that our kids will be starting school tomorrow (kindergarten and 3rd grade) to learn that one of the upcoming fourth graders won’t be coming back to school. All we know is that he died in an accident at home over the weekend. As parents, our brains ask what, why, and how could this have happened. I am sure we will learn more details as the days pass, but right now the only thing I can think of to do is to grab my kids and show them how grateful I am to have their love and joy in my life. I encourage everyone with children to do the same, and if you can’t do it in person, hold the vision of their smiling faces in your thoughts, imagine what it would be like to not have them, and say a prayer of thanks that you do.
I am grateful to be living in the United States of America. We sometimes forget that our standard of living is so far above so much of the rest of the world that we never have anything to complain about. We can worship where we want to, we can eat anything that we want to, and can live in a nice house or apartment. Statistically much of the rest of the people on this planet cannot say that about their lives.
Now onto what I’m grateful for.
It’s been 20 years since my existence as a human being began on this civilization on the planet Earth. I am incredibly grateful for just existing and being sentient of myself to the extent that I am able to wonder in awe at the beauty and complexity of the world we live in. As Einstein said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible”. Everyday when I think about the world, I am grateful for the fact that we have enough in our brains to be able to understand stuff that goes on in the world; we are able to organize a myriad amount of information and make sense of it through different languages. As a Physics major, I am studying a subject which organizes stuff that happens in the world and expresses it through a language called Mathematics. Isn’t that beautiful? As a dancer, I express the music through the movements of my body. Isn’t that beautiful? We as humans, are able to appreciate the fact that we are able to express our gratitude for the very world that makes us feel unique. Isn’t that beautiful? Being grateful of the world we live in and the world we create is beautiful.
I hope this snippet of what grateful means resonates with you.
I am grateful for modern medicine and good doctors. My son was diagnosed with Chron’s disease at the tender age of 11. He was losing weight, pooping blood, and his hair turned to straw. He was skinny and weak and we were scared. His specialist brought him around and today at the age of 16 he is strong and doing well. Sometimes when he is a rotten teenager I’m grateful that he has the energy to be a rotten teenager.
Also if it were not for modern medicine I would be blind. In my early 40s I was diagnosed with early onset cataracts. The particular type of cataracts that I had comes on fast. Less than a year from when I was diagnosed I could no longer read. So I got the lenses inside of my eyeballs replaced. A truly remarkable procedure. Then, four years later I got a detached retina. The retina specialist slipped a piece of steel behind my eyeball, told me not to move, and pulled the trigger. With that, he froze the damaged part of my retina so that it would stick in place. Then he injected a bubble of propane into my eyeball and I had to stay in a certain position so that the propane would float up against the damaged retina and allow it to heal in place. Which it did. So without modern medicine and good doctors one of my eyes would be flat-out black blind. My other eye would be looking through a plastic milk carton. I would be able to see light and dark and maybe even recognize somebody if they were less than a couple feet away. I am very grateful to see.
The art of forgiveness.
Here’s what I’m grateful for today: my family can live comfortably on my wife’s salary. I lost my job last month two weeks after my first child was born. Corporate America is so considerate. Honestly, I am grateful about that too… I hated my job, and so am enjoying being paid 12 weeks of severance to spend time with my new daughter. Not sure what is next for me. I’ve been enjoying the summer with my family, half heartedly looking for a new job, considering being a stay at home dad full time rather than going back to corporate hell. The hardest part is getting over the “should” in my head. I went into student loan debt to get my MBA, so I “should” find another corporate marketing job that sucks the soul out of my body.
What I really want is a part time job that I can do from anywhere, on my own terms. Been trying to use your idea list method to come up with something between diaper changes, but all the ideas are still in the crappy stage.
I really appreciate reading your blog, your newsletter, and tdp.me. I appreciate how much you share about yourself and how willing you are to talk about your mistakes, failures, and the messiness that is in your head. We all have messes in our heads, most of us just don’t admit it.
Being able to spend my birthday (today!) with my beautiful wife-to-be. She’ the best so I am constantly grateful for her.
Getting my idea muscle working again. It gives me hope and it’s like a drug induced break from my shitty, monotonous job.
I’m so grateful for time I spent with my grandparents, favorite and slightly less favorite, when I was a little girl. I realize now, and kind of realized then that part of the reason I was often with them was because of trouble between my parents and my mother’s health but I didn’t mind. I was treated with love and respect and by the time I was an ungrateful teen I had more or less forgotten. For years a lot of those memories were dormant but now that I’m in my sixties and have a newest granddaughter occasionally in my care so much has come bubbling up – amazingly not lost – so helpful and compassionate that I almost cry with gratitude.
Parents and grandparents: don’t give up on your annoying teens and self involved young adults – the memories are there and they’ll come back when really needed.
I love your blogs. One of the things I am most grateful for is your blog. Over the past three years, I have lost both my parents and divorced and alcoholic, cheating husband. My life has been a whirlwind of change. Some good things are starting to come my way now. I actually started writing my own blog a few months ago and it has been extremely empowering and healing for me.
So… I am most grateful for YOUR blog and then MY blog and WRITERS and HONESTY in general.
Thank you so much!
I know you probably were looking for personal things, and of course I have many: my health, my wonderful family (that I complain about too much), my great and reasonably-well-paying job (that I complain about too much), the idiot decisions of my wife’s ex-husband (who I complain about too much) that have allowed me to swoop in and become a part of his wonderful half-ex-family. Hell, I write this on vacation in a multi-million-dollar beachfront house, purchased by my aunt and uncle for the explicit purpose of sharing it with his extended family. I could have nothing else, and I’d get to feel like the 1% for a week a year.
But the more time I stay in gratitude contemplation, the deeper and wider it gets, until I’m in an ocean of “I don’t deserve.” By the happy coincidence of the when and where of our birth, we’ve missed virtually all the suffering of the human race. What percentage of humans have died knowing only pain and hunger? I don’t even have to feel a pang before I amble over to the electrical-grid-powered, food-refrigerating device, perhaps for some strawberries (grown 2000 miles away, picked four or five days ago), or just about anything else I desire. Most pains and ills that have killed most people are relegated to musty textbooks. I, largely, don’t have to wonder whether my kids will survive childhood or adolescence, unlike the bulk of humanity today. My more reasonable “worries” center around whether they will be in the world’s top 10%, or merely top 15%.
I could go on and on… but I have to work off some of this gratitude. Chores await.
I was a gun collector (was). I ordered a small 22 caliber pistol from Germany which was delivered to a licensed gun dealer. I followed all the rules, everything legal per the ATF. After I paid my fee and completed the paperwork at the dealers I was arrested as I pulled out of my parking space, surrounded by ATF agents, guns drawn. I had unknowingly ordered a gun that was illegal to bring into this country. Bottom line was this, sentencing guidelines were 3-5 years in a federal prison for my “crime”. I had never broken the law other than an occasional speeding ticket. As luck would have it, I drew a federal judge that always went by the recommended guidelines when sentencing. My daughter was 16 at the time, I will miss her high school graduation, her entry into college, I would lose my advertising business, my home and possible my wife. At the sentencing hearing I received two months prison time, 3 years probation, community service and a bunch of other smaller penalties such as selling my gun collection and I could never own a gun again. Grateful? There are no words to describe my gratitude. Gratitude to my guardian angel, God? I picked God, how else could I explain it? I had my life back, my family, my business too.
My parents taking the courageous move to immigrate to this country, thereby allowing me to realize my full potential as a human being.
I really have plenty of things to be grateful for (best & loving
family/friends/husband, great health, etc) I can surely make the 100
items list, yet something in particular is changing my life in such a
drastic way that I just needed to mention this one:
I am grateful I got to know myself; Now, I know just who I am and it
feels so good.
Background: I am French living in Peru; History of brillant results in
college/university leading me to what other will qualify as a rocking
corporate job at P&G… I ve doing quite well there for the past 6
years (awards, indecent salary, promotions, and other bullshit) but I
always knew there was something wrong with me, with the way I was
running my life, fighting against my inner-self every morning,
stressed and insecured: will I do as good in the next review of
results? Why am I terrified to fail…? Why I procrastinate so much &
end up working all week ends and evening to catch up with my work and
meet my stupid perfectionist standards? What about if I lose my job, I
would not be able to do anything else, I have never done anything
Until the day I woke up. In the last 6 months, this is what I found out ….
-I got diagnosed with ADHD (Finally I know I am not fucked up, my
brain is just working differently vs. others which also means I have
special strenghts other don´t have…:))
-I got a a free lance job (part time) as a marketing consultant for a
NGO specialized in microcredit to help women in rural area of Colombia
and Peru – I proved myself I can do something else than selling
detergent, I can do something I find meaningful and working
-I finally quit my corporate job at P&G 2 weeks ago (you article on
this helped me big time!) – despite everyone around me telling me I
was crazy… I am pulling myself together to pursue my dream jobs:
opening my flower shop in Lima / launch an online textile design
business partnering with peruvian women making beautiful mantas in the
-I stopped flighting again myself, my husband, people in general…I
just learnt that things are not perfect and they will never be, I can
t change them, I am just trying to see the positive side of things as
much as posible and be grateful for the live I live.
I now know I am capable of great things that are making me happier and
hopefully helping others. I even started to go to chuch to thank for
I’m grateful that I get to take summer evening walks in my neighborhood, which is filled with old homes and beautifully landscaped yards.
I’m grateful for a great many things but one thing in particular stands out. At an early age my mother told me that there wasn’t a problem I’ve created that couldn’t be fixed. It might be hard and I might have to swallow my pride and I might have to apologize to people but it was always within my control. That simple sentiment has let me live a life without fear of failure. If I fail, if things go bad I’ll just do with it takes to fix it.
It forever changed the way I view risk and making decisions.
One of the things that comes to mind when I think of being grateful is the vast amounts of knowledge available at my local libraries.
I’ve been discovering meditation as part of my 12 step recovery and I’ve taken to one of my local libraries as a source of good information. Why meditate? Well one of the authors points out a saying that “meditation is learning to make friends with oneself”. I like that. Pema Chodron adds in The Places That Scare You “Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. The complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maitri, a simple, direct relationship with the way we are.”
I believe my meditation is my link to the vast power that helps me live a sober life today. So, a better understanding and encouragement in its practice is probably the best thing I can do for myself today. For that, I amgrateful!
I’m grateful that on my absolute worst day I was able to wake up in a house with food and clothes. There are 5 billion people that can’t say that on a regular day.
Since you asked so nicely in your email, I will let you know what I am grateful for today:
In this time of high unemployment, I have a great job with job security, excellent benefits and a great medical plan (which I use).
I am also grateful that at the age of 44, I have cut out excessive drinking, began to exercise (C25K baby), and begun to get myself into decent shape before its too late.
I am also grateful for any small bit of enlightment I have received as a result of life experiences, podcasts, and blogs such as yours. I guess I am glad that I see the world with a kernel of truth, or if I am totally off base that at least I have some peace.
I am most grateful for my daughters Daisy (23) and Verity (19). When all else around me is chaotic, I just have to think of them and I know nothing else is more important than giving them unconditional love and my time.
With two broken marriages, no home of my own at present (due to the second recent marital breakdown which meant moving countries), starting new business ventures, trying to be a better person. I have decided to try and live by some new standards:
Only speak when it adds value. It’s hard. But I try every day to do this and do it better.
I have also just finished reading Kamal Ravikant’s ‘Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It’, which I know you encouraged Kamal to write and share. I began reading it immediately I finished your ‘How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive!’, which I found hugely inspiring. I know it sounds weird to ‘love myself’ but I believe it really does help to connect to the greater universal spirit, life force or whatever it is that binds us and gives us opportunities if only we know how to give, be thankful and receive.
I am also busy de-cluttering my life. My quick exit from the southern hemisphere meant I had to rid myself of three quarters of my possessions, including clothing and personal items. I had to fit my belongings into one check-in suitcase and one carry on bag. I have managed to reduce everything down to around 100 possessions. Who needs excessive baggage when we need only a few changes of clothes, some personal papers, a laptop, a cell phone and a few other minor things to function? I have too much if I can’t pack the essentials into a rucksack. I strive to be ever more frugal daily.
Hopefully I have managed to pass on some of these thoughts and standards to my two girls. I wish I knew all this stuff when I was their age. But then it has become a pleasure to pass on this experience to them and anyone else who cares to listen.
Thanks again for your book and blogs. I take strength from them. But more than that, they inspire me to do stuff and not just talk about doing stuff.
I like the exercise; always a good reminder
but especially today since I am having trouble completing it.
As a young adult, right now I am grateful for my job, because I just
got a raise. It is a nice affirmation of all the hard work that I’ve
been putting in. I wouldn’t say that I am chasing a dream at this
exact moment, but I like what I am doing and feel like I am learning a
lot about investing and what I want to do. I am grateful that as a
child I never got hooked on drugs and alcohol because I see how much
it has screwed up the lives/minds of friends and family. I am lucky
in that regard.
Always, I try to be grateful for my existence. To have come into
existence is such a small and immensely huge thing at the same time.
For my molecules to have arranged in such a precise way from the
starting point of the universe is almost astronomically unlikely .
But it feels like there are so many other people whose molecules have
done the same thing and if my molecules were arranged slightly
differently, I wouldn’t be me exactly but I would probably still
survive. That being said, the earth couldn’t be much closer or
farther from the sun without destroying human life, and if the milky
way had slid closer to a black-hole on its way here we might all still
be stardust locked into one immensely dense point somewhere in the
nether regions of the universe. The point is, for me, about feeling
big and small at the same time, incredibly blessed and infinitely
humbled. Ready to take full advantage of every moment in this life
without being beholden to every outcome, because after all we’re just
stardust that happened to arrange just so and eventually we will
return to it.
I love your blog, James. I stumbled upon it a couple months ago when
I was in a dark place and it was the most incredible reminder of the
daily practice that I had learned years ago but forgotten for a short
time. Since then I’ve gotten back on the horse and learned even more
from you, and my attitude and life has improved immensely. Please
keep writing and I will keep writing, thank you.
I do not know why I am born, I do not know why I will die. For sure there are moments that I am grateful for, May be I should add, I have only one moment and I am very grateful when it is repeated.
The ONLY recurring grateful moment is when I pray to god selflessly. I just pray for the sake of praying not to get something from God in return. I love to fall in love with GOD. Those are really magical moments.
Unfortunately that praying selflessly or losing the sense of self ..that feeling is not often repeated. It comes like a wave and disappears probably because I fight my daily battles and not in correct frame of mind to do that every time.
Modern medicine – it sewed up the hernia I was born with and cured the cancer I had at 19.
Being born into a knowledge society – if I had to thrive by my muscles I’d be impovrished.
My Mom – you folks that worry about being loved? I don’t know what that’s like. Really, I’m clueless.
My tastebuds – if people eat it, I like it. (exception: beef liver and onions. And I only tolerate poi)
My wife Jennifer – providing contrast and illumination for the joys of life
Libraries and Internet – I can learn from others no matter where they are or when they lived
Safe tap water – life is great when you can just get a drink or make food with that stuff
For the unlimited nature of and access to music.
I’m grateful for…
…the way I was raised and educated, the hard times and good times, which later in life helped me accept my homosexuality and recently cope with a HIV diagnosis with dignity.
… for my friend, who sees nothing but good things in me.
… for my mum, who turned to be more understanding and loving that I credited her for.
… for my boyfriend and his angelic support and respect.
and that’s all I can say without making the knot on my throat hurt more.
I am grateful that I am not alone.
Buried (not too deep) in my psyche, there’s a constant fear of being alone. Stemming from that fear are my insecurities about myself (I’m not good enough, I’m a crummy person, I’m ugly, I’m selfish, I don’t deserve good things). As I confront these issues and battle this fear and self doubt, my salvation is the realization that although I may not love myself all the time, I have a network of friends and family who do.
Sometimes it feels like I’m swimming in an ocean of negativity, about to drown. When I feel myself sinking in that despair, I need only to poke my head up out of that water and see that the people I love are there for me on the shore, throwing me life lines.
For the many times that I’ve been saved, and the many times my loved ones have been there for me, I am grateful.
I am so grateful that my father made it clear that he loved us, every day, in some way. He passed away a few months ago, and even now, I feel like there was so much love it will last me the rest of my life on earth, even if he is not here with me.
…… the fact that I have grown up and lived my life in liberal democratic countries and for the liberty that has given me to live the life I have had and enjoyed.
I’m very grateful to have a strong sense of purpose in my life…
There is so much to be grateful for.
I live in Cape Town, South Africa which has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I decided years ago that I wanted to be a successful day-trader, since that decision I’ve gone through several accounts and sustained major losses (basically everything I had). Each time I lost, I learned; not only about trading but about myself as well.
I am now finally trading successfully (or at least making money more often than losing money). I’m grateful for what those losses taught me
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a bar on the beach – my “office”. Often I’ll see dolphins frolicking in the surf, or a beautiful woman stroll past in a bikini.
There are days when my trading is going well, the weather is perfect, and natures bounty is on display, it’s these days that make me grateful to be where and who I am.
So although I’m starting from scratch financially, I finally feel “in synch” with the world and my place in it, and for that I have the most gratitude.
Finally, also gratefully read your posts…
I’m grateful that I accidentally moved from Vancouver, Canada to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I work on my own, and love the climate and country. I am grateful everyday for that.
I’m grateful for my father’s example, which serves me to this day, even though Dad died 12 years ago. He liked to joke that he graduated from college “magna come occasionally” because he used to be in sales and it took him over 10 years to finish college due to business travel. The lesson that he taught by example is that there is always something new to learn. He was often taking courses or reading books in his field because he had to keep the engineers honest, as he put it.
I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me to me by my late grandfather and the wealth he acquired so that I can be ambitious and shoot for my dreams, but know that if it all goes to shit I won’t be exposed to a dire financial situation.
I am greatful that I can earn to feed my family…
I am greatful that I bootstrapped myself from the depression without any medication…
I am greatful that today I have learned to be so rational that whatever wrong has been done to me… or what is happening now.. causes no impact to my feelings about life and me living it.
I am grateful to have fully functioning arms, legs, hands, and feet.
I am grateful for finding your writing. Your ideas & how you communicate them are always thought provoking & makes the reader think (even if they don’t always agree with you).
Your stuff is fantastic. And you write about your detractors & I think to myself, “The people that don’t get Altucher simply are not my kind of people.” They annoy the crap out of me……..but then I let it pass since I know in a day or so I will have another writing from you to enjoy.
My best to you, good sir. And keep sharing your ideas! They make an impact!
I am grateful for getting a second chance at undoing all the mistakes that I have committed in my life. I am also grateful for the friendship and love of my family and friends. And, grateful that you write about your experiences and share your knowledge.
I’m grateful for your blog..
Im grateful for freedom of thought.
I’m grateful for my beautiful 5 yr old daughter, and her wonderful caring father even though we are no longer together.
I’m grateful I have so many people appreciate me as a person and me through my job.
I’m grateful for your post on ‘ I love myself’ – I”ve told almost everyone I know about it.
Well, I am grateful for having my parents alive with me; i am living with my parents and i know that no one in the world can love me more than my parents and I am grateful for living with those human beings who love me the most; i may not like when they control my life but later on i realize that it was for my benefit. They are always taking care of me and checking if I need any thing for a long time, maybe it is fulfilling my need to feel important in life and boosting my self esteem.
I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I’d like to thank you for your writing. I’ve enjoyed reading all your articles. I like your simple and honest approach to problems, those are uncommon qualities these days. Since you’ve written so much about your own life and now you’re looking for other peoples answers to your question I thought I’d write a bit about myself to give some perspective to my answer. Feel free to use it if you want.
The first part of my life was pretty crap really. As I child I experienced a few types of abuse and personal tragedy, plus some mild brain damage from a head injury. I suffered from depression as far back as I can remember, and the worst part was not even knowing what the hell was wrong with me until I was about 40 and finally went to a doctor and had it diagnosed. I also had social phobia, fear, anger, resentment and no idea how to relate to other people, women especially, and intense loneliness. All the usual stuff.
There were a couple of times when I nearly gave up and topped myself but in the end I managed to get through it intact. About ten years later with the help of some alternative healing techniques I finally managed to beat the depression. Now I look back on it as my half century of misery and despair. But only when I’m fishing for sympathy 🙂
These last few years I’ve been discovering what’s real in life and what’s an illusion. And I’m discovering that most of it’s an illusion. The more crap I remove from my life the better it is and the more I love it.
A few years ago I got a glimpse of what I would have been had I not had my spirit crushed so comprehensively, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. My ego would have made me into the worst sort of person there is and realising that gave me a lot to think about. As it turned out I managed to heal the things that were hiding in that well-repressed ego, and to avoid the pain that I would have brought on myself and no doubt a lot of other people had it ever been let loose.
It’s a new life now, those first fifty years are like a different lifetime. I remember what it was like to wake up depressed and feel the misery of trying to open my eyes to face another day. These days I wake up with a big dumb grin on my face because I’m happy. Not happy about anything in particular, just happy. I guess it’s that inner happiness that people are always talking about. It’s pretty nice to have that underlying feeling even when bad stuff is going on around me. Kinda like being on drugs but real. Even that paralysing self-conscious fear of what people think of me has gone. That’s nice too.
So now when crap happens to me I often find myself enjoying it, because it’s fascinating. I love to look at why those things happen, how I find myself reacting to them, how people around me react, working out the best way to deal with it and how to avoid it next time and so on. In the middle of the crap happening I’m likely to have that big dumb grin back again because I’m having a ball solving the puzzle.
I’ve got a whole universe to explore now, and I do love exploring. Life’s good. And it’s only just beginning.
So what am I grateful for? Fifty years of pain that allowed me to grow into the person I could never have been without it. It was worth it.
I am grateful that my wife and I are working out our issues and trying life together again soon.
Im grateful for the serenity in me, to not hate my father even after everyone else in my family do, to not hate him despite his irresponsibilities, to still want to talk to him despite the fact that we haven’t really talked since I was 4 and he told me a bedtime story about wolf and little children.
I am grateful I have learnt the ‘wisdom’ of living my life ‘deliberately’.
Why? – else I would still be looking at all life events as ‘random’ – always hoping for things to go well. Never being sure that it WILL go well because I’ve deemed it so.
This change has made All the difference.
I am grateful that our dog Pepper came into our lives.
My wife and I have struggled a lot over the last few years. Both our daughters have grown and moved out leaving an empty hole in our lives.
I had always wanted a dog but my wife would never agree to it. She has never been an animal person. She finally broke down and we adopted Pepper from a pet shelter nearby. She has been a Godsend. My wife just fell in love with the dog and we managed to make it through some tough years.
My high school basketball coach, who always insisted we do “real” push-ups, never “girl” push-ups.
I did 15 push-ups today at the gym and the guy next to me on the mat said “wow, not bad for a girl”. I felt pretty darn good.
I’m grateful for my mother. She’s worked so hard for her entire life to make my life and my brother’s life as easy and as comfortable as possible. And even when we weren’t appreciative, she just kept working and giving us the benefits. She’s done a fantastic job, especially considering that my father died when I was a toddler and then she had a bad failed marriage in my elementary school years. Now, I have a good job after graduating from a great university with no debt, and my brother is only a couple of years behind me. I’ll never take her for granted again.
Thanks for prompting me to write this! I’ve just begun reading your blog and books recently, and I strongly identify with so many aspects of your writing.
The world needs honest voices like yours to remind everyone that sometimes life becomes a painful nightmare, but there are steps we can take to become happy and healthy again. I’m in the infancy of becoming an idea machine, but maybe one day I’ll have great ideas about how to add value to people’s lives as you’ve added to mine.
I live in New Orleans, a city where everything is sinking, decaying, falling apart in the rich, damp air. And the people? We are falling apart too. We are a mess. We are ragged, loud and corrupt. We’re poor, drunk, and decrepit. But you know what? I am grateful for this city. This dazzling beautiful mess.
I’m grateful for a single-father that worked hard and sacrificed so that we (me and my 2 sisters) could have more than he did. I just moved back to my hometown in SC from laguna beach CA because I want to show him my gratitude by me, wife & the grandkids spending more time with him in his retirement
Because you asked. But then I came up with 8 things. In the order they occurred to me.
- My dog. Asleep on my bed. In a sunbeam. Actually, I may be jealous.
- Being able to work from home
- Your blog (you inspired me to do mine)
- my friends
- my parents,sister and brother
- my car and knowing how to drive
- Spotify and endless violin music.
I’m thankful for my family because we love, fight, laugh and cry together. I always have someone to talk to, someone to listen to. There’s always someone teasing me and bringing me back down to earth. There’s always someone uplifting me and making me feel special. There’s always someone who needs me.
I hope your day is as beautiful as mine is 🙂
Something I’m grateful for now: I went out and had dinner with a good friend from high school tonight. We talked honestly about good things in life, and things that were bothering us. It was a good evening, and I amgrateful for it.
I am thankful for all my new friends I’ve met this year. Finally found a group of people who just accept me as I am.
I have to admit I only recently found your blog, but am spending my spare time absorbing your content. I really enjoy your writing style and the topics you write about .
You asked your community to send you something we are grateful for. I’ve been thinking about what I’m grateful for ever since I had an interview with a company and the CCO asked me “Are you lucky”. I responded quickly with ‘yes’ and explained how much I appreciate my life, family, friends and career. It was eye opening for me to hear myself automatically respond with confidence and no hesitation at all.
So, the short answer is… ‘I’m grateful for being able to truly live my life’. It’s not that my life is without issues, but it is full of enough adventure to keep me moving forward, laughter to keep me alive and new friends to challenge my limits.
I’m grateful for the horrible adversity I had growing up! Its made me a stronger person who’s open to life; because of that, I just finished a drive across the US, by myself! I met many fun, interesting people along the way too! It was a blast and I now feel ready to conquer anything the world throws at me. 🙂
I am grateful for the violin duet I played with my son (lightly row Suzuki method book one, student part and duet part) we played together without mistakes for both grandparents. I certainly, and think my 8 yr old son, will remember the pleasure of a simple song played together for the enjoyment felt by loved ones.
I’m grateful for my wife always being there for me despite the fact that I haven’t always been there for her (and yes I’m ashamed of that bit too)
I’m most grateful for my children. They light up my life!
I lived in Japan 5 years when i was a kid. I learned Japanese before Korean.
during staying there, I though myself being a Japanese and wondered
why my name is so different from others?
Those 5 years i spent there had a huge influence on my identity.
I was kinda standing in the middle.
There is a tragic history between Korea and Japan. Korean people has
basic hostility for Japan and Japanese attitude for the history after
that. I wasn’t that mature enough to cover all those history when i
was staying in Japan, i was too young. i just could feel the
atmosphere of it. and a little bit confused. I
After i got back to Korea, Hanging out with Korean friends and talking
about the issues got me feel more about spending some time in Japan. I
wanted to put myself into both culture again and hopefully i could
find my position, or take balance.
finally 4years ago, I happened to have a chance to visit Japan for
2months as a research assistant student in Kyoto univ.
I lived in a share house with 6 ppl. 4 of them were Japanese, one
Polish, and one Korean.
You know what? It was the happiest time min my life.
Everyday after work we rushed back home and started to cook dinner
together. there was Japanese, Korean and polish food on the table.
after that we talked and talked and talked. share thoughts, did some
games. just like family.
2 Months flew. the last week of my staying in Japan, we had a small
party every night and discussed how we could get together soon.
the last night. my friends gave me gifts and letters. i almost burst into tears.
they stayed till 2AM and shared the sadness.
I was supposed to leave the house at 5AM to catch flight.
After my friends left, I stayed up. I couldn’t sleep. i could not let
these moments slip away from me.
I felt like, I finally found my half. that half could be my identity,
historical attitude, etc.
2 Months in Japan had as much influence as 5 years i spent there when
i was young.
I am definitely Korean in nationality, but I am also Japanese person in a way.
It had been so hard to acknowledge this truth. this might be because of history.
I decided not to categorize myself to that part.
I’m just a man who was born and lives in Korea, Spent some life in Japan.
I might live somewhere in the future and those time would be another part of me.
I feel good to be that heterogeneous.
i can tell you many things, for one im grateful my mom is healthy lately, today at least, she wasnt a while back, i have two beautiful nieces, im alive, and healthy and right now not afraid of what may come, im unemployed and trying to start a bussiness or at the very least do what i really want to do with my life. im gratefull for all of that, and more.
I’m grateful that I was born…
a. in the 20th century (rather than the 19th, 18th, 17th, or earlier, progressively scarier, more dangerous, less interesting centuries),
b. in Australia (which is, in my somewhat biased opinion, one of the the best countries in the world, and I’ve been to a few),
c. to my parents (who are awesome)
d. and well, just grateful that I was born at all really!
I am grateful for life and the opportunity to make it a little better tomorrow. That I have all my limbs, parts, etc. That I can sit up, feed and care for myself. That my family loves me. Rainbows 4 mornings in a row! The morning hugs from my daughter that make Biscuit bark and go nuts as I head off to work. That I have a job and it affords my family and I a place to live, food in our bellies and money in our pockets. Speaking of food, I had 3 meals yesterday, not everyone is as fortunate. I have fresh air to breath, clean water to drink, and coffee on the table. Life is good.
For knowing that I have a family who will encourage me in my lightest hours and never let
me fall in my darkest
I’m grateful for my girlfriend who chose me and loves me for who I am. She enriches me every day.
i am grateful that smarter people than me have lived and left their knowledge behind.
I’m grateful that I made the decision to finally stop working on this startup that won’t work as currently designed and move on to new opportunities. Not letting sunk cost ruin the future is hard.
I’m grateful that many of the new contacts I’ve recently been making seem to truly value my honesty, straightforwardness, and willingness to just provide help and value early and often, and if it leads into something great, if not I still did goo.
I’m grateful that it seems more and more people who’s opinions, information, and stories I value are sharing them (your newsletter has been many helpings of fresh air; Patrick Mckenzie is starting to really open my eyes to the fact that being a great developer and building good shit is only part of the whole thing; list goes on).
I’m grateful that I’ve been able to spend time with my brother who’s just moved to the same city; I went to boarding school at 14 and haven’t spent this much time (2 weeks) with him ever before. He’s a great human.
I’m grateful that…in some ways I feel like the “good” guys are starting to “win” more. Even though I see a whole lot of shit around me, and politics is still the same, and many people piss me off…it’s starting to feel like I’m meeting more people who are doing great things, having the success they work hard for, and treating others well and right along the way. That makes me happy. I’ve tried to live a good life and most would say I’m a good human, but sometimes it’s felt like that’s a weakness along the way. Maybe I’m just getting older.
I’m grateful that I’m learning how to be more honest. Being a nice guy shouldn’t mean not being straightforward. It’s not nice to quietly and by omission be less than truthful with someone because you don’t want to let them down now (and end up just hurting them more in the long run). Easy to say, hard to learn for someone who was never taught good confrontation skills as a youth.
I’m grateful that I’ve finally started to get my weight going back down again. It’s amazing how much of a difference that makes.
I am grateful that you have the fearlessness to bare your soul and share all the thoughts and deeds that everyone else keeps hidden and thinks they are the only ones who feel that way and act that way. As someone who has suffered from depression all my life, you have helped me by your example more than all the therapists I have seen.
I am grateful for many things but probably what I am most grateful for is that I have a family who love and support me. My family certainly are not perfect but then, they don’t need to be. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have that, and I am grateful that I do.
I am most grateful that all of my children are healthy, that I have been able to know both of my parents and that they are still alive, and that they cared enough to make sure that I got an education and never had to worry about putting food on the table or having a roof over my head.
I am grateful for my wife whom I adore and who adores me.
I am grateful for my sisters, both the one who takes my counsel and advice, and the one who ignores it.
I am grateful for my friends. I generally don’t admit to having any, but there are people that I know I can turn to.
It’s not the easiest to admit, but I am grateful for being alive. I spend a lot of time ruing my life and the choices I have made, but at the end of the day, I suppose I am thankful to be here and to be able to make a difference in the lives of others.
So thank you, You have me thinking about people I have appreciated and loved, and have brought a little peace into my life.
my body is aging well
i have a beautiful wife and kids
The Book of Mormon
I am from Mexico and in my hometown we are always in risk because of the drug cartels; so I feel all my family around me to love each other, my girlfriend, my pets and of course health. My daily mantra is keep going on, smile and get safe with the people you love and loves you back.
Here is my list of what I’m grateful for :
1- The plane I took this morning didn’t crash. I safely arrived at the airport 😉
2- I’m still breathing right now
3- I’m still sane, still can use my brain to think, still can remember sweet memories
4- My parents are still alive and they love me
5- I have a loving girlfriend
6- I’m still OK even my previous venture didn’t go well
7- I have money to buy food
8- I have place to stay
9- My eyes still can see
10- I still can smile 😉
I’m grateful I got to cuddle with my 8 year old and read a Wrinkle in Time.”
My sister found a letter my dad had mailed me while he was in the US Navy, ported in NY, NY, on the USS Saribachi. It was 1971 and I was four. The letter was two pages and I doubt I could read all that well then if at all. He addressed the letter using my full name, spelled beautifully, in larger symetrical print. His return address a bit smaller as if sent from a friend.
Before I read it, I expected it to have been written more for my moms benefit, maybe to speak in code to her about how true he was being, or maybe what his family meant to him while stuck in a far away place. But it wasn’t. Instead it was if it was written to me now. To comfort my grief. To help me. I’m grateful for that.
I’m grateful I chanced upon your written thoughts about how you comforted your daughter & having the right words for her. It maybe i’m responsiible for what I myself might’ve created some if not most or even all of the realities that unfold before me & you reminded me to remind myself that fear is something I myself created that I should be appreciative of whatever unfolds anyway so thanks again
After reading your blog I got encouraged to be honest and to improve myself physically, mentally, spiritually instead of focusing on financial and career goals. Honestly I’m scared because I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m giving it a shot. I’m grateful for that chance too.
I’m immensely grateful to watch my two boys play sports. Why? Beyond the pride of seeing them do something well that they choose to do…I note how they are experiencing a multi-generational opportunity to walk in the same shoes as their father, grand father, and great-grandfather. It helps me connect with them and talk about the multitude of emotions that come with sports: pride, anger, nervousness, fear, envy, jubilation, and humility. In short, it helps me talk to them about life. That’s one thing I’m grateful for.
that (unlike too many friends and family lately) I haven’t been diagnosed with anything scary, that my 6 year old still wants to sit on my knee and kiss me, that I do work that I love 90% of the time…..
Okay, I am grateful for a lot of things – here is a start:
- I have an 8 year old daughter – as she runs around outside in the sprinklers, I want to yell at her because she is home sick with a cold and supposed to be playing Monopoly with me. Yet I am grateful that she is able to run after a near death experience four years ago – when she was kicked by a horse and had a hemo-pneumothorax (aka collapsed lung) and cardiac contusion (bruised heart) and spent 5 days in a neuro-intensive care unit at Queens Medical Center.
- I have a husband who is awesome – really brilliant, he may not be the most social guy, but he has his head on straight. His family always comes first and he is always finding ways to make our lives better – as I like to say – there is nothing this man can’t fix, shoot, cook or buy…. really, who wouldn’t love that?
- I have a pain in my hip – literally. It makes me happy because it reminds me that I can walk, swim, kickbox, stretch and do all the things I love to do in Hawaii where I live. Also, I am alive 14 years after having a melanoma removed from my leg. And I can write and have facilities – I run a nonprofit to raise awareness and improve outcomes related to gram-positive pathogens (MRSA, Strep, C Diff – all sorts of sexy dinner time talk about pooping non stop for months or losing limbs or dying of sepsis sort of stuff) – so in the grand scheme of things – life is awesome for me – and why not? It’s all about perspective.
Everyone in my family is very healthy, and I think I am most grateful for this truly priceless gift. My living family includes my mother, my wife and my 9 year old son, so this pretty much covers people from all periods of my life.
I’m grateful to have a powerful car that’s paid for with new tires, low mileage, and a reasonable gas consumption rate. For a house that’s held it’s value and I’m about to sell and net $200K for. To be able to go to the pool and swim another lap in late August with all the children in school now and it’s just me there in the mornings with no lifeguards. For a lover who loves me, too. For the education and skills and savvy no one can take away from me. For the teachers who showed me how to paint well, and the chance to paint again tomorrow. For having gotten to live in Thailand for a year when I was young. For swimming in the ocean, eating tamales from a roadside stand in New Mexico, catching a wild trout in Montana in September and the grizzly bear across the river standing up when the fish jumped out of the water.
Once you start this, it’s hard to stop.
I’m grateful I listened to my heart 11 years ago and moved to Tampa. I love loving here and raising my girls here. There is some other reason I am supposed to be here, and I try to figure out what that is every day. In the meantime, we swim, enjoy the sun, seafood, the ocean, Disney World and all the other great things here. And maybe that is the ultimate reason
My father has been living with advanced stage prostate cancer that has spread to the bone for 2.5 years. Simply put, I am grateful for all this time we have been sharing together as we cherish every extra minute we have together as his body slowly deteriorates. My dad is a throwback and real ‘man’s man’; however, we were able to tell each other we loved each other for the first time in a decade. We didn’t hug for 15 years or so, now we hug daily. I’m grateful to be able to help my dad in any way possible during his incredibly difficult battle. I love the guy immensely. I am also grateful for being able to tell him that.
I’m grateful each time I want to give up, you write something that screams, “Don’t!”
I am grateful for what my aortic thoracic aneurysm has taught me and also grateful that it stopped growing. I am alive. I do not yet need a very serious operation to replace the thoracic section of my aorta. I am around for my daughter whom I adore and who needs me very much.
Five years ago I thought I was done James. Smooth sailing for the rest of my days. I had made and saved a good chuck of money (not your 15M that you lost, but 6M, which for me was a fortune). Enough to live very comfortably for the rest of my life. As a lawyer, I was working only an occasional case that interested me. I had recently married a woman that I thought was beautiful (I confused physical beauty for goodness – look at those huge, beautiful Bambi eyes – they could not lie – and I ascribed to her her qualities she did not possess). I thought I loved her so much James…and I believed her when she told me (often) that she had suffered so much when she cheated on her previous two husbands, that she would never do it again (she told me this with quivering lips, teary eyed, probably meant it then). This time it would be different I believed, you see James, I was so much more of a man than her previous two husbands, that she would never cheat on me. This woman gave birth to my only child (the best thing that has ever happened to me…a daughter that I dearly love). I envisioned the rest of our lives as a happy family. Smooth sailing, all of us happy and healthy. My days filled with thoughts of making love to the woman I loved, and who I believed loved me. No pre-nup. She too was a lawyer, but had managed to save only 45k during the previous 15 years. So to show her my love, little by little I put all my assets in joint names.
Yes James, I did it to myself.
On the night of our eighth anniversary her phone would not stop ringing. She was sound asleep. I took the phone to the other end of our home and waited until this desperate caller left this message….”Hi XXXX…It’s XXX (a guy)…I miss you…I will do whatever it takes….you are beautiful inside and out….be careful”. My knees shook, I was in so much pain James. After a while, at about 4AM, I woke my ex and told her I had a anniversary surprise…I asked her to close her eyes…then I played the message left by her lover for her…First she cried “why do I have to screw up anything good that happens to me” she said…over and over. Then she said it was just a friend from work. A guy whose last name she did not know, but was very funny. Well her phone records showed he had been telling her very long jokes, several times a day, sometimes for as long as 84 minutes. She begged that I not leave her. We were supposed to leave for Turkey on vacation in a few days. I reluctantly went on that trip. While on that trip, she was walking ahead of me (she walks very fast) and I can recall the moment when I decided to end that mess. We came back. I told her I was leaving. She got very angry and beat me up (in front of our 8 year old daughter). Threw a laptop at me and cracked my head. Threw a shoes at me (she would have nailed POTUS Bush with her shoe accuracy). Contemporaneously, during this time and by sheer coincidence, I was diagnosed with a large thoracic aortic aneurysm. I grew quickly to 50mm. At 55mm you must have a surgery to replace it or risk death.
Soon after I left she moved her lover into what was our house and into our daughter’s life. Our daughter knew it was odd. ‘Daddy…mom brought her friend from work to our home…and the dogs did not bark at him…and mommy’s bed smells like his perfume.’ Kids know and it’s not a good idea to lie to them.
We divorced. She got more than 1/2 of the money . She “sold” me 1/2 of our daughter’s time. My daughter lives with me at least 1/2 the time. It was a bargain.
Her married lover divorced his wife an the mother of his three kids. My ex and her “friend” had a chaotic relationship (on and off). Despite that they were engaged to be married. One month before their wedding, she moved her lover out. A few weeks later, she moved another fellow in (this really upset our daughter). She married this fellow on a whim, after he signed a pre-nup in Vegas. Now they are talking divorce.
When I left her a friend asked me “What are you loosing?” That started me on my recovery. I had lost a lot of money, but I had also discovered life, discovered what is of value to me, this saved my life. You see James, since I left her, my aneurysm has stopped growing. It is stuck at 50mm. I think the stress, the lies, the hurt were killing me. Living with this ticking time bomb, makes me appreciate what is important. But for my aneurysm, I would gloss over, maybe miss, what I now value. I’m also very grateful that it has stopped growing. Let’s hope it stays there.
As for the ex, I used to hate her about 1,234,154 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now maybe she is at 3 on that scale. There are times I pity her. Must be hard to live like that.
I’m grateful that I cannot be grateful for just one thing. I have peace in my heart, peace of mind and love the life that I have built. I am grateful for all of it, the good times, the bad, the hardships, the triumphs and the sacrifices.
I’m grateful for dentistry. I love having clean, healthy, straight teeth despite my genetics.
All of a sudden, in the past two weeks, my self-worth has left me completely. But I am grateful that I understand that my self-worth isn’t a product of external circumstances. This makes perfect sense, because in the past two weeks I haven’t lost anything to speak of, so of course the problem must be on the inside. I didn’t lose money, a job, a wife, a kid, a house, a car, etc. Nothing like that. What happened was a change in where I was focusing my energy. I got wrapped up in the TV show Breaking Bad and in chasing after a girl. Instead of meditation, healthy sleeping habits, and prayer, I was staying up late talking to her on Facebook and watching downloaded Breaking Bad episodes. And just like that, my life started to suck. I’ve gotta get back to my daily practice.
I’m grateful for life
and for death
I’m grateful for this cyclical, illusory existence
Constantly reminding me when I make a mistake
and presenting me with the information to grow from it
I’m grateful for the pain, and suffering going on in the world
as they are but reminders of mistakes we collectively make
I’m grateful that people are growing from those mistakes, even if it is slowly
for patience is important to be aware of the present
to taste beauty in all things
I’m grateful for my father
that he left when I was 5
and because of that I became who I am today
and I love who I am today
and I love my father
and although he may not forgive himself, I forgave him long ago
and I will remind of him that as often as I can
I’m grateful for my mother
that she ignored me for work
to provide for her three children
and because of that I became who I am today
and I love who I am today
and I love my mother
and although I may have resented her in the past, I understand what she did now
and I will show her my love and affection at all times
I’m grateful for my life
because through every problem and negative experience I had
I was shown why it had to happen
I was forced to grow into a better person
I had no other options
and because f that I became who I am today
and I love who I am today
and now I can spread my infinite love to all beings
no matter what mistakes they’ve made
I know that people make mistakes
Some seem bigger than others
Some don’t seem like mistakes at all
But no matter what I know that those people only deserve two things
Love and forgiveness
because that is who I am today
and I love who I am today
and I need to share that with the world
Top 10 things I am grateful for (in no particular order):
10. I would like to thank the Academy…
9. I am grateful for all the things that happened while I was planning what I was really going to do with the rest of my life.
8. I am grateful for all of my failures – they taught me much more than my successes.
7. Thank you to all the crappy people – I am a better person because of you.
6. I am grateful for my car, the poor thing – I beat the shit out of it, but it still runs.
5. I am grateful for my family – alas, beat the shit out of them too, but somehow they still love me.
4. Thank you to anyone who has ever believed in me, there is a zero chance I’d be where I am without you.
3. Grateful for my stunning good looks, extraordinary talents, brilliant mind, and my modesty.
2. Grateful for my vagina. It’s definitely the better deal.
1. I am grateful for… how the fuck am I still alive??
As I write this, my daughter is falling asleep after a long day of fun (for her). She turns 1 next week. I’m grateful she is in my life…
I’m in Oregon right now visiting my in-laws. I’m glad I get along with my in-laws because right now I’m supposed to be in Houston, my home. My (and my family’s) flight got canceled for some reason so I get to stay here one more night. I could be, should be (?) upset. I’m not. I know that sometimes things happen.
I called my boss to let her know what was going on. She said no problem. I called my dentist whom I’m supposed to have an appointment with tomorrow and let him know what was going on. He said no problem.
Back at my in-laws’ house, I got the opportunity to help my 75-yr old father-in-law replace his mail box post which had rotted at the base. Instead of spending time on a cramped plane, I got the chance to get some more sun and fresh air, a little exercise, and the gratitude of my wife’s father. Today, that’s what I’m thankful for.
I’m grateful for my rolfer who poked his fingers into my psoas and iliacus muscles today and told me exactly how and why my pelvis was twisted.
And I’m grateful that soon I’ll be working with small children in an evolved preschool and so I’ll have to get up almost as early as you for my yoga practice.
And I’m grateful for the Boatman.
And my parents.
And the Big Black Dog.
My Children are safe, smart, not on drugs and very passionate about their endeavors. Also they have good health and love me.
I’m going through a divorce right now because of my passion for trading and some significant losses, but I’m luckier than most.
I’m grateful for having a job, for the nice girl I recently met and for having found your blog.
A book called “Sex at Dawn”. Raised as a catholic, I have always had a guilty, dirty, shameful sexual experiences throughout my life. I am constantly in my head trying to sort out thoughts and feelings. I have wonderful supportive parents but was never taught much about love or relationships. Prior to reading this book, I have felt incapable of being a “man”. Soon though, in the first chapters I am blown away by its honest approach to sex throughout different cultures, generations, and societies. It helps explain Western societies view on sex, marriage, taboos, ect. and helped me level with the problems I had in my head.
Reading this book has made me the happiest I have been in years. At 27, not married and most friends are “tying the knot” I am not left with any more sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do and I am the most comfortable with where I am at in my life right now, more so than during any other period. I have grow personally and surprisingly gained confidence both with family, friends, and women. It has helped mend my relationship with my parents. Before I placed some blame on them for my shortcomings with love and women but now I am aware that they probably are/were just as uncomfortable as I was about these issues and feelings. Unfortunately the narrative of what it is to be a man, present day, leaves a lot of “men” lost, I think. At least it did for me and through great books, piece by piece, I am learning that, being a man is about being honest and true to yourself. Not trying to bend into what society, media, and others say is a man, and this book absolutely destroys what society and the media say is a “man”.
I am thankful that people are dedicated enough and aware enough to take the time to write and I hope they know their words help restore and build stronger people. Yourself include. Thanks for writing, James.
I am grateful to be 62 years old and not dependent on work to pay the bills. Life is mostly good when money is not the problem. It was a breakthrough when I realized that money is not the solution, either. I was using the limited amount of time I have to barter for things I wanted. I do not have to play that game any more, so I choose not to.
On my work computer I keep a word file entitled “Infinite Gratitude” that I add to every once in a while. It is partially a list, but it is also an explanation of why I’m grateful. I keep it just for myself so that I wouldn’t feel the need to structure it too much or worry about grammar etc.
Some things that I can think of off hand are:
The cold wind in my face that makes me feel alive (also makes me appreciate my warm house).
My four healthy kids.
My loving wife of 22yrs.
Our relatively good health.
The beautiful sky.
The calm, patient, perspective that comes with your 40s.
The United States; as imperfect as we are, I spent over twenty years of my life traveling around the world, and this country provides the best opportunity to improve your lot in life.
My father, who, as a single parent, raised me while doing back breaking manual labor every day. He used to take me to the library at night so that I would develop a love of books and learning. (I think it might also have been to keep me away from the neighborhood kids).
I could go on and on. That is why I titled my little journal “Infinite Gratitude”.
Having the opposite to “helicopter parents”, who’d let us play, get filthy, get hurt and enjoy our childhoods whilst still showing the love and support a child craves!
My ashtanga yoga practice
I’m grateful for my health. My life would be much harder without it.
I’m grateful that I recognized, when we first met, that Christine was
not just smart and sexy but also someone with a good soul, and that she
married me, and that she likes my intelligence and droll sense of
humour, and that she puts up with me when I’m hurt and angry and
frustrated. My life would be unimaginably horrible without her.
I’m grateful that Jack, my friend and the father I never had, was able
to tell that I was there for him and that he squeezed my hand, first
strongly and then again weakly, just before he stopped breathing and died.
He helped me put the petty indignities of daily life into perspective.
I’m grateful that you asked for this.
After mulling over everything I am grateful for I realised two things. One, that I am extremely lucky as I have several things I can be grateful for and two, that above everything else I am grateful for having a family and that these people who were once complete strangers, love me for me and allow me to share their lives.
I am grateful for my wife and kids
I’m grateful for being awakened in my life.
Although sometimes it looks easier and more attractive to be oblivious to the possibilities, oblivious to the wonder and to walk around ignorant and unaware, I am grateful that since I was 16 I have awakening to it all and can understand the world as an outsider looking in whilst simultaneously living in the world. It’s very liberating, no matter how scary.
Thank you for all that you do and for all the ways you’ve helped me in my awakening over the last few months.
This last stretch of my life has been extremely difficult, with lots of doubt and lack of confidence ruling my thoughts. But I’m grateful that I have a wonderful support system which includes my girlfriend, family and dog. Simple, basic things, and I would be lost without them.
i’m grateful for my 5 hour (round trip) daily commute. It has allowed me to read, meditate and learn about myself and the world around me.
I’m grateful my 3 year old daughter, who has a bit of a fever, woke up after dinner and the first thing she asked was ‘Is Daddy home from work?’. For her, the important thing about my job isn’t what I do or earn, but that I return to her each night.
Dear James – I am grateful for a loving family.
Keep up the good work and keep being an inspiration for others!
I am Grateful for my husband and my son. I am grateful for this big old boxer, Rusty.
I am grateful that my son is a happy and healthy college freshman.
The thing that I am most grateful for would have to be the Crappy People that have come & gone out of my life as they have been the best teachers & a source of accelerated learning.
Such as the sadistic boss who taught me how to stay 3 steps ahead of him & everyone else. Also, that when the sadist is looking for a fight the best course of action is to just agree with him as it’s hard to have an argument if the other person is agreeing with you. (Thus I learned to shed my ego in no-win situations.)
The crappy parents that taught me from a young age to take care of myself and that the need to seek approval from others is just a big waste of time. (It is better to follow your inner voice as others tend to have their own agendas & they’re usually not concerned with your best interests.) Also, that no matter what happens in life I will be just fine.
These life lessons were not “fun” by any measure but just when you think you’ve had the most horrible experience on the planet there is always someone else who has had a much worse experience than your own.
Thank you for the great question!
I have been abusing my body – smoking heavily, drinking when I can feel my body can’t take it, getting stressed out about work, about women, about getting a job in Portugal after my current contract ends because I don’t want to return to India right now… The last few days have been bad. There were times I felt sick and depleted, my throat hurt, my stomach hurt. Even this moment. But I have not stopped continuing the abuse.
Yet my body has held on so far, it has not collapsed. I am grateful for the health I have at this moment.
I am grateful, every day I wake up, that I’m alive. No matter how shitty the day ahead might appear to be (usually they’re not, usually they’re pretty damn good), I’m grateful for this unexpected gift. I don’t take this for granted. About 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a lump of black death the size of a fist that was lurking in my armpit for Zeus knows how long. My oncologist, a sweetly sad little man who looked like he’d had a lot of experience delivering really bad news to people he liked, looked at me like I was a dead man and said that statistically, people with this cancer had less than a 40% chance to be alive 5 years later, and that “alive” portion included people circling the drain. And that that statistic was mostly composed of people with cancer way smaller than fist-sized.
Went through hell with interferon treatment and the resulting complications. But, no matter how bad it is, if it doesn’t kill you, you find a way to get through the pain.
Still healthy and, as far as I know, cancer-free.
Have a lot of other things to be thankful for, such as a loving girlfriend and a comfortable life, but if all those got taken away from me, it’s still good. Being topside is good.
- I’m grateful that I’ve got my Mom, despite the fact that we don’t get along a lot, but I love her and I know she loves me too.2. I’m grateful that I’ve woken up for 24 years of my life, every morning and have the opportunity to make the new day better than the last. My sister and my Dad weren’t so lucky.3. I’m grateful that you blog. Reading it is one of my top 3 highlights of the week. You’re wonderful and I hope your daughters and Claudia know that. It always seems to solve my problems.
I’m grateful for my son who is about to turn two years old. After 8 years of “trying” I gave up. One month later I was pregnant!! It was a difficult pregnancy and I spent 3 months on strict bed rest in the hospital. It was worth every second 🙂
I love reading your blog James and so happy I signed up so I can get it via email. Glad we got to work together too 🙂
“In the 2000’s I was diagnosed with cancer; I am grateful to have survived, and done so with little of the physical issues that many cancer survivors have to deal with. The corporation which I was very loyal to, and to which I had poured many extra hours into, turned on me when I returned from my illness, and did everything bordering on illegal to force me out. I am grateful that this corporation was bumbling enough to where I was able to stay one step ahead of them, and quit once I found a different job. This enabled me to support my family, albeit at a lesser dollar level than previously. Out of this situation I developed a hatred for two individuals that were primarily involved in attacking me professionally. While it has been difficult to cope with these feelings, I am grateful that I did not go down a darker path in response to these attacks as then I would have missed out on so much time with my family.”
I am grateful for so many things, but today let’s say I’m grateful for a break from the Phoenix Summer heat that makes me crazy by this time of year.
I am sitting in an armchair at the home of my friends who are traveling in Europe this month. I’ve changed which lights are turned on, watered the plants, gotten the mail.
I am very grateful that I have friends who trust me to do things like this. They would do this for me.
Today is our 47th wedding anniversary! We are not goody two shoes old folks. We survived affairs, acting out teenagers, returning to school in middle age, many, many moves, alcoholism, quadruple bypass surgery, and more. Our motto is “the adventure continues!” I’m so thankful we stayed together through the hard times because the good times get better and better. And our love grows more profound every year. Thank God!
Cliche but mistakes have molded me into how I perceive the world. I don’t regret them, well maybe a few, but ultimately they are in the past and make me smile when I think about how many I have made. something good has come out of them or a valuable lesson or they have put my life on a different course. The conception of my daughter was at the time a holy shit what have you done mistake, now she is the inspiration to wake up every day. How couldn’t you be grateful for that. Lifes funny. Like the blog, keep up the good work!
I’m grateful that my 4 kids (6,4 and twins that are 4 weeks old) are so quick to forgive me for when I make mistakes as a father. There speedy forgiveness is humbling.
Keep up the great work. I very much enjoy reading your blog and books. The Daily Practice is really a fantastic tool.
I’m grateful to my father for teaching me how to carry myself.
This year I took a leap of faith and did something out of character. I spent most of my life in a long term relationship which ended and for the subsequent few years I didn’t have the courage or desire to enter into this new dating world that’s ‘out there’. But this past year, I took a chance on love knowing the circumstances made the likelihood of it being a ‘forever’ relationship very improbable. We were former colleagues for a brief period of time over seven years ago and randomly bumped into each other in a city of 2.5 million at a time where I was not traveling for work and he was in town for only three days however the reality was that we lived on opposite sides of the world. When he left, we kept in contact and rather than avoiding how I was feeling I was amenable to meeting up in locations around the world to live in the moment. In the best of circumstances we cannot predict the future so I decided it wasn’t worth sacrificing the present. That decision lead to a wealth of experience. I have fallen in love, fallen out of love, been happier than I’ve known possible, been sadder than I can remember, reignited my passion for travel and am now in a place where I’m inspired by all the things I’ve seen, done and experienced. It was one of the best decisions I have made to date and has provided me with the impetus to take greater risks for even greater rewards. Although it didn’t turn out to be a lasting relationship, it brought me out of my shell, opened up my world, gave me the confidence to date again and I learned a lot about what I want out of life, in a man and for myself. I am forever grateful.
When I was about 50 years old a woman approached me about having a baby with her. I had never wanted children but it was shortly after 9/11 and I was in a very different mental space than usual. (several acquaintances had perished in the attacks) I said yes and even though things didn’t work out conventionally between us I am extremely grateful for her courage in asking me and for the beautiful boy who makes my heart sing every day.
I am grateful for my family. I am also forever grateful that I had fortitude (due to my mother) to push through the heartache after my father went to prison when I was 16.
i am grateful to have had my son. i am grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy and easy birth. to have raised him and stayed at home for the first 6 years of his life. it has not always been easy, especially the preteen and teenage years, when i was working full-time and raising him on my own, but i am grateful to god that i have him in my life, each day.
somehow, my 30’s passed quickly. i was busy building a new career, raising my son, and then working full-time as a midwife, and i never had another child. i would have liked more. and this week i am bringing my son to college to start his freshman year, and i am very proud and happy.
i cannot say there are things i would not have changed over the past few years. working full-time as a single parent, with crazy hours. in an expensive city. can be insane! but i thank my higher power each day for the love i was able to share and give and feel in return with my child.
I am grateful for my family and friends (including you:) my ability to breathe & my imagination.
The one thing that i am grateful for is having my parents supporting everything i want to do in life.
I took a big step leaving my country and came to USA to work on my MBA so i can gain access to the start-up ecosystem here.
I love my parents and and they love me.
It hurts to know i have to leave them so i can work on my dreams. I just hope that i am able to reach my dream soon enough so i can repay them for ALL they did for me, before its too late.
I am grateful for my close friends I would not be the person I am or at the stage of my life without them. They have stuck with me through the good times and the bad.
Surviving a serious car wreck and being able to walk at almost 100% of my pre-wreck ability.
I am grateful for my close friends I would not be the person I am or at the stage of my life without them. They have stuck with me through the good times and the bad.
I am grateful I was born to my parents and not some crack-heads. I had no choice in picking my parents so I feel extremely lucky and immensely grateful. They were middle class people who did a great job in raising me and my siblings. Any of my shortcomings now I blame myself for straying from the way my parents raised me. So, once again…I am so grateful I was born to my parents.
1. A healthy family
2. The opportunity to get up every morning and do what I love and try to make a difference in the lives of my clients.
3. That despite all the negativity, we still live in a place where every day presents an opportunity to better oneself.
Where to start? Family, work, health… but anyway: very grateful for the chance to see the Dalai Lama give a talk and q&a in Edinburgh this year. I’m no Buddhist, however he was so inspirational and full of wisdom… recommend him to anyone.
I am grateful for two healthy kids.
I’m grateful for the ability to connect with other humans more immediately deeply and intensely.
In the process of deconstructing life through separation, financial collapse and the consequentially complete change in lifestyle I’ve found this.
I’ve discovered the peace and freedom in knowing we are all part of the collective shared human experience, just playing our unique part in that mix.
This might be the hardest thing for a human to learn. I’m only 33 and I’m discovering it. Connecting deeply to the human collective – from closeness to my children, longtime friends and you through your writing – is the highlight of life so far.
I am grateful God has kept me around this long so that I can continue to try to “get it right”. I am 49 and still learning everyday about myself, about others and about what really matters.
I am grateful that you asked. It made me look to see.
Which is a habit to be grateful for.
I’m grateful that when I was little, my parents gave me a love of reading and books.
It helps a lot now when I can step into another world or viewpoint anytime I want.
I am grateful that I have a hunger for knowledge! It keeps life interesting!
I am grateful that I have the privilege of knowing a person who sees some good in everything and everyone. This makes a born cynic like myself re-evaluate various aspects in life.
I’m grateful that I was actually able to quit smoking. I thought it would be one of those things I could never change.
I am grateful for my wife and two boys. They love me for who I am and
my wife supports me and believes in me.
I’m grateful for being content. I have a special significant other, great kids, and (in part because of your writing) have done a much better job of ignoring the negative people and events around me.
Hope you continue to do the blog for a long time to come. Your advice and sharing of experience has helped me. Whether you realize it or not you have accomplished and experienced more than the average person.
I am grateful for my wife – our relationship is not perfect, but she puts up with me, has made me a better person, has given me 2 beautiful daughters, and most importantly, has never been dishonest with me.
The thing I am grateful for, is that my Mom and Dad are still healthy (considering they are getting old now), and I am also grateful that I am working on something, which will allow me to go back in about 3 years.. and live with them for the rest of our lives..
I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a family that loves me, and a
wonderful girlfriend who has stayed by me when any logical person
I’m also grateful for your blog. I found it at a time when I was down
and out. It was some time during either my second or third year of law
school. I’m not sure if your familiar with legal education, but having
just completed it, I believe it is designed to bring the student down
to ensure they can withstand the stresses of a legal career. It
brought me way down.
Now, I’m still looking for a job, and have $100k in debt. Despite all
of legal profession’s hardships, I’m positive that it is what I want
to do with my life. Your blog has helped me cope with the stress
deriving from law school, and the urgency of my financial situation.
It has provided me with a perspective that I’m not sure I would have
developed had it not been for your blog. By trying to live in the
moment, and not thinking too much about what will happen in the worst
case scenario, I have been a happier person. Somehow I know everything
will be alright.
There is some irony in my finding your blog. I have read your book on
the 40 alternatives to a college education, and agree with most of
your points. Nevertheless, had I never gone to college, I don’t
believe I would have been exposed to your ideas and philosophy on
life. It was during my undergrad that I became interested in
libertarian ideals, leading me to LewRockwell.com, which eventually
led me to your blog. Just something I wanted to share.
Thank you for your writing. Judging from the comments other readers
have posted on your blog, I know I’m not the only person you have
helped. Keep up the good work.
I’m grateful for getting divorced but not in the way you’d expect.
Let’s face it, I was woefully under-equipped to deal with being married or even being in a long-term relationship. Neither of us were particularly honest with each other and we simply couldn’t communicate in an adult way. This was co-dependence in 32pt pink BOLD florescent lettering. After seven years, two children under five, counselling and some very intense fights I packed what was mine and moved out by mutual agreement. All my possessions fit into my car – with room to spare.
Sitting in a friends tiny junk room a week later a very important point hit me square between the eyes. ‘You are responsible’ was written in the first paragraph of a book called ‘When Things Fall Apart’ by Pema Chodron. I’d bought it from Amazon ’cause the title, well, it’s pretty obvious right?! At long, long last I woke up from following the mindless programming I’d been following since I left primary school. No-one had mentioned this to me before. Ever. I’d thought I was a victim but that approach hadn’t worked.
I’d blindly gone from A to B having left school, studied, found a girl, stopped pursuing what I wanted to do (I’ve forgotten what it was) , got a job, bought a house, become a Dad and all the while being entirely scared, intimidated, feeling inadequate or just miserable.
I was responsible but I’d also been 100% asleep at the wheel.
If I hadn’t been through this experience (which was horrible – especially for my daughter) I’d still be following the program.
Looking back at this period I had no idea who I was, what I stood for, what I wanted from life or how to really appreciate myself.
Even from this point it’s taken me seven years to muster together any sense of self regard, self determination and only recently have I begun to address some crippling mental blocks. I began meditating in June last year and this whole process has accelerated. I’m now (as of yesterday) incorporating your friend Kamal’s book since this is something I could do with keeping in mind more often. I like who I am in the process of growing into.
This whole period of self discovery would simply not have ever begun had I not gotten divorced. One of the ironies of this situation is that my ex-wife and I are now better friends than we ever were as a couple. She has also grown immeasurably and we’re now both wise enough to know that anything closer than friendship isn’t possible. We’re incompatible in that regard although maybe this was obvious looking back on our early time together.
I’m grateful for so much more but this really was the turning point for me.
I am grateful for waking up every day and having the opportunity to be part
of life. That’s it. I think about that every day. Somehow I am liberated by
I’ve definitely been more grateful of late. It’s kept me from getting too down on myself. Well first of all I developed an iPhone app at Gratitude365app.com. It’s a gratitude journal app and it came from my experience of keeping a gratitude journal for awhile.
Well I felt like the first week when I launched it on my blog and social media, it would be a hit. It fit perfectly w/ my blog audience. I imagined hundreds of downloads a day if not more. So it was disappointing to see from 50-100 downloads each day in the first week. Of course it’s good, but not what I expected.
So I’ve had to looked at the positives and been thankful for each and every person that has downloaded it. I know it’s an app that can change lives if written in consistently, so I’m happy to that someone has it. I’m thankful it even has any downloads because I know the App store is so competitive and some apps make no money.
But then I’m read stories of the Aurora victims recovering from that tragedy and the lifetime of medical care some may now, and I realize that worrying about how much money I’m making isn’t right. I should be thankful for being healthy and having a normal life. Worrying about how my app is doing shouldn’t consume me.
So I’m thankful I’m healthy. I’m thankful to have supporters who have helped spread the word about the app. I’m thankful that I get to even develop iPhone apps. I’m thankful I can type this to you. I’m thankful for having clean drinking water in a cup next to me. I’m thankful for AC in the hot Florida heat. It’s small things that I often take for granted, but lately I’m being thankful for even the small things.
I am grateful for a job. I have always had a job since I was 15 years old flipping burgers at McDonalds. I am 54 years old. I always had a job until June 2010. Then it all went spinning. I was living in Cherry HIll, NJ making great money but had a huge debt load and huge monthly expenses. I knew it was coming but then got laid off along with many others when they shut down the business.
Ever since I was 15 I always worked hard and was promoted and loved it. I was always ready to move to the next challenge. I was also single. I always thought I would be one of the few turning the lights out if each of the businesses failed. I was always the one recruited and did much better with every new position…until that one.
So I am grateful for this job I have now. It is 1000’s of miles away from NJ so that is a bonus, I lost a ton of money on my home and expenses but it could have been so much worse. I was only out of work for 2 and a half months. So that was incredible. But at a significant cut in pay. But all in all not as bad as it could have been. I have other co workers that were laid off at the same time as me that still haven’t found a job. That always makes me feel sad.
My family of four hasn’t shown too tramatic of effects of the forced move and our lifestyle hasn’t changed too much other than we haven’t been on a beachy vacation for 5 years. But it could have been so much worse!
I will eventually get back to the compensation level I was at but for now I am grateful for what we have.
I’m grateful that my wife puts up with my shit.
In response to you email, I’m letting you know that I’m grateful to have survived 2010. That is the year I lost my job, went through a divorce, my last living grandparent died, and could not afford to stay in my own house, so moved back into my parents house. I am grateful to be alive and that I survived the lowest point (so far) in my entire life.
I am so grateful for my Wife, family, and the Grace of God. Keeps me grounded, honest, loyal, working, loved, and blessed.
The Grace is a gift.
I have 1.5 things I’m grateful for answer, if that’s alright:
I have three boys (6,4, and 5 months) and I am of course so grateful to have them in my life. But I’m just as grateful for the awareness I have and the presence of mind to cherish every ounce of my time with them while I have it so good. They are three very sweet and loving little dudes and I soak in every bit of the hugs and conversations and everything else that comes from these times. I know just enough to know that it’s so fleeting and that I better appreciate while I can.
Thank you, by the way, for your posts and your books. I’m a fan, for sure. Certain little nuggets from I Was Blind have guided me through some stressful times recently.
I am grateful for my family, even when at times they can be overwhelming, the Dodgers this season they are only 1/2 a game behind first place I can shit talk to any team this year, the floor mat in my shower without it I might have fallen hundreds of times, my iPhone’s gps it hardly fails me, Netflix for showing me millions of movies, to God because he is my strength. These are the things that I am grateful for.
My mom and long-time friends.
Also, Lazlo, my Australian Shepherd, who is more commonly known as “Mr. Wiggles”.
You see, I got fired from a job I hated because they traced me online sending a personal email from a work computer. The email was sent to a few co-workers and friends asking whether or not they’d be willing to write a character letter of reference for me, and it detailed the fact that I had spent 3.5 years trying to fit in somewhere that was never going to accept me for me. Because what I did was labeled as “misconduct” I was disqualified from receiving unemployment and have since been pet-sitting and doing some creative work for some cash. I’ve had interviews but I fear that my firing is the big factor in why I haven’t been hired anywhere. That or at the interviews the employer can tell that I really don’t want to work there, but that I’m just going through the motions because I’m qualified and the like. I’m not really sure, but I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless as of late, so I’ve taken up arts & crafts; channeling my art & design degree beginnings, I’ve been doing work in photo transfers (i have a degree in photography) to ceramic tiles and notecards and, using so much Mod Podge that I sometimes wonder if the maniacal laugh I’m hearing is really in my head or if it has taken on an audible form. I want to sell these creations and numerous people have told me I should, but I sit scared to do so. Scared more that I’ll succeed than have to leave an arts & crafts fair with the same amount of stuff I walked in with.
My parents have so graciously allowed me to live with them during this time, and being that we live in Grayling, Michigan — in one of the poorest counties in the state — they understand that times are hard but are willing to support me in some fashion or another. My mom, ever my biggest cheerleader, has told me not to worry about the money part despite the debt I have, and that what I need is an investor. She’s willing to be that person, as well as be my network to a few places in town that could help me get my start with selling my pieces. This afternoon I sat outside and cried as I told her how screwed I am, and how I have stupid credit card debt, and that I’m angry with myself for not being more “normal” — if I were normal, I would have been able to handle the talk of Coach purses and how it’s horrible wedding etiquette for the mother-of-the-groom to pick out her outfit before the mother-of-the-bride, or the description of the contents my boss’ baby’s diaper held, or the talk about breast feeding and celebrity gossip — so that I would still have my job…. a job I hated, and didn’t want. My mother reminded me that I’m as normal as everybody in regards to the debt, but more importantly she is willing to help monetarily so that I don’t have to drown in more problems than I’m already facing.
As we talked, Mr. Wiggles was gallivanting through the yard, throwing his orange squeaky ball monster thing up in the air and chasing after it as it bounced around on the ground. He’d return to us with a mouth full of grass, sand, and orange and through the ball toward me. I had ignored him for awhile, but my mom said, “He wants YOU to play with him.” And I realized that through the past couple months of not knowing what is coming next, that silly crazy dog of mine has been there, steadfast by my side, the entire time. Looking sad when I’d leave, and then going totally bonkers upon my arrival home. I made him his own peanut butter cookies and it was like a whole other level of dog-to-human love had been achieved. He is one of my greatest heroes because his love never wavers. His loyalty never wavers. And his crazy puppy attitude has never disappeared despite him being almost 9 years old. When all else fails, hug the dog… it’s one of the most true statements I’ve ever come across. I try to live by his guidance — never give up your sense of wonder, be amused by the simplest things, and love unconditionally. Also, enjoy peanut butter cookies.
I came back to my computer after my conversation with my mother to find a message from my dear friend Jenna. She and I have had our ups and downs in the 15 or so years that we’ve known each other. We grew apart and then recently, through some force of the universe, have become very close once again. I had sent her an email detailing what I’ve just written for you and she wrote back to me that I should never think of myself as a failure, and that I’m talented, and have a big heart and am one of the greatest friends she’s ever had. She told me I was her very first best friend and that she hopes that we can be there for each other for a very, very long time. I’m not sure why it is that the words of someone I’ve had an on-again-off-again friendship with hit home the most, but today, I’m more grateful for her words than I can even explain.
My mom, Jenna, and Mr. Wiggles are gifts from heaven… without them, I really do think I’d be lost completely.
James, I’m grateful you’ve helped make me aware of how much I have to be grateful for!
It is 1:43 am, in Manila, Philippines, I couldn’t sleep and decided to check my email and just read your write up on ” things to be gratetul for”.
I am grateful for the following:
1.Having found you on Facebook ( someone posted) last week during that time that I was feeling down,mentally,physically from the numerous tasks that I do daily.
2. Husband – Being married to the same guy for 34 years. Yes, there are difficulties but there are also a lot
to be thankful for. Marriage needs to be sustained, maintained daily and this entails dealing with both
positive and negative things.
3. Children – Two sons (33,31) Two daughters ( 32,30) – yes I had them one year after another.Got married
at 23 and at 29, I had given birth to 4 kids. The eldest son is married and yes, it would be great if
a grandchild comes.
4. Parents – Mom is 83 and Dad is 88, both relatively healthy. I am very grateful that at 59 years old, I can
look after them, spend time with them and being with them brings absolute joy.
5. Household Help – their loyalty and care enable us to perform our tasks of running our businesses and
providing employment to other people.
6. Business – the travel agency has sustained our lifestyle, put food on the table,education for the kids and
employment to other people.While it has become complicated as a business, the challenge is make the
necessary changes to become competitive.
7. Faith – this should probably me on the top. Faith and everything that comes with it, especially the power of
prayer has kept me going through a lot of rough times.
Thank you for reading this list, although there are more things that I am grateful for. Not to forget, I am grateful for the gift of life, as it has enabled me to write this email, among many other things.Mom always
says ” when there is life, there is hope”.
I am grateful for my daughters, because I can shamelessly pour love into them, and because I owe them something and they can never owe me anything.
I’m working on startup – Wantr.com. I haven’t gotten a salary in 8 months, which is a new situation for me. I’m bankrolling engineering costs and pretty much everything else. I’ve been renting my apartment out on AirBnB to cut costs. So where am I staying? With my mom. She retired a couple of years ago and has a house with plenty of space. Every morning at 7am she wakes me up with fresh coffee and toasted bread. She even gives me money now and then, you know, like a few twenties, or sometimes a hundred dollar bill. At first I refused to take it, but after my bank account went into overdraft I just say “thank you”. Did I mention I’m 30 years old? I moved out when I was 18 and have been taking care of myself ever since. I worked my ass off at an ad agency where I was a senior partner for many years. But now I get to work on something I’m really passionate about – and I get to spend more time with my mom at the same time. She lives out of town, so I’m also seeing a lot more of nature than I used to. Running in the woods beats running in the city.
I’m sure I’ll be founding more companies in the next 30 years – but not sure if I’ll ever get a chance to have breakfast with my mom again like this every morning.
I’m grateful for this opportunity. Startup life is terrifying, but I’m very privileged.
Boy, this is a great & important question. There are 100’s of things that I am grateful for but health trumps all cards.
I don’t just mean physical health. I also mean mental health. I know people that take lots of medication for serious mental problems, and also loads of medication for physical ailments. It makes life very very difficult. I am amazed by their resilience, I don’t know if I would be up for it.
Even when I think my life is a total disaster and I have made serious missteps I always come back to my well being. If I was not able to walk, run, and jump life would be a monumental struggle. If I didn’t have the basics of meditation and yoga I would most certainly probably take a pill for depression. I don’t want to take pills ever. But also understand with age, I may have to.
I made a decision to quit my corporate career of 9 years of multiple jobs at the end of last year, and travelled for 5 months and move to a new state. I have interviewed for at least 20 jobs, applied to almost 50 in 3 months time been a finalist for 8 of them and didn’t receive an offer. It seems people don’t like to hear about quitting and traveling and starting anew.
It has been stressful, I have had tremendous support from family, but keeping up my overall health has allowed me to weather the mental and transitional storm.
If I don’t get in a workout for a few days, doubt, sadness, sometimes hopelessness starts to creep in.
If lost the ability to be mobile all my focus and energy would go to my mental health. Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of my hero’s.
If I have my health I can so much more and be so much more to others.
I am grateful for my 9-year-old son.
When he was a baby he would feed me peas from his high chair. His first poem was “Daddy hop / Daddy run / Daddy stop / Daddy fun”.
He sits on my lap and introduces me to buses from all over the world on Google Images. He edits books on the fly to make them more fun to read.
He says “running is like breakfast for my legs” and asks me to run with him. Whenever I reach for some ice cream or a cheeseburger, he asks me if I want to die. And I don’t, so I thank him and avoid the junk.
Every day I am with him is the best day of my life.
I’m grateful for:
knowing how to play the piano and having time to practice
having a great dog
my mom still being alive
that I’m covered under my husband’s health insurance
having a house to live in on a quiet street
my son and his wife
every person who posts great free stuff online that I can learn from
I am grateful for the ability to write because I can express myself fully without sugar-coating it. If ever I can not saying something to someone I care about in-person because of some sort of anxiety or fear of the unknown (which is becoming more and more bullshit to my mind because us humans create the fear itself) I know that I can write it in a blog post or letter or text message and they will understand exactly what I’m saying and how I’m trying to present the situation.
Writing books and a blog has saved my life in many big and small ways. It is the reason I am more alive now than I have ever been in all 23 of my years being on earth.
I want to write everyday until the day I die and in between change lives for the better and build my tribe/readership every single day. And last but not least I want to become a better writer and leave behind a shit-ton of material for people to read quote use and find and debate about when I’m dead and gone. I also hope that whenever I have kids that they can look back at my online presence and read all of my books and have a better understanding of who I was and who I am and why I loved them the way I did even if they don’t follow in my footsteps.
I’m grateful for simply being alive and having one more day to play at this thing called life.
I am grateful that although I am currently recently unemployed, I have had a chance to use the swimming pool, paint and draw more, sew, surf the web for interesting sites to help me gain and keep up self-confidence, discipline, insight into new things. Yesterday I found out that the VA has a program for Veterans 35 to 60 to get money to finish a degree if it can be done in under a year! I have also enjoyed driving around job hunting and taking interesting different routes.
I am really grateful for the support of my family and friends during a time when I’m grieving for the end of a significant relationship.
For all the people I know and have influenced and who have influenced me.
For everything I have been provided in life.
For my wife and 4 children.
For the positive news from my wife’s biopsy today – not cancer.
Another thing I am grateful for is my partner – we have gone through serious ups and downs, and he has made an effort to support me through everything and growing together. There are very few relationships – friendships, marriages, etc that can evolve in this way and I feel very lucky that I am in one of them.
Facebook & Bridget: I know you said one thing, but facebook brought Bridget and me back together after 33 years.
I’m grateful my biggest problems in life are my weed/tobacco smoking habits and a current lack of a girlfriend. I have parents that love me, a brother, a stepsister, a stepmom, a dog, good roommates, a smartphone, the list goes on. I’m grateful I’m 23, healthy, and working 45 hrs a week. I’m grateful I’ve become a psuedo-paleo-anarchists-libertarian. I’m grateful you asked this question because now I can’t stop thinking about what I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful for that I am living in the United States because I was living in Russia before for 19 years. Now, I’m 23. I’m grateful for that I can write you this email in English and read English because 4 years ago I didn’t speak/read any.
I’m grateful for that I have cleared my mind, quit smoking, drinking for one year and a half already. I’m grateful for my mother that she gave me a birth. I’m grateful for that I have become a vegetarian and started practiced yoga. I’m grateful for community and people I have right now. I’m grateful for my current job that I have(Software Engineer in Test)
I love the world that I’m living in.
Thank you James for you post.
Even though the past month has been one of the hardest times in my life and has brought me to the edge a few times, I am grateful for it. It has brought me so much clarity about what my values are, what I will and won’t settle for in life, and what I really want. It also showed me how many amazing people love me. I am lucky!
Serious: My children are healthy
Not So Serious: My wife’s cupcakes (red velvet with cream cheese frosting)
I am grateful for my father who raised me not to so much to be a daughter and a wife and a woman but rather a person capable of taking care of herself. Through all the tech jobs and motorcycle repairs, friendships and romances, successful and unsuccessful, I have been confident in my adventures, and I know that his unconditional love and practical teachings are much responsible. Fifty, I am still single (again), still riding motorcycles and still consulting in high-tech, and I am happy and fulfilled and challenged, and I thank him for that wonderful and rare foundation.
I am thankful for my health.
I started smoking in 1980 when I turned 14 years old. I had just started high school (9th grade) and I hardly had any friends. Moving from Queens to Long Island left me friendless for the past couple of years and being a smoker instantly connected me to the “cool” kids. For the first time since leaving Queens 2 years ago, I finally had some companionship, even if it was only because they were bumming cigarettes from me. I was all too happy to give them my smokes in exchange for friendship.
March, 2012 (32 years later and an avid pack per day smoker) out of nowhere, I was feeling a numbness in my pinky and ring finger of my left hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome? Tennis elbow? I went to have it checked by a doctor. Doctor sent me for an electromyogram test (EMG) and when the results came back, the doctor told me to get further testing for lung cancer. This wasn’t good news and to make matters worse, we were leaving for family vacation in Disney the following week. I wasn’t able get an appointment to get further testing till we came home from vacation.
It’s funny how human nature presumes the worst. I was convinced I had lung cancer and that this was going to be the last vacation I was going to be able to take with my family. We went on vacation and I drove my family nuts. Everywhere we went all I wanted was pictures. So I don’t forget to mention, I didn’t tell my wife or kids about the possibility of me having lung cancer. They couldn’t understand my compulsion to have so many photos. In my mind, I thought that these were the pictures they would remember me by when the cancer spread and I became fragile and weak. Half way through vacation and 50 arguments later, I finally told my wife why I was being so OCD.
Fortunately, I took the tests and I came back negative. Not only did I get a cancer free bill of health, on May 6th, 2012 I smoked my last cigarette (as did my wife) and both of us have kicked the habit. OK, I may have a fine cigar every few weeks/months but I don’t inhale those.
Like I said in the beginning, I am thankful today for my health!
Four years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic gastrointestinal disease. I spent the next two years dealing with the painful symptoms. For the past two years I have been in remission and symptom free. I’m gratefulto have my health back and for the doctors and nurses that helped me along the way.
I’m grateful for my parents, my siblings, my wife and daughter, and my clients, who love me and whom I love back. I’m glad I was given a loving family, and that I was able to expand it and include more loving people in my life!
I’m grateful that I live in a time and place that I can shape my own destiny without worrying too much where my next meal is coming from or whether a bear is going to eat me. Exception: I am on vacation in Glacier National Park in Montana this week so I’ve had to worry a bit whether a bear is going to eat me.
Besides being grateful for your blog, I am grateful for having been laid off from my job almost 3 years ago. The corporate culture was unhealthy, and my boss hated me despite the great work I did. She was jealous of both my skills and my personal life. I had devoted myself to the work for 27 years. SInce leaving the job, I get to work at home as my own boss, doing projects I love. I make a small fraction of what I used to, but my life is so satisfying, that doesn’t bother me. I also have time to read your postings, and do the daily practice.
My twin boys. Best thing to have yet happen to me.
I’m grateful that I took the opportunity to leave my job in the spring and that I’m spending my summer having adventures: from biking across Iowa to sitting in my local coffee shop reading.
When I stop myself and pause to reflect on it, I am grateful for everything.
I am grateful for being born and having this opportunity at life to do good stuff and to obtain happiness.
I am grateful for my fingers, the clouds, and the taste of the bananna I had this morning.
Lately I have sufferred from a separated shoulder and a twisted knee , so these past few months Ive been more grateful than usual that I can walk and that
my body still works (because Ive been continually reminded now nice it was when I didnt limp and could raise my arm above my head)
I am grateful for all the sufferring in my life that I previously cursed, because it made me turn from looking outside myself for happiness to pursuing and realizing god
my deepest self, the only source of real peace & lasting fulfillment. Everyone is doing all kinds of crazy stuff to try to find happiness from making more money than
they enjoy spending in 50 lifetimes to shooting heroin, but realizing yourself as god is the one way to transcend the human condition to find permanent happiness, and it is
the only noble and correct aspiration for a human being with this desire.
I am grateful for the stars, for my friends, for the love in my heart that has no reason for being there and that I know is the god inside me.
I am grateful for all the disappointments, frustrations, and defeats Ive had, for they have kept me humble and out of the trap of my ego whose hunger can never be satisfied.
I am grateful to be learning that helping others with no fanfare or personal benefits is the way to a fulfilling and happy life, as well as the path to god.
I am grateful for the ability I have built in me to feel gratitude.
I am grateful to have finally learned that whatever I think, know, or beleive is not that important. It is my heart, not my mind, that is the internal compass that the universe
equipped me with and its guidance, however irrational or naive it may seem to my mind, is always true.
I am grateful that we are having a garage sale this Saturday and my garage will be empty by Sunday morning and my pockets will be full of quarters.
I am grateful for silver linings.
My only child (adult son) has PTSD. Due to a number of mitigating factors (accident, house burned down, divorce etc) he hasn’t seen his three children in almost three years now and he has been estranged from me for the majority of that time. No one can imagine the pain a parent feels when their child (regardless of age) is suffering and you can’t help them.
My son’s three children, my grandchildren, are the light of my life! What they have been through in their short lives so far is more than many adults experience in a lifetime. Yet, they are well balanced, do extremely well in school and always seem to look for the good.
Even though they live on the other side of the country, I am very connected to them. I take them to DC at least once per year where we spend several days perusing the Smithsonian and soaking in art and culture. The love that I get from them fills every core of my body. It’s as if their positive essence rubs off on me and keeps me going through life’s ups and downs.
My grandchildren are a silver lining in my life. I never thought such love could be possible during such trying times.
I feel the least I can do is respond to your request and tell you what I am grateful for. It’s difficult for me because I struggle with depression so I spend a great deal of time feeling very hard done by and sorry for myself. Poor me! (Luckily, I somehow manage to maintain my sense of humour most of the time.)
I am grateful for my dog Peyton. I am actually tearing up as I write this. She is my best friend and provides me with unconditional love on a daily basis. She can always make me smile even on my darkest days. I’m sending a picture of her in one of her quieter moments.
I’m happy and grateful for being alive and healthy.
And I’m only 33.
For successfully immigrating to the us 11 years ago and having a feeling of security just by living here.
Having hot water. Electricity. Without fail.
Im grateful for my 2 year old daughter Vera.
For growing up without my father and appreciating even more being one now.
For choosing my own way in life.
You’re on CNBC as I’m writing this!
I’m grateful for your blog. It’s been a highlight of my life this last year as I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life – starting a new company, quitting drinking, having a child. These are all things you’ve gone through, and I thank you for your willingness to bleed for the rest of us.
That while in hospital I have family members, friends, and colleagues who have all found ways to let me know they really give a shit about how I am. And I really give a shit about them.
I think it was CS Lewis who said something like “We read so we know we’re not alone.” I’m grateful for writers, like you, who share their journeys through blogs, books, articles, email, and newsletters so that I know I’m not alone. Whenever I need a friend or a nudge, someone’s there. It’s a community, even though we don’t know each other. Even the comments from other readers become suggestions and ideas for me. So, yes, we live in a scary, overwhelming time, but we’ve found a way to create community and connection. And that’s what I’m grateful for.
I have two wonderful grandkids-twins boy and girl. They were born weighing 24 oz – a miracle! They will be two next weekend. I am so grateful when their arms raise up to be held by grandpa. All is right in the world when I hold those precious souls. I am so lucky….
Today I am most grateful for the passionate few who stand up for change. Before I even read your e-mail today, I was driving to the Philly airport with my family at dawn, and came across this billboard on I-95 [just googled to find a visual of it] – http://amirite.net/734193. An immediate cascade of thoughts went out to meaningful change in this world, and the people who stood for them – e.g. Harvey Milk, Roe v. Wade, you get the picture. I thought of San Luis Obispo, California [where we are headed today], who had the courage to become the first smoke free city in the world in 1990. Then coincidentally on elephantjournal.com there was a lead article of a group raising awareness to the need slaughter of 73 million sharks annually for their fins and teeth. I am tired of claiming I am too busy to stand up for change, justifying that even if I made the time someone would throw eggs at my house or slash my tires. Change starts with me first, and then you. I’m recalling a quote that no meaningful change has ever occurred in this world except through an initial movement by a passionate, courageous small group of individuals. With this, I’m also trying to learn to be equally respectful for those standing up for a certain change I may not be in favor of. These people are bringing powerful debate to the table, which encourages us all to activate our minds – to learn and to establish a point of view. In this sense I am thankful for that billboard today, as it launched a meaningful 6:00am conversation in the car with my wife and young children.
To a lesser extent I am also thankful for Snooki, as even by knowing of her name [never saw the show, thankfully] I am reminded on a daily basis that we all have room for more purpose with our time and attention.
for which I am grateful is the self-reliance I learned as a child. It has been and is there every day as an inner voice, an inner resolve, a source of confidence in my ability to, at the very least some days, to ‘get through.’ It has been there through some overwhelming challenges and is also there when the naysayers tell me “you should just quit” on my start-up.
I think I am grateful for that every day, but tomorrow there will be another thing for which I’m grateful that will demand my attention.
I’m grateful that I know God.
I’m grateful that we as human beings have the innate ability to be masters’ of our own thoughts (even if I do not always exercise that ability). As a result, I know that happiness is always within my grasp.
what am I greatful for? I am sure you are familiar with the five stages of grief (maybe you’ve even written about it, not sure). To recap, they are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. It took me years to get through all of them. Looking back, I was my own worst enemy in many respects.
I am GRATEFUL that I currently exist in ‘ACCEPTANCE’. This is a recent development, maybe one (1) week.
Through massive effort since my wife left me in January I have learned how to reformat a huge chunk of my spiritual, intellectuial and emotional wiring. It’s not been easy by any measure. I have rediscovered crying as medicine (it’s so helpful to let things go, especially for men). As you often insinuate, by letting go of indoctrinated beliefs (we generally all have so many) and materialism and using the mind on purpose (one has to discover how!) we are able to become FREE.
The new PURPOSE of my life is to be honest with myself and others and to do my part to help create an enlightened planetary civilization. It is the only way for us to solve our current problems, in my humble opinion.
I plagiarized my LIFE GOALS (3) from my favorite blogger, you might recognize them: 1) I want to be happy 2) I want to remove unhappiness from my life 3) I want each day to run smoothly
I am very grateful!
I’m grateful that you said my life would change completely in 6 months if I did the daily practice and it did. I’m living in another country and my business prospects (and personal) are getting better by the week. I’m looking forward to seeing how much better things get after the next 6.
I’m grateful for having had prostate cancer. The amount of love and support I had was overwhelming. It gave me an opportunity to get even closer to my wife, family, friends and God. The realization of how incredibly blessed I am even with all of the issues of health and finances is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received
It’s funny. I’ve been meaning to write to you about other things in my life but this is the one that came out first.
Thank for the opportunity to share with you. As an aside I’m near tears as I write this so it must be very special to me. Thanks again,
I’m grateful that I live in a developed country and that I therefore,
unlike the millions that have come before, have a level of freedom and
opportunity to shape my life in virtually what ever way I see fit…
I’m also grateful that I can be who I like, that I don’t need to
define myself by class, race, sexuality, or by what my parents did or
didn’t do…same thing perhaps?!
I am grateful to have a job. It doesn’t pay great and its not really what I want to be doing, but it is one and I work with alot of great people. I didn’t have one for a while and then the first one back that I had was straight commission with a real jerk for a boss. Not to mention that I am in real estate and it has been a 5 year slog. If there is such a thing as market/economy induced post tramatic stress disorder I have it. I lost my house and I owe everybody, but I have a great wife and two kids and a job to go to and I am grateful for that.
I am grateful for my suffering. Without this suffering would I have ever began to put into practice all of the work and study I have done for all of these years. I now am living in my awareness. Just two minutes ago a guy that works for me left my house and told me his 11 year niece died last night from a brain aneurysm. He was suffering and I understood. Only through my own suffering could I have helped him. Its only through suffering that I am realizing that service to other is our highest calling. For that I am very thankful.
I am grateful for waking up and having an opportunity one more time for a beautiful experience and to help somneone today
Going to spend some time with a grown son who has not been available to me for quite some time.
Being able and willing to Love with all of my spirit..and to feel love from others.
A place to live and food to eat and a job that pays for those things..
A childhood that has given me ability to help others who may feel similar wounds while my own wounds heal from the helping..
Being in my skin with comfort most of the time..
Truth and people to tell it to and hear it from.
No pains or aches or limitations other than the ones brought on by my own fearful thinking.
Desire to be a participant in life..
Without question, the person I’m most grateful for is my mother. When I was 25 she volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to me. In a sense she gave me life twice. How could I not be especially grateful for that. When i was in the hospital hooked up to a machine the docs told me I had 3 months left to live if I didn’t receive a transplant. Here I am over 8 years later going strong. Since the transplant I’ve completed a half-dozen, half-marathons, a full marathon, and a triathlon. Plus, I’m taking zero medication. The only organ transplant patient I’m aware of not to be on anti-rejection medicines.
Life is amazing and I’m incredibly grateful.
For evolving into a better and truer human being. JV
I am grateful that I married the right woman and we have three healthy children.
Couldn’t narrow it down to just one this morning.
Inventors. Because of inventors, my life is fairly comfortable and I am inspired by them to create my own inventions.
Tacos. Because it’s a fun meal that can be very healthy, fun for kids, just as fun at a dinner party and can be as simple or deluxe as you feel like making them.
Your blog. Because it reminds me to do things like this. Thank you.
I am grateful for problems; without problems I would not know what to do with my life.
I am grateful for other people’s problems; they help me keep my own problems in perspective.
I am grateful that people think problems are a problem because that is how I’ve made my living – solving problems for people.
I am grateful so many people think their own problems are so big they don’t have time to solve other people’s problems. These people are weak competition for the biggest, juiciest problems.
Thank goodness for problems.
What am I grateful for?
I am grateful for having the privilege of choice in answering this question, thanks to a multitude of possible responses.
I remember a childhood experience similar to the one you shared with your daughter in a hotel room. I awoke from a nightmare in my bedroom, frightened and calling for my mother. She entered the room and calmed me down by filling my mind with thoughts of the people who matter most to a 6-year-old: my father, my brother, my sister-like cousin.
Today, 20 years passed since that night, I am grateful for those same central figures and the thoughts they generate which continue to calm my mind in moments of chaos.
I am grateful for my parents.
As I child they were the ones working hard on keeping me happy. I went go-karting. I went scuba diving. I lived in different countries. Those are great experiences.
They raised me. I enjoy most hobbies that my dad enjoys. I went to private schools and college. If I have children I wish I can provide them with the same so they learn the “nice” of material things and not emotional attachment.
They taught me values. I feel when I can trust someone. I feel a need to be honest, mostly to myself. I find it important to introduce myself. I can say “no” and be polite.
They gave me guidance. I have done wrongs and learned to do the right.
I am grateful for the opportunities that have led me to where I am today. The opportunity to escape Oklahoma and attend boarding school led me to a better college experience than I would have otherwise gotten. The opportunity to work for a startup after college and go to business school at night for a year taught me discipline that I would not have learned otherwise. The relationships I have had made me to the person I am today, who was able to find an amazing person who is right for me. I think people who work hard end up getting a better share of luck than people who don’t and I have always tried to embrace that ideal. I am certainly thankful for the support of my family and friends, but mostly for the work ethic I have developed and a strange ability to be in the right place at the right time.
I’m grateful for the juice bar in Chicago called Peeled that makes me feel like I’m in California.
the power of transformation.
It helps me believe that we can always move forward together and relearn our perceptions of things, with new information, perspective, and maturity.
It is the best way for me to at once describe the commitment to my own transformation now and hope for the future of my relationship with my small daughter, who now lives on the other side of the world.
Traveling to hell and back, over the last two years; I’m grateful for maintaining the strength to overcome adversity.
I am grateful that I got half laid off in the beginning of summer. It allowed me to have the perfect hours I wanted to be with my kids and friends. We spent the whole summer at the beach, in the pool, watching movies. And I could use the “excuse” that I would get back to looking for full time work in September, when the kids go back to school. That way nobody perceives me as the slacker I must truly be to not run right out and replace my hours/income that was lost.
I am grateful for the awareness of being grateful.
I can not be grateful and stressed at the same time. (Try as I might…)
I am supremely grateful for my family and am thankful for every day that I or they are here to share this life with me.
I’m grateful for classical music. It saved my life when I was a teenager and it forever comforts and strengthens me mentally and emotionally. There are too many people, animals, books and Earthly sights to even try mention.
For my birthday last month, my cousin had some old 8mm movies put onto DVD. We hadn’t; see them, ever, that we recall.
In one little (likely less than 30 second) scene, there I am, at 2 years old. I’m enthralled with a little mechanical bear that rolls on little wheels. The delight on my face is amazing to watch, 50 years later.
There’s another brief scene, of the same cousin and I, on the beach in San Juan Capistrano. Two little girls, with the wind in our hair.
I am grateful to see back in time.
James, I am a 54 year old professional who was going to semi-retire and lost everything in the crash. I am grateful that my wife and dog are healthy and that I have a great job.
I’m grateful for Becca. I truly, deeply love her. She reminds me I can be happy. – TR
James…for me this is easy!
The biggest thing I am grateful for right now is my dad who was an abusive alcoholic…..It’s taken me many years and much therapy to say and mean those words…
I am grateful to him for what he gave me in who he was…he helped me see how resilient I could be in childhood and as an adult…..he helped me be able to reframe many situations in my life that could have been seen by many as ‘awful’…but instead they became the contrast that took me to where I am now….he also helped me begin to understand forgiveness and ultimately unconditional love…
The person I have become today is so much to do with who my dad was in his lifetime…and I am grateful beyond belief now that I am in a place where I get to see the world differently and do my bit to make it an even more beautiful place!
I’m grateful for the time that my often absent dad raced down the mountain when my sled crashed and I laid in the snow hurting. In that moment of him running down the mountain, I knew I was loved and protected.
I am grateful for COCONUTS. It can be really hot where I live in the tropical country of El Salvador and Coconuts are always available and always refreshing. I remember when I was a little boy and after going to church on Sundays, I always asked my father to buy me a Coconut. I always looked forward to it.
just came back from Whole Foods, where when I asked the dude in the dairy aisle where the butter was, he gave me a FREE coupon for $7 worth of butter … oh and then there’s my wife, my kids, the fact that I’m walking around on two legs and breathing air.
In response to your latest email, I would like to share with you with the fact that I am grateful for the fact that most people like me. Now, I confess I’m a very insecure person, I often think I’m not good enough for various things and people, I need attention from people I care about. I’m much better at handling my insecurity now I’m a little older. What helped me is when I realise I’m actually a nice person and people tend to like me, they appreciate my supportive attitude and sense of humour. Knowing that meant if all else fails at least I have nothing to regret. At least I’m not an a**hole which everyone hated. Saying that sometimes I think I’m too nice and not enough of an a**hole, but hey that’s another issue.
It’s hard to write this but here goes. My childhood
was tougher than some, but not near as bad it could’ve been. Was always loved, but many things happened that scarred me.
Losing a parent to brain damage (auto accident), divorces (3) being raised by a single parent. I never knew it really affected me,
but I had a fully blown manic/depressive episode in college in 1986 (set off by lack of sleep), and one in January of this year(same cause).
Am doing well now with medication but feeling guilty about scaring my kids and wife. They were not in danger, just very scared at seeing my behavior.
I discovered your blog shortly after, and started the daily practice. It is amazing how much it is helping me.
Since my episode, with your help, I have stopped using tobacco (snuff-lifetime habit), starting running again, and given up soda’s. Am still working
on completely changing my life. It is taking me more than six months, but I know it is helping. I’ve always been a self-help fan,
and like you, noticed it never works. Am starting to learn to appreciate the now, and focus on it more and more.
I’m grateful whenever I find myself in an inspiring place with my camera in tow – and I’m able to capture the essence of the place during a particular moment.
And when I am commissioned to do this… it would be fair to say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
I’m grateful for the ability to be the master of my own happiness.
I’m grateful for my kids and family. My almost 3yr old amazes me every day and gives me purpose.
1. I’m grateful for my family, health, and sanity.
2. I survived the Great Recession. Thought I was going to lose my business, house, and all I had to hold on to was my day job, teaching, for which I was grateful.
3. I’m grateful I spent all morning reading a a stack of legal papers a mile high because our company has survived, thrived, and is expanding. The marketing vendor we used is brilliant–he’s franchising. And my husband was on the ground floor enough so that snazzy Manhattan outlets have copied his decor. And while we’re not out of the woods yet, I’m grateful we’re headed in that direction.
4. I’m grateful that the bank approved my mortgage and if my buyers get off their behinds (oops, this is about gratitude, not venting) I might be moving to a couple acres of country solitude rather than worrying about getting rolled over by airport expansion in the next 18 months. (P.S. I know how you feel about home ownership–I may argue this w you at another time–high rents and bidding wars make me think ownership may equal out…in either case, I want to plant carrots, eat fruit that I grow, and make iced tea in mason jars and live in zen).
5. I’m extremely grateful that after several years in the educational firestorm trying to successfully enter the ring of policy, that I have failed in a very big way…. (because)
6. I’m grateful that you have influenced my friend Kamal, who has in turn influenced me, inspired me, and connected me to people who will change my life and outlook.
7. I’m grateful that I got blindsided by these connections, because if I wasn’t completely oblivious, the effect wouldn’t have been the same.
8. I’m grateful that I kept my promise to start my blog–which I think I’m starting to like, like a new friend.
9. I’m grateful that I can return to teaching with a completely new outlook of hope–I’m always optimistic, but I get beaten down by the system. I’m grateful that I’ve been given the chance to see how I can influence this field from a different angle–to get to watch some key SV visionaries change the world in real time. So that when I see the insanity with which I work in urban education, I know that I have key people in my corner who do not operate in the world of government bureaucracy, but instead make things happen that change the world.
10. I’m grateful for every one of my students, each of whom have taught me something about myself and made me a better person. I could write about them all day. They were, are, or have become experts in their field, they’ve gained confidence, and they’ve contributed to the world. And the ones who haven’t have been generous enough to friend me on facebook and continue the dialog. I’ve never been any different from that 15 year old kid coming out of the toughest ghetto in Providence or Pawtucket where I’ve gone a hundred times to hustle a game of basketball in return for them doing a paper or showing up to class… we all need someone to pull us out of ourselves, and we all need to be made to see our potential, especially when we’re not maximizing it correctly. I’ve looked at my face in a mirror–held by them, by Kamal, in turn you, and myself. It makes me a better person.
11. I’m grateful that I made it through the days that I should not have made it through. And there were many. And I retained my smile.
12. I am grateful for my overpriced education and my love of learning.
13. I’m grateful for my lifelong friends–the few–who are not afraid to tell it like it is.
I’m truly humbled by it all. And grateful.
This may sound odd but I’m grateful that I was an alcoholic. All my life I lived in fear and anger and misery and depression. I was lonely and unlovable because I hated myself. There wasn’t a shred of me that was honest. I hid and I lied and I thought as long as no one sees the hell inside me, the real shit nasty horrible me, I would be ok.
When I discovered the bottle I thought it was the answer to all my problems. I could hide my feeling in it. But all it did was throw petrol on the fire. Alcohol brought me to my knees. My life got stuck and each year I watched it get worse and worse. I was powerless to do anything to make it better. Until I literally had nothing left. I was alone. I was broken. I was empty. I wanted it to end but I was too chicken to end it. Then my body started to go wrong. And I knew if I carried on I’d die. But I realised I didn’t want to die. Not really. I just wanted the pain to end. I’d had enough of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I got myself into AA and into the 12-Step programme. This saved my life.
Slowly over the first couple of years I discovered honesty. It was a new concept. It took time to learn. Naturally I made mistakes. Then I discovered I could love without an agenda. Then I discovered people liked me for me. That felt new. Maybe it had always been there? I came to see many things about myself and AA helped me learn, with love and patience, how to express myself and find my voice. Over time I am becoming the person I was meant to be. I don’t entirely know her yet but I’m enjoying the journey.
Like you James, I have had things and lost things, had businesses, a marriage, success and failure. I used to judge myself on the failures and see all these things from a negative angry viewpoint. I couldn’t make them work or make them better. And I refused to believe all the successes were genuine because I didn’t believe in myself. I was powerless to change how I thought and felt. I was constantly afraid of being ‘found out’ to be worthless, a fraud.
During my alcoholic years I thought it was my fault. I thought I was bad. I was worse than the crap on your shoe. I thought all the bad things that happened were my fault. But sobering up in Recovery has given me the one thing I never had back then which is choice.
Today I can choose how I want to feel about myself. Sure, I can beat myself up OR I can choose to believe that I’m a good person and deserve a good life. It’s been a long journey to get here but today and most days, I choose the latter. I’m grateful for my second chance, this has been a life of two-halves and I appreciate how lucky I am to have that.
Thank you for your blog. You’re a good man Charlie Brown.
I’m grateful for my car battery dying in the empty parking lot while I tried to drink my sadness away so I couldn’t drive home. I woke at dawn to realize that the beautiful world goes on and I just had to pick myself up and do the same.
I’m grateful that I have a job where on sunday night I don’t dread monday morning.
As angry and frustrated as I get with our democratic government both persuasions ( Labour & Liberal) I do love it and the Australian peoples mix of egalitarianism or lack of respect seems to work. Despite our appalling treatment of our first nation people Australian Aboriginals, our disgraceful early white Australia migration policy.
More recently our illegal treatment of refugees and the obsequiousness we display in fighting/or not for the rights of our own citizens ( David Hicks & Julian Assange).
We have what I would term a perfect Social Democracy. A high standard of taxpayer funded public Health, Education and Welfare.
Yet enough belief in Capitalism that businesses and individuals can prosper to support the above.
I see the flailing economies of Europe under a burden of too much socialism and business welfare that is so heavily ingrained into their view of themselves, their lifestyles and historic traditions.
Then look to US Capitalism, the personal and business freedoms ascribed by the constitution and belief that all have an equal opportunity. But in reality sadly so locked to their dogma of rights that it strangles real debate and progress. The suspicion of governments domestic and foreign eats away at all the wealth. Sucked up by defence contractors, an eye for an eye system of justice that doesn’t seem just at all from the outside.
Then I see the booming economies of our Asian neighbours and growth of democracy and social reform that has happened in the last 50 years.
I’m grateful to be living in what we call the “Lucky Country”.
What do I wish for in the world? The removal of passports and international borders, freedom of the people of the world to follow their dreams to go where they like, leave behind corruption, injustice and tyranny.
Regaining my physical fitness. I’ve been reading your blog (and books) for about the last six months and it’s stirred my creativity (idea muscle!). I made up a top ten list of the times that I was happiest in my life. The common theme was that in almost all cases I was in excellent physical shape so I rededicated myself to fitness and more importantly diet. I’ve been eating pseudo Paleo for about 4 months and lost 25 pounds! It was hard to deprogram myself from the government food pyramid. Carbs are the enemy; not fat.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you. I appreciate your writing. Brutal honesty to the point of bleeding is hard to do, but it’s compelling and shows others that their problems are not unique.
I don’t mind if you use my name.
David T. Bork
I am grateful that I could survive 2011 emotionaly (I was close to crazy:))…
I’m grateful for your post “Stop Paying Your Debts” was serendipitous for me. I’ve been struggling since my divorce 2 years ago and have racked up way too much debt and am in serious need of a clean slate, fresh start. Your perspective was so clearly articulated and resonant, I was moved to finally release the guilt and just do what needs to be done to be sure that my son and I are able to survive financially.
t’s hard to list just one thing I’m grateful for because I’ve been very lucky/blessed, so I’d have to say my family for challenging me every day and helping me to grow emotionally and spiritually.
Another interesting question would be “what bad experience have you had that you are now grateful for, and why”. The theme of many of your posts revolve around this theme for yourself (and are inspiring too!), but least a few interesting blog posts could be woven around others’ answers. To kick this off, I’d have to say that being laid off after 9/11 with a wife and two very young children to support and taking the first job that came along taught me humility and perspective. In other words, getting laid off made me less of an arrogant douche.
I’m grateful that my Dad moved back from California and found a good job.
I am grateful for many things but my wife is easily at the top of the list. She’s a wonderful person and treats me better than I deserve and loves me despite all my shortcomings. She’s far from perfect and I recognize this but I can’t imagine life without her
First of all I am grateful that you are interested in what I am grateful for 🙂 – that makes me feel special
I had this morning off, for which I am grateful. It allowed me some time for myself and I woke with the intention to do something for me. I got a slow start with some Tai Chi – a practice for which I am very grateful. Then I meditated for 40 minutes (grateful for this too) and then I made myself a delicious soy latte in a coffee machine given to me by a client. A coffee machine that I am grateful for every single day. I spent some time with my dogs, whom I love and am grateful for their presence in my life. Then I did something that I have never done before. I walked through my house, room by room with coffee in hand. I took note of every piece of art and every thing in each room and realized how much comfort my home offers me. When you walk in the door it gives you a feeling of being embraced. I am incredibly grateful for my home and all of the love that it holds. I am grateful for my husband with whom I created this home. And today is a beautiful day for which I am also very very grateful.
My house is for sale. We are designing and building a house overlooking a pristine lake. It will be incredible when it is finished but I am grateful for the journey to get there. The person/people that purchase this house will blossom in its energy and I am grateful to myself for having created all that it is inside and out.
I am grateful for me and I am grateful for you too.
Having my happy and healthy family and my 5 month old little boy. Very grateful that I’m still sane and only 1/2 brain dead from lack of sleep and learning how to be a good dad.
I am grateful that my brother and my parents love me and would do anything to help me.
I recently left a growing media company /career after 12 years and traditional mode of media to a online video streaming startup. My boss told me that you are leaving what you are good at, for a passion and a new media where model is yet to be defined with a advice to look for second job always..I had my fears that I need to turnaround things with my skills and not background of huge brand behind you. As one of my investor said… At McKinsey no one points at you for lack of skills because you are McKinsey (the brand). I know that Passion blinds you of rational thinking but then outstanding results can’t be delivered with rational thinking alone.
I always wanted to work for online company and google/yahoo of the world never wanted anyone from offline /traditional set up (mindset that only online guy is good for online job). In Asia, i joined a startup with string private equity backing us and are pioneers in video streaming and none has heard of concept like Hulu in this part of world. I was passionate to pursue this model for my media company but they had other focus and shrugged off the idea .
I feel a lot of gratitude for investor and founding team to select me. But, I have my fears like a little child that this dream run may bust and I am alone.
Today your article made me feel as I you know what is going on in my life (fear) and offered a simple solution like a friend. I am grateful to you for writing this blog. Please keep writing
I liked your mediocre entrepreneur article a lot and it brought a paradigm shift in my mindset while starting work with a team full of passion and not worried about meritocracy.
Coming to something am grateful about is the attitude of my parents in bringing up me and my sister.
Coming from India where we get to see lot of conservativeness in people i sometimes get amazed to see my parents being so broad minded.
We in India still have gender bias even in educated families, but my parents feeling great to have two gals is something commendable. Bringing us up at par with guys on any front is what am very grateful about!!!
I believe, we are a knowingly or unknowingly, reflections of what our parents are unless we make a conscious effort not to be so.
Raising kids with a lot of positivity optimism and letting them have their share of freedom and experiences is very important for any person to become a human being. Am glad that i have had all that in my growing years.
My mother. Having been away from her for the last 3 years, I never gave any real thought of her significance in my life. I mean ofcourse your mother is supposed to be a pretty significant part of your life. But the question is (for me) how different a trajectory would my life follow had she not made the decisions that she made for me.
She enrolled me into swimming when I was five years old (I was the youngest of the lot) and into Lawn tennis when I was six. Looking back, my childhood is reminiscent of swinging my tennis racquet during sweaty summers and then hastily packing my stuff to go for the laps in the pool. Both my tennis and swimming coaches were fed up of me trying the balancing act with these two disciplines. I used to throw hissy-fits with my mother that I cannot do both. But when given the liberty to drop one, I couldn’t choose. Winters were obviously a relative reprieve. But then I won my first Under-14 tennis championship when I was only 12 and secured some medals in swimming representing my school in the National school games. Now I represent my college (IIT Delhi) in those two disciplines have earned medals in both. I am known for being an all-rounder.
My mother also took two years extended leave from her job (leaving my father with the big empty house!) to be with me when I was preparing from IIT-JEE (supposedly one of the toughest exam in the world) in New Delhi. We are originally from Assam, a North-Eastern state of India. I cleared it and got into the IIT Delhi.
From my childhood my mother inculcated the reading habit in me. Now I am a voracious reader and also trying my hand at writing (and hopefully hone it well enough soon)
Growing up, I used to glare at other children with a deep sense of jealousy when they frolic around town with their colorful bicycles and I am lugging away my backpack of costume and racquets with an eye on the watch!
But if not for that, now I won’t be the object of envious discussion of wistful boys with paunch bellies. Its the little things. Thank you mom! – GB
I’m grateful that when I do something wrong today, I may have a chance to fix it tomorrow.
my girlfirend, she is so smart
living in a country full of opportunities
my talents (good taste in fashion, art and music + good brain)
I’m grateful for many things that I don’t take time to remind myself I’m grateful for, so thank you for the exercise. Sometimes I even feel ungrateful for the very same things that I am grateful for. How is that possible? Anyway, I too was up last night, wondering if our 20 month old was going to wake up in the middle of the night again. Hi mommy. Hi daddy. Over and over again. But last night he didn’t and yet my body now trained to wake up, still did. And I laid in bed trying to fall back to sleep and let my mind wander into funny places while I listened to the sharp sound of cricket chirp outside the window, and a muddled sound of a police siren off in the distance. And so I’m grateful for where we live, in Brooklyn. Where we can sleep with the windows open when it’s not too hot out, and feel engaged with the world, big and small.
I am grateful for scar tissue.
My wife had bowel issues this spring, and an ultrasound revealed a mass (which turned out to be scar tissue). She then started to feel better from the bowel issues, but the mass was investigated. A number of tests later (it might be cancer, no it isnt, yest is might be, no it isn’t) and they determined that it was likely endometrisosiso go in and clean up the scar tisssue and remove the mass. They did that and it turned out that she had ovarian cancer. Another surgery to examin lymph nodes and she is cancer free with nor further treatment required.
All along the doctors and nurses made her a priority and attacked everything prudently and with due diligience. Ovariona cancer is a killer because the only early wrning is often misdiagnosed or ignored, in our case thanks to the scar tissue we were lucky and had the best possicle outcome.
i´m from Michigan.
i´m happy-grateful to be making mango gazpacho. in a flat. in barcelona. on a sunny, windy day in august.
simple things 🙂
I am grateful that there are people in this world who believe in me. I don’t know why, but they believe. And no matter how many mistakes I make, or how many goals I miss, or how many times I look myself in the mirror and am unhappy, they still believe in me. To me that means everything.
- I married the girl of my dreams. We have been friends since we were three years old…literally the girl next door. Years ago we were expecting our 2nd child. We already had a two year old daughter. We never found out the sex of each child and we both expected #2 to be a boy. Our second child was born and she was a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I could not see everything I had to be grateful about (married my life-long best friend, two healthy kids, a roof, a job, friends and family, etc.). I sulked, I swore, I blamed and I was pissed. I didn’t have a boy. My brothers and sisters all had a boy. My friends were blessed with a mini-them. Why the hell couldn’t I have a boy? Two girls. I was stuck with two girls. Shortly after my wife and baby came home I was sent to Target for some supplies. I was literally talking to myself out loud in the store about how poor of a hand I was dealt. I had just finished uttering, “Jesus God why the hell can’t I have a boy? What did I do to you that was so bad?” At that exact moment a mother with three small children walked around the corner of the diaper aisle. Trailing a little behind their cart was her teen-aged son. He had no face. One eye was down near his cheek bone. Where the other eye should have been was just grafted skin. His nose was thin and looked to be formed in an operating room. There were no lips on his mouth, which was a simple slit about half the width of yours or mine. Ears were just openings in the side of his head. He was beautiful. In him I saw God. And He came down to show me how to be grateful for the wonderful life and healthy children I was blessed to create with my wife. We have since had a third child, a girl, and they are all awesome.
- My parents were divorced after 30 years of marriage. I thought it came out of nowhere, but kids are stupid. She had been cheating on him for years with multiple partners. I had no clue, but my father knew about all of them. He was prone to having a few too many beers throughout the years – likely as much a cause of, as it was a result of, the cheating. When she left, he graduated to vodka. For fifteen years we couldn’t talk to him after 2pm because he was incoherent. For years he didn’t know his grandchildren. Didn’t want to know them. Or was too embarrassed to know let them know him. A little over four years ago my sister and I took him to the ER. He was jaundiced and his feet were swollen to the size of footballs. His body was shutting down. They drained 32 liters of liquid from him. His doctor told him he can keep drinking and have an 80% chance of being dead within six months, or stop drinking and he would have a 50/50 shot at living at least 5 years. We thought for sure he would choose the former. He surprised us, and for the past 4 years he has amazed us. Not a drop. He has 11 grandchildren now and they all know and love their Papa. He comes by every weekend with donuts for the kids and ridiculous stories for me. He calls me every day to complain about politicians and taxes and the people living above him. I love it and I am grateful for the past four years.
I’m SO grateful for my mother-in-law taking care of “our” kids while i was down with the flu all day yesterday.
First off I am grateful that we watched your interview with John Stossel a few weeks back. It was a powerful shift for my husband and I. We found your blog and we laugh our asses off constantly when reading some of your stories. I am grateful that we have been married 26 years and the last 5 years we have grown stronger. We lost our home, business health. We have chosen to work through all of fears, hurts, depression daily. I am grateful that I now can help my friends who are in the early stages of PTSSD (Love that). Encouraging them to count it all blessing. I am using the tdp site for a few days now, thank you for providing that for free. I am grateful that we have raised 3 good men. I can go on for several pages. Our family will not go gently into the good night, we are going to love, hurt and practice joy.
By the way, check out Jacksonville, Oregon for retirement. Rogue Valley.
Well, an hour later and I’m back (to this e-mail). Ridiculous. It really shouldn’t be this complicated to answer. But I’ve got one. Finally.
I’m grateful that I’m not an American. I’ve been in this Country for half of my life and I’ve spent it surrounded by hate, greedy, lying, self-entitled, jerks. I can honestly say that I have NEVER met anyone here to this day who hasn’t successfully filled one of the aforementioned descriptions. They’ve reminded me daily of the person that I will not become. For that…I’m grateful.
My wife and children.
I am grateful that the multiverse exists at all.
I am grateful for the internet. Why? Because without the internet my life would be much more limited. I escaped from the tyranny of my parents religion because of knowledge found on the internet. I was able to start my own professional practice with virtually no financial resources because of the internet. Almost all my friends are internet friends. I can easily access information to help me live a healthier, more productive, and generally happier life, on the internet. I’m in my 40’s and remember what the world was like before the internet. It was fine, but it was much smaller.
Today is actually the second anniversary of my move to New York City, and I am more than grateful that I’ve kept my head above water in my time here so far. When I arrived, I was in the middle of a divorce AND a breakup, and I had just entered an allegedly prestigious, expensive PhD program that was awful and a huge mistake. Today, I am living alone and loving it, have quit graduate school without regrets, have given myself a crash course in entrepreneurship, and am developing an independent education practice comprised of teaching activities that I enjoy – without bosses.
There is so much to hate about this world, but there’s alot to love too. I’m off to hustle some business, stroll the High Line, and take myself to dinner. I hope you have a great day.
I’m grateful for my self-confidence, even tho it is constantly challenged, not always up for the challenge, and fails me at least once everyday. It’s always there for me, gets me out of bed in the morning, and is my rock. Thank you Mom and Dad.
I’m grateful that recently I found the negatives from the first rolls of film I shot as a boy, in 1976. I bought a scanner (and I’m grateful that I make enough money to buy a scanner on impulse!) and scanned them in and got to see the faces of the kids I used to play with, unseen for 36 years. It reminded me that while some parts of my childhood weren’t so great, I had no shortage of friends to play with, and I had many many happy hours with them then.
I’m grateful for my parents. Now I don’t have kids myself, but I’ve always imagined what a major pain in the ass they would be. For 18 or so years at least you gotta babysit and worry about their health, well-being, safety, and what not. And at the end of the day they still show unconditional love and support (at least mine did 😀 ) Good golly, now that’s a tough job!
I’m grateful for all the space we have to create into – it is filled with endless possibility. Lucky, lucky us. 🙂
I am job hunting at the moment and going thorugh a ” feeling sorry for myself” phase ..
Reading your post and other posts on your blog, I realised there is still a lot in life to be grateful for.
I am grateful for all the opportutnities available ..I just need to continue to search and hunt for them .
Grateful for many things, but not enough. I’m working on that. But without a doubt I am grateful that my two daughters have reached the cusp of adulthood with healthy minds and bodies, positive attitudes, and a strong love of learning.
I’m grateful that I had the balls to really love my ex wife. It didn’t
work out, and I was selfish in marrying her, but it started me on the
road to loving unconditionally. And the road to really feeling pain,
and being ok anyway. And so many other wonderful realizations.
I’m grateful for my dog, Duncan. I’ve been through a lot in the past few years, which started with my Dad dying of cancer while I was finishing High School, but he’s always cheery and excited to see me. Taking him for long walks helps clear my head and playing with him never fails to make me laugh.
I just finished reading how you calmed your daughter’s nightmares. I think you did a better job than I would have.
You asked me to tell you one thing I am grateful for. There are probably 100 things I am grateful for, (or many more). Some of them are higher on the list and some of them are lower on the list.
But I would like you to know I am grateful for your blog. You make me think. Your words engage my mind. I do not remember how I first located your blog…probably a link from some other blog. It does not matter.
Please keep writing. I’ll keep reading.
Having grown up in a small town. And, from this:
Learned the value of friendship.
Learned how a community comes together during times of need
Learned to trust
Learned to feel secure in the similarity of days
Learned to be self-reliant to make myself happy.
I am grateful for music of Prince. From 2008, I started to listen to his stuff. Being a long term Mj fan, Prince’s music has both familiar and unfamiliar effect to my ears. His struggle with music industry showed that making music and staying in the industry is challenging task to any musician. I really like the fact that with each album, he creates a new image, new look. It’s very inspiring for me as I would see each of my significant time periods in a more positive way. Each period has its own ups and downs but important thing is to create many album like life events and keep move on. And when U look back it’s like looking at your own discography, even though You are not a musician.
I am grateful for my cat, who I rescued from a tree in Italy two years ago. He had a broken leg and was so tiny. He would have died but now he is fat and happy in my apartment in DC.
SInce then I went through a divorce, the worst job of my life, and now another breakup with my boyfriend. He is so full of love and so happy to be alive, he cheers me up even when I want to die.
I (We) are forever grateful that our youngest was born in perfect health. The pregnancy was horrendous, we were much older, my wife was scheduled for a hysterectomy (conception was thought to be impossible) and we knew what losing an unborn child felt like. Now, in the dark days, I think of those promises I made to her and it keeps me going forward. I will not give up now.
I’m grateful that my boyfriend dumped me, and I was caught completely off guard. I got to practice yoga on that grief, anger and confusion. I discovered I’m a loving person! Like, really.
I’m grateful that my daughters biological father has never paid me a cent; otherwise, not sure my family and friends would be her family with me.
I’m grateful for my boyfriend, Ian, who invited me to stay in his beautiful unoccupied apt for the month between me moving out of one apt and into the next
I’m grateful for the doctor who gave me the hemorrhoidectomy this winter, the nurses who dosed me up with pain mess before leaving the hospital, and the boyfriend who took care of me for over a week (then, dumped me five weeks later).
I’m grateful for you and Penelope Trunk mentioning homes homeschooling on your blogs. It gave me the idea to invite my 13-year old dtr to choose home school next year.
I’m thankful for farmers growing food!
Trees for making oxygen!
Children for asking questions, being all up in my grill so I stay soft.
I’m thankful for Obama and Michelle
I’m thankful for Stephen Colbert
I’m thankful for a family who loves me and who tells me when they think I’m fucked up so I can really get that love and disapproval can co-exist. Of course they can! It’s not like love ever goes anywhere
I’m thankful for 6 years of steady yoga practice
I’m thankful for the year of yoga – everyday for a year I practiced (okay, I missed two days and I day my practice was while I was dreaming!
I’m thankful for the shaman in Ecuador who treated me at age 19 (im now 38) for the following self-identified issue: “I believe being connected and powerful and magical is possible for other people, but not me. I have no experience of this. Maybe there’s something wrong with me; maybe I’m just too rational.”
I’m grateful I was willing to drop out of my PhD program and choose my life again.
I’m grateful for being a yoga teacher
For being a yoga student
For designing and leading 40 day personal transformation programs
I’m grateful for Portland Power Yoga
Grateful for people who are committed to being curious, digging around, valuing what inspires them and refusing to settle inside somebody else’s predetermined ideas of how life has to go.
I’m grateful for grandparents
For people who tell stories about the horrendous things that have happened to them and how, despite that, they still regard themselves and others with compassion.
I’m grateful for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – see whys possible!
I’m grateful for fair trade markets
I’m grateful for good matches – soccer games and tennis!
I’m grateful for powerful art
For people who are having fun and expressing their unique gifts and talents and healing the world; these are inseperable!
I’m grateful for Pema Chodron, Anne Lamott, Paul Ferrini, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cormac McCarthy, Swedish mystery writers, poets, bloggers!
I am grateful for the people at 7-11 who get that they, like anyone else, have the power to totally transform someone’s life.
I’m grateful for you, James, and others like you who can allow pain and joy to co-exist.
I’m grateful for this list.
I’m grateful that broken hearts can mend and that there is no “one” person.
One thing in life that I’m grateful for? My mind is in a whirl now trying to think of what to put down here, so I’m going to cheat a little and say: everything in my life that has happened up until this moment, because it has made me who I am and has given me my sense of purpose and my dreams, which I am frightened as hell of sometimes, and at other times utterly frustrated with (or rather with my inability to figure out what exactly they are and do them), but at all times upon reflection absolutely and overwhelmingly thankful for.
I’m still young but I’ve already dealt with countless frustrations growing up in a dreamless country like this one – struggling with a (excessively) pragmatic society, an educational system devoid of inspiration, and compulsory military service of which I am still ‘serving’, among many others. I must admit it is very hard to be grateful for things like these, that have disillusioned me so much to the extent that I never had the energy nor enthusiasm to find out and go out to do what I REALLY wanted to do, for which the opportunities were never really accessible anyways. I’m sorta young but I already feel old sometimes, and feel that I’ve missed out on being able to do so much with my youth (the Olympics didn’t help). I tell myself that to be thankful for these also means making use of the immense frustration welled up within me to go and do something about it, which will be easier to do after my service to my glorious nation is over. I fill my heart with hope.
I’m grateful for Google Plus. As silly as that sounds, it is true. I
am very introverted. While growing up, I was bullied by other kids,
and even all these decades later, I am uncomfortable around other
people. I thought I was fine as my own ‘island,’ even though I almost
always felt a little sad, and depression was always lurking nearby.
When I joind Google Plus last year, I was so pleased to find a way to
reach out to so many kind, interesting, smart people. After a few
months, I realized that my sadness had left. We really are social
I’m grateful that we moved to the heart of the city, adopted a minimal lifestyle, and figured out how to exist together as a family.
I am grateful for all the opportunity we are allowed being from this part of the world.
For the privilege of being able to read your posts and for being able to reply to it. It is a privilege on so many levels: for being fortunate enough to able to read, for being fortunate enough to be able to comprehend, for having a computer, for ability to operate a computer, for having internet connectivity, for having the time to read your mail, to think independently and to respond freely, I’m grateful for being able to come up with things I’m grateful for. I know many people are not as fortunate as I am.
I’m grateful to my ex-wife. This feels weird because the divorce was awful, wasting money and, far worse, years. On the other hand it brought many lessons and without those I could not be where I am today, happy, optimistic and loving my life in ways previously unimagined.
While typing that last sentence my fat fingers hit an ‘o’ instead of an ‘i’ turning ‘living’ into ‘loving’. Looking at it I decided it was correct in the first place.
Thanks for the post. I find I can’t worry (my big curse)when I’m grateful.
I’m really grateful that I have great health at the age where both my parents had heart and cancer problems. I did a century ride on Saturday!
I am a new but already devoted follower of your blog and I happen to have a long gratitude list which I try to extend everyday. But in this email, I would like to tell you that at this very moment I am extremely grateful for one thing only– for you and for your blog, James.
I am grateful that you exist, that you are who you are, that you write what you write and especially that you post pictures of naked women in your posts. I am grateful that i came across your blog 6 months ago when it was mentioned on my favourite “Committed parent” blog of Dr. Brady.
And you know why?
Because you found a way to grab my husband’s attention and make him stop and think about kind of existential questions you raise, make him want to know more and even made him pick up my old copy of “the Power of Now” and start reading it!! For all this years, I couldn’t do it and I have a child by him.
My husband and I, we are each others best friends. We are professionally in the same industry – finance. We studied together, we worked in the City together, we share a lot. The only thing we didn’t seem to share was my passion for spiritual seeking. But now, after many years of me trying to wake him up, I found your blog and magic happened.
My very pragmatic husband who didn’t want to hear any of this “new age mumbo-jumbo” is trying to meditate!
I blame your financial street cred and your special writing style that cuts out all the fluff. I blame your track record. But regardless, it doesn’t even matter, what it is. You are unique in the way that you can speak and reach out to a group of people as far from “self-help” book section as possible.
This is your special mission, James. I am so grateful you found it.
Be happy and say hello to Claudia, her blog is lovely too. You are such a great couple, god bless you.
I’m grateful for the love of family and friends.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
I’m grateful that I’m a batting practice pitcher for two trolls!
My sons are old enough to take batting practice from their father. We
do it at a school yard nearby. the 3y/o hits with the wiffle bat and
the 6y/o a tee ball and bat. For the summer it gets us through after
work until bedtime. We follow up BP with some time on the playground
equipment. Thats when I chill on the bench and check emails & web.
Mom and daughter are happy to spend time reading as the house quiets
down and the trolls are content to be in a routine which is what they
need. As for me, I need a routine more than them!
“I am grateful for my wife who loves me so much. I think in life, it is so hard to find the right soul to share your life with.”
I’m grateful for realizing that I’ll always be my daughters father, no matter what effort her mother (ex)goes through to negate/minimize my presence in her life.
I’m also grateful for having bumped into your blog, a little more than a week ago I was supposed to take place in a triathlon in NYC. Early in the morning I was supposed to travel there, news broke of a sewage spill into the Hudson, our swim venue. All of my friends who were also participating went into panic/hysteria but, having the benefit of your media is always promoting the end of the world advice, I kept calm and knew that the swim would take place. The news had to have a story to lead with and this sewage spill just happened to be it. The hours went by and the swim was greenlit. We got to swim in the Hudson even if it was dirtier than usual. So thank you for letting me know from the very beginning I was going to swim in poop and enjoy the heck out of it.
I woke up and did 50 pushups, then I rode my bike in to work today. I am grateful that I can do this because I am sure someday my body wont let me anymore.
I am also grateful that everyone in my family is healthy and seems happy today.
I am grateful for my dogs. They love me, provide me comfort, and when I walk them – give me great space to think.
I’m immensely grateful for my mother.
I’m a huge under achiever. I’m 35 years old, tried many businesses and lost money in all of them. Out of frustration, I went back to grad school to study computer science and my mom has been paying for that for the past 3yrs. I just finished the course a month ago, to my surprise graduated at the top of my class. When I told my mom that I got a prize for graduating at the top of my class, I thought she would be surprised. But she wasn’t. She said she’d always known I would finish at the top of my class because she knew I had it in me. She believes in me so much, I’m now convinced I can’t fail.
I’m immensely grateful and lucky to have someone like her as my mom.
Music and dogs–both have helped get me through tough times and both have enhanced good times.
Grateful for life – wife, children, community, business. Everything! Amazing!
I am grateful for my beautiful son and daughter, for a fulfilling job teaching in the same high school for 28 years. I am most grateful for my husband of 49 years this Dec.29th. I must not forget to mention my biological grandson and angel adopted grand daughter. Really, when we stop and think about it we have sooo very much to be thankful and grateful for in our lives. Have a beautiful day!
I’m grateful for afterburning turbofan jet engines that send me around at supersonic speeds!
I am grateful for the conversations I have with my dad pretty much everyday. He sees life with a glass half full mentality and there is always a better day to come no matter how dark or bleak it is.
I am grateful for my parents. They raised me well and continue to love me unconditionally.
I am grateful for all incredible moments, that filled my life, and I am grateful Probability Theory for letting this unbelievable moments being happened.
I’m grateful for the “bad experiences” that have happened in my life. While some of them were awful things that no one would ever wish to experience, I was able to learn something valuable from those experiences, even if I didn’t realize it until years later. Now I know to look for those “lessons” when something bad happens to me so I can use them as a way to learn more about myself, improve myself and consequently improve my interactions with and understanding of other people. I believe this makes me a better person and a better friend, family member, co-worker, etc, etc. This makes me happy because I strive to be a positive presence in others’ lives and I believe I’m able to do this because of what I’ve learned.
I am grateful for water. We here in Germany have it in great masses and in fantastic quality so we can drink it, shower in it and swim in it and we often forget how lucky we are to have this great good available 24/7.
What I am grateful for are life’s surprises, both good and bad, and the lessons attached to those experiences.
I am grateful for my parents. Not because they love me, not because they raised me in the best way I could imagine, not because they stay with me at each step down the confusing path to adulthood, not because their concern comes only out of wanting the best for me, but because they have supported all of my decisions. I decided that college was at least temporarily, useless to me, I decided to take the remainder of my college fund and go to Europe for no specific reason, and then from there hopefully I will gather the courage to go to places of the world that scare me. And I know they will be worried, and happy, and nervous, and encouraging. But most of all I know that they will welcome me home regardless of my choices, and regardless of their judgements.
I am grateful that my parents let me pursue all my (to them) crazy ideas. I think it turned out pretty well, for everyone involved
The wonderful 9 1/2 years we had with our beautiful Labrador Joey who passed 20 days ago.
- your posts….they have helped me regain perspective
- my families undying love….they helped me through a hard divorce
- my TRUE friends….they keep calling
- my past accomplishments….I don’t believe there is any such thing as a “self-made man”…so many have helped me get where I am today. So, I guess I need to thank all those who cared, or didn’t care, enough to give me whatever I needed to move forward.
- each new day….the sun rises, and it sets, and I’m still here to enjoy both
I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel/study abroad.
I am grateful that the world is limitless if we learn how to live in it properly using our minds, bodies, souls, and actions. That is the most exciting thing I can imagine
I’m grateful for the relationship with my Granddad. He was a great example of love, humor, tolerance and friendship. I’m 47 now and it endures, the beauty is his memory stands the test of time and is not an idealized remembrance. He was the real deal.
Grateful for you too knucklehead. Thanks for your example of honesty, mostly to yourself. You’re a leader by example for me on my road to true self-discovery. The often train-wreck descriptions of your life and thoughts and your humble approach has helped me unlock and break through the well built and manicured facade that has restricted me for far too long.
Wow…only one thing I’m grateful for?? I am so blessed…it’s hard to narrow down to one.
I guess I’d have to say my Power of Choice. I am in full control of how I choose to respond to everything I encounter throughout the day. I choose to be Happy, Powerful, Proactive, and Kind. I choose to walk away from people and situations that are not healthy for my financial, emotional or mentally well-being.
I’d love to say I’ve always been empowered, but truthfully it’s a quality I didn’t learn until middle-age.
Being consciously aware of my thoughts and beliefs has made all the difference in my Life. It allows me to appreciate all that I have, focus on what I’m striving for, and eager to be my best in all areas of my existence.
I’m grateful I survived my divorce after thirty two years of marriage. Met someone who showed me there was more life to live.
For that I am eternally grateful.
I’m grateful for sunlight coming in my window
I’m grateful for my fiancee’s soft kisses
I’m grateful for Jesus
I’m grateful for mornings
I’m grateful for a soft bed
I’m grateful for a job
I’m grateful for a lot of things. The typical stuff: loving parents, close family, great friends, good medical condition. But one thing that stands out is religion. I was raised a Christian but abandoned it as a teenager. Then I discovered Buddhism. I’m grateful to apply the teachings of Buddha (among others) to my life. I’m only 24. I feel like I’ve discovered things most people don’t understand or “get” until later in life. I’m grateful for that.
Good morning from the Midwest James. My wife and I just traveled from St. Louis to Chicago this past weekend. All we could talk about on the way home is how we long to live amongst the excitement and stimulation of the streets of Chicago. Then we looked at each other and smiled because we knew all that really matters is that we have each other. Emily saved me and is the only person that I openly share all my feelings with, she truly knows me.
I am thankful that someone knows the good and bad about my life and loves me unconditionally. I am thankful for having someone to love me in my most transparent state.
I am grateful for my children.
PS – James I recommend this book- its filled with interesting fodder
for your blog:
I’m grateful for having good health.
When I was about 10 years old I was fascinated with urban legends like Bloody Mary. Fascinated is probably the wrong word … it was more like an obsession. Precise instructions were given away at school on how exactly to get her to appear in your mirror and then kill you on the spot. My little 10-year old obbessed mind couldn’t let this go and I would find myself lying in bed chanting her name away like some morbid monk. I would then be terrified that I had just invited her into my room through the 5 ft mirror on my wall and of course, could not fall asleep. After several nights of finding me sleeping on my parents bedroom floor, my dad brought me to my room, took the mirror from the wall and squashed my belief that anything could move through that mirror. I felt relieved and silly at the same time, what a great combination of feelings. I’m grateful for my fearless father.
I am a recent MBA graduate with no job offer. My apartment lease in Florida is up and I will have to move back in with my parents in a few weeks at the age of 26. I have been living out of their house since I was 18, so I obviously feel this is a step in the wrong direction.
Since May, I have been working two sales jobs that may have upside but are not in the field I went back to school to study. I also work out of my house and am alone most of the day. I am extremely frustrated that friends and peers of mine seemingly have maturing career paths and either girlfriends or fiancés and meanwhile, I will be going back to my parents home.
Even with the current state of my career and social life, I recognize how lucky I have been with my health and the health of my loved ones. I have two healthy 60 year old parents, three healthy 90 year old grandparents, and healthy and beautiful little 2nd cousins (my first cousins daughters…although she is more like a sister to me). I see the evolution of our family, as it continues to grow and age together. I love them all and am just happy that everyone leads a normal and healthy life that is only complicated by making a living and not doctors appointments.
I’m grateful that, as much as I’ve screwed up in life, I still have time to right the ship and find success. Success with my wife and kids… Success in my career… Success.
I am grateful that 15 or so years ago, I took mushrooms and discovered
that everything around me is not as it seems. That was the beginning
of a crazy long path to discovering the practice of mindfulness and it
makes a difference every day in my life and in the life of those
around me. I’ve not reached a glorious enlightened state, but every
single day is a little bit closer to reality and a lot closer to
When I tried to think of one thing I was grateful for, my head literally started spinning with all of the happiness I have in my life. My newborn niece who I love more than anything, my family and girlfriend who support me unconditionally, the oatmeal I had for breakfast. I think if the average person isn’t astounded at just how lucky they are for even the most basic comforts (running water) they need to reevaluate why they’re so ungrateful. The one thing I’m grateful for, if I had to pick, would be a take on a quote I often cite which I read on your blog about how we traveled 600 trillion light years to be where we are in this moment, and if we aren’t appreciating that fleeting moment, we traveled all that way for nothing. So I’m grateful I’m me, and you’re you.
I am happy that I was recently able to retire and able to occassionally read interesting articles like yours.
I’m grateful that my endless optimism lets me get out of my comfort zone at will, and thus I get to experience life in all its shades.
I’m not always grateful for it though, you just caught me on a good day.
The unrelenting love and generosity of my fiancee, whom I can’t wait to see tonight when I get home from work
subpart (a) – that, after 6.5 years of being together, I am still excited to see my fiancee when I get home from work
From childhood, I’m grateful for family trips to the beach and holiday celebrations.
From today, I’m grateful for my daughter, and having a job that lets me provide for her.
I am grateful for who I am, for the air I breathe, for my ability to breathe it without aid or tubes. I am grateful for my family, for the love we have for each other.
I am grateful for the opportunities before me, for the blessings that flow me on a continuous basis.
I am grateful for my iPhone, which allows me to connect to the world and read your post from the other side of the Atlantic ( morocco).
I am grateful for being grateful. Thank you for providing the opportunity
.. that you write with so much passion and blood and fear and honesty, that you inspire me. Inspiration is a rare treat.
And we all suffer. And we all hurt on the inside. And we all cut ourselves and see the blood flow and feel relieved. And after spending years holding the hands of people, friends, who had cut their wrists and a brother who cut and bled and scarred his face, I now am seeing my own scars, and bleeding myself. You inspire me to bleed. Onto virtual paper. In virtual ink. So that maybe, someone, someday, will read it and feel a little better. And won’t need a knife. And will be inspired to greater things too.
When I find the courage to share my writing, that is.
Also, I know you asked for one but I’m going to be cheeky and give you two. If you read this at all.
I am grateful for this request of yours. I’ve been wanting to write you for a long while, but haven’t. But this time, I just clicked it and here I am writing you. The sheep, as they say, is over the fence. I have written you. And now I’ll discover what it’s really like.
It’s done. And the sheep is out in the field.
I wonder what the grass is like this side of the fence.
“I am grateful for my niece. The last two years have been some of the most difficult of my life. Having a new baby in the family (and such a cute, happy, chilled out little thing) takes me out of my own thoughts, difficulties, and general negative spiral, and puts me in the moment. She melts my heart. And I love her unconditionally. That is what I am currently most grateful for.”
I’m thankful for failing at a business that had turned into an exhausting and terrible situation after 3 years. I learned more than I could have ever imagined and am still alive. I’m also thankful because my wife, who’s my best friend in the world, and just found out we’re expecting a baby. So I guess I’m grateful for the beautiful moments in life and the privilege of being able to celebrate them.
I’m grateful for my ambition. My dreams. When all else fails, I have me.
Having a friend in my life who needs me.
I’m grateful for:
- my wife (she’s loved me when I have been totally unloveable)
- my/our daughters, their husbands (the two of the five that are married) and my grandson
- my job
- ability to give meaningfully to people/causes I care about
- my expertise (I’m a fundraiser)
- my relationship with GOD
- the central focus of my life (my relationship to GOD)
- that I’m loved
- good food
- real friends
- the way our family loves each other
- successful kids
- fresh air
- cool weather
- clean water
- safe houses
- good bed
here are some things i’m grateful for. I’m grateful that i have two beautiful sons who are so important to me and fill me with more joy than i can even describe. I’m grateful that my relationship with my mum and brother is so amazingly close that i couldn’t be better. I’m grateful that even though my dad was a gangster who ended up being shot dead, he was also a deeply moral man in some ways who taught me the value of loyalty, honour and “doing the right thing”. Above all i’m just grateful about life, whether it is going good or bad, and even when it is really shit, it’s still a real buzz and everyone should shake it by the balls and squeeze every last drop of fun from it that they can.
I’m grateful for my boyfriend Ryan. When he there, bad times are not so bad and good times are better. Victor Hugo once said, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Thanks to Ryan, I have seen God.
I have two things that are on the top of my list.
The first, is that my parents are still married (and happily so). I am 25, and they are still together. I am grateful for this because I think its not very common. I cant imagine the problems they must face on a day to day basis as a married couple, but they are still together. I am grateful because I realise this rarity makes me very lucky.
The second (sorry, I had to put a second), is being alive today. I am really sorry that your daughter had to hear that, it resonates with me a lot because of the country I live in (South Africa). Our crime rate, especially murders, are very high. Its a daily story. I think we have on Its a blessing to be alive just one more day and to make the most of it.
I’m grateful to know that the crazy thoughts and bizarre insecurities that I thought were unique to me aren’t. While I haven’t had the guts to make them all public, it’s reassuring and exiting to see things and hear ideas that are so familiar from someone else and know that mine, while my own and unique to me, aren’t so crazy or special
Thanks for that and showing the resiliency and ability to question things so completely,
I am grateful for my wife. We will have been married for 30 years come
She is the perfect woman for me:
1. She is smart (formerly a computer programmer and analyst).
2. She is a hard worker.
3. She is a very talented home maker and designer.
4. She does not hold grudges… ever!
5. She likes old Hollywood movies from the 30’s and 40′.
6. She likes Gilbert and Sullivan.
7. She is well liked by everyone.
8. She seems to like me.
9. She does not mind that I am a (practically speaking) an atheist.
There are probably many more reasons, but this is a start.
You might find it interesting that literally for the first 20 years of our
marriage we did not have a TV (although we had a home theater to
watch our movies).
Another funny thing is that we met in January of ’82 and got married
in November of ’82. I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone, but it has
worked for us.
I feel grateful for having inherited my father’s sense of humor so I can endure endless setbacks
and humiliations, being able to find humor throughout.
Many years ago Oprah suggested everyone make a gratitude journal and write in it daily things for which they are grateful; one of my early entries says ” I am grateful I corrected how I spell “grateful.”
I am grateful to no longer be living in my mother’s basement.
James, This exercise in of itself, ” trying to pick only one gratitude,” make a person ( at least it did for me) ponder all many things we are grateful for.
Hi James, I’m grateful for this moment because it made me remember many good things in my life: wife, kids (3), family, friends, health, past, present, future, mistakes, accomplishments, opportunities, everything that made me who I am today. And thank you for asking that question.
Greetings from México.
I am grateful that I met my beautiful wife almost four years ago. When I step back and examine my life, I realize I am happy on a daily basis.
I’m started a company this spring, and although it’s not very profitable yet, I’m paying my bills with my own creativity. I can’t overstate how grateful I am for this and for all the people who have helped me so far.
I’m grateful for the time and place I was born.
I am really grateful, that my parents raised me to be kind, good to people and to expect the best from everything and everyone. Althought life hits me hard lately and the world is “sick”, I walk my own way, spreading love and kindness. All good shall come!
Thanks for all the inspiration, kind words and kickass blogs!
Greetz from Slovenia/Europe!
…my mum. She’s the kindest, most selfless person I know. She has sacrificed so much for myself and my sister and even when she has faced incredible hardships (multiple broken arm from a fall, broken ankle (when she was 60), terrible divorce, severe arthritis) she never complains. She is always so positive and supportive.
My wife and 2-year-old daughter went to visit my in-laws over the weekend. They came back.
Every second with my family is priceless, poopy diapers and all.
The kid sleeps in bed with us. For now, I still love it. When she puts her little arm around my neck I could die a very happy man.
I’m grateful to be able to have adult conversations with my mom.
I’m grateful for my dog. He has taught me the importance of unconditional love. Over the past year I have had some significant health challenges and have stumbled both professionally and in my personal life. My dog didn’t care. Without fail, no matter how bad things have seemed, he still loved me. You can’t put a price on that.
I am grateful for my wife and my family 🙂
I’m grateful for my beautiful fiance playing on her Iphone and IPAD while making me soup…
I’m grateful for my wife and kids’ ability to focus on what’s in front of them and the joy of the little things in life …which allows me to worry about everything else.
I’m grateful for my freedom. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. And I’m surrounded by people I admire and love who I can share these experiences with.
A loving fiancé who always says she loves me in the morning
My name is Swathi and I moved from India to United States in the fall of 2007.
I had zero family and friends , did not know how to drive and was going through my divorce.
That is the worst that I had ever fallen to in my life.
But I’m grateful for many things
– the move to a new continent made me find new friends
– being alone and going through a lot made me recognize the strength I have
– I now have a good job and am writing down ideas to start my own company in the next couple of years
I’m grateful to have the strength and courage to come through this journey shining instead of
running away from it.
I know change is difficult but I will always embrace it.
I am grateful for my failures in life because they tell me more about myself than my accomplishments.
What am I grateful for? Believe it or not, I’m grateful that, even though I work in Tech Support, that I’ve been lucky to have had three of the best supervisors one could hope for. My supervisors let me work around my schedule; take time off at a moment’s notice; and generally give me free reign, as long as my work is completed in a timely manner. I couldn’t be a luckier working stiff.
I am grateful for posts like yours that remind me to count my blessings.
I am grateful to have known my grandfather for 55 years.
I am grateful to have the freedom to travel and have new experiences.
I am grateful for the screened porch surrounded by freshly cut grass, cardinals and hummingbirds.
I am grateful my husband makes me hot tea every morning.
I am grateful my kitty is still around at 20 and sleeps cuddled up to my side every night.
Hard to believe…but I’m grateful I developed a coke addiction at 19…if it had been later in life i would have nevr learned the lesson…
When idealized I was an addict ( ie stealing money from mom, not able to look myself in the eye) I dropped out of UBC (a prestigious Canadian university) and got in my truck and drove until I hit a new city (Calgary). I rented a room in the worst motel in town…$120 for the week…got a job washing dishes and started my life over, on my own terms.
I decided to go back to university, and not because I was told to go. I made new friends and these friends didn’t do coke. I quit on my own terms, taking responsibility and not claiming I was powerless like some 12 step program.
I never left Calgary, I felt I fit in, it became home. I would have never found my home if I didn’t burn everything around me. I was unhappy in life, that’s why we do drugs like coke…
To this day my mom still tells me not to ever do coke again…she does not understand why I did it. She cannot see how unhappy the family home was…But I know why I have no urge to do it…life doesn’t need a stimulant when the system is running smooth…