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3 Steps to Gratitude: How to Live With Less
June 17, 2015
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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

We’ve all heard the term “You should be grateful for what you have”, but gratitude is something that we so often take for granted. Showing gratitude is really one of life’s most valuable lessons.

 

gratitude

 

These days we live such busy lives – it all passes by in a blur – and we forget to be truly grateful. Gratitude is a mindset we need to train ourselves to have. It starts with the appreciation of everything you have or go through in life and looking at it in a positive manner. I’ve teamed up with 1Life to share some tips about how to live in gratitude, every day.

 

1. Find things that cost you very little and give you lots of joy!

Things that truly matter in your life shouldn’t cost you a fortune. As a traveller, you will constantly have to adapt and change depending on where you are. So don’t waste money and energy on things that won’t make your travels better. Instead, have gratitude for the amazing scenery and people you meet during your travels.  These seemingly small acts of gratitude can make all the difference.

blyde river canyon

Gratitude in nature

The best things about travelling are not the things that costs lots of money. It’s the simple moments, the people I meet, the landscapes I encounter, the sunsets and sunrises that leave me in awe of nature’s bounty, new music discovered that makes my my soul sing, or a piece of art that is so beautiful I want to cry.

It’s so easy these days to miss those special moments beacause we’re too busy taking the perfect photo to share on Facebook – I must admit, I’ve been guilty of this a bit too often 🙁

Table bay sunset

Taking time to appreciate the moments

These days, I have to consciously stop myself from losing the beauty of the moment by trying to capture it in a photo. One needs to stop, be still, and take that moment to appreciate just being in that space at that time, for being able to experience that perfect sunset, the star-studded sky, or the smile of a new friend.

 

2. Give a little time to gain a lot of perspective

A powerful way to get a fast-track lesson in gratitude is to immerse yourself in the lives of others less fortunate than you. That doesn’t mean you should get up and quit your day job, but volunteering at a worthy organisation can provide some much-needed perspective on life, even if you only do it once.

Traveling always brings me in contact with many people from various cultures and backgrounds, and seeing how people help interact with one another inspires me to want to get involved.  I’ve had some of my most humbling encounters have been when I’ve travelled.

 

I'm often umbled by the people I meet when I travel.   This is Tannie Koera who runs Anuty Koera's Farm Kitchen, a simple homely road-s9de restaurant in the Northern Cape.

I’m often humbled by the people I meet when I travel. This is Tannie Koera who runs Anuty Koera’s Farm Kitchen, a simple homely road-side restaurant in the Northern Cape.

One of the first community projects I cam across was when travelling to a village in the rural Eastern Cape. I discovered Bulungula Lodge, a model for community-based tourism and the amazing community projects run by their NGO, the Bulungula Incubator.

In a village with no services and no employment, the Bulungula Incubator has done wonders in developing this community in a sustainable manner. I’ve followed their projects over the years, and I’m so proud of how far they have come. Check out their video below, and if you’re inspired like I was please do donate. Besides cash for projects, they always in need of laptops, stationery, educational materials. toiletries, and other items we take for granted.

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson

3. Choose happiness, always…

Life can be tough, filled with all kinds of worries – health issues, money, love… But by choosing to focus on the good things, the positive things, and the little things that make you laugh, your sense of joy and gratitude will become the prevailing emotion in your life.

gratitude

I made this pretty little graphic to remind me of some of the things I should be grateful for and stuck it up in my office.

It will allow you to enjoy the good times more easily and make you stronger for when times are tough. And just like that, being told, “Be grateful for what you’ve got,” becomes far less annoying.

Each adventure you take on your travels will indeed change your life for the better. I’m convinced that a journey filled with graitude will always lead to a destination filled with happiness.

If you don’t believe me, watch this TEDtalk, from David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. He says that the one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy and that happiness is born from gratitude. Take some time to slow down, look where you’re going, and above all, be grateful.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I loved this Winnie-the-Pooh quote just too much not too include it. Piglet is indeed wise.

 

1Life-LogoDisclosure: This post is sponsored by 1Life Insurance to educaate us on common South African life lessons. Visit them to get reliable information on life insurance online and get a quote for Life Cover online.  Mzansigirl retains full  editorial control of all content published on this site 🙂 

 

 

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Meruschka Govender

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