What Rod Stewart taught me about Gratitude -or- “Perspective Brings Happiness”

Years ago, I had a good friend and roommate who was very shy and had a hard time meeting girls, and he desperately wanted to have someone in his life.  We’ve lost touch, but every time I hear Rod Stewart’s “Some Guys Have All the Luck”, I think of him, because he said that song was a perfect description of his situation and how he felt.
I can still hear him saying, “Some guys have it sooo good, they’ve got everything and they have no clue!  The ones who have it the best are the ones who whine the most and it pisses me off!”

The chorus:  “Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the pain.  Some guys get all the breaks, some guys do nothing but complain.”

OK, so what does this have to do with problems and gratitude?  The lyrics of the song do a nice job of creating the contrast between what someone wants and the fact that those who have what he wants, don’t really appreciate it.

In my opinion, one of the best traits we can develop is the habit of gratitude.   Gratitude is completely a function of perspective because all meanings in life are subjective and defined by the perspective that we take.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.  Hamlet

My recommendation—the next time you’re feeling upset about something, try to remember that the fact that you have something to complain about, means that you actually have something good.  In other words, ‘problems are evidence of blessings’.

For a recent personal example, in the last 10 days I’ve had to get both a car and laptop repaired.  These sudden, unexpected (and EXPENSIVE!) situations were unwelcome, frustrating, and very inconvenient.  But using the thought process above, I was able to remind myself that in reality, we’re very fortunate to have cars and laptops!  And part of having something great will be problems.

If you don’t have any problems or obstacles, then you’re not living.  The money-miser in me was upset by these 2 large, unexpected expenses but even then, I realized that fixing the car and laptop are much cheaper than buying new ones.  So even that gave me gratitude.

As a recap, how you feel at any given time is the direct result of how you’re looking at your situation, and what meaning you’re giving it.  For any and all situations, you can choose the “problem meaning” for unhappiness, or choose the “happiness meaning.”  It’s entirely your choice.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve forgotten to do this many times and get caught up in the drama of the moment, plenty of times.  This is more than just a semantic, mind-game of “half empty/half full.”  It’s a more resourceful way of looking at things and appreciating the good in your life.

Is there something you’ve felt like complaining about right now, that’s reminded you of something to actually be grateful for?

All the best,

follow me on twitter:  @gregnmusic

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