27 Life Ideas From 27 Year Old: #5 Art of Gratitude

Chillin' with my bro in Paris 96'.

Every Christmas back in Germany, my family used to join this group of Christians and stay at a lodge in Black Forest. My parents weren't devout Hindus, nor were they really interested in Christianity but the sense of community was strong enough to lure them there during the holidays. My fond memories includes visiting a haunted castle at midnight (nearly pee-ed my pants) and falling off the sledge on the snow face down with my dad.

Good times. 

Of all the memories though, I remember my parents teaching everyone how to make MoMos. The dumpling is quite essentially a Nepali thing (next time you meet a Nepalese, tell them you love MoMos, sit back and watch their reaction) and I could see everyone getting involved. You do actually need everyone's help to cook MoMos. I couldn't wait to get my hands on one of them. As I said, it's a Nepali thing. No one can really explain why we go absolute nuts on a couple of steamed dough wrapped in meat. 

Before I did get to taste those dallo dallo atii mitho dumplings, we all had to join hands and well, thank Jesus. Who else? Jesus the rockstar. Look, if you lived in Korea long enough, you will understand my anxiety and extreme, extreme distaste for cult Church, cult pastors and cult Christians overall. I want to be understanding but you know what, they can go f**k themselves. 

Anyways, where was I?

Yes..we all had to take a moment before we had dinner (or any meal) and thank god that food is on the table. Didn't make much sense then, however, as I have grown to practice the art of gratitude, I find real life changing value in a such a simple habit. What I initially saw as a deeply entrenched religious tradition turns out to a very, very powerful life tool that can be applied to make significant improvement in anyone's life. The simplest, most effect antidepressant. 

So how exactly does gratitude effect our mind, existence and overall well being? I am glad you asked. The art actually goes hand in hand with something I have already touched in the blog; meditation [HERE] because this pertains to being in present state. Notice how call it an "art," in a way I make sure you understand this requires practice and lot's of it. 

THE CORE IDEA BEHIND GRATITUDE:
To become painfully aware of things you take for granted everyday.
[Science [HERE] shows doing so releases both "anti-depressant" hormones Serotonin and Dopamine while reducing Cortisol levels]

That's as simple as it can get. Think about all the things you take for granted. The fact that you have internet (!!) and you can read (!!) and comprehend (!!) what I am trying to state here. The fact that you have the sense for sight, to feel and to touch. The fact that your limbs can move as you command to. The fact that you can walk to the bathroom every morning without having to break your back  The fact that you have running water in the tap. The fact that you are in good health. The fact that you can talk and listen to people's stories in a particular language. 

And the best fact of all; the fact that you exist. Period. 

Thank your parents, thank your grandpa, your ancestors, your super super ancestors who were able to survive in Darwin's well explained natural selection process, that they were able to survive wild animals and beasts and what not, find a mate and millions of years of evolution later on, you are here. You exist because of all the hard work that your ancestors were able to go through. They survived thus you survive. Take a moment to think about the gravity of all what I said so far. For me, it's absolutely crazy. There's limited resources in this planet, your lineage had a place on earth and still you of all the people, have a place on the same planet. 

We as humans, have a natural tendency to look above us. To think about the things we don't have. It's important to do so, that's how ambition takes root and societies and cultures progress. However, it's of utmost importance to understand that our life, right now, is much much better than a lot of people. I am not arguing that you give up everything, live a life of saint, abstain from sex and live in the present. Nope. All I am saying is this; be aware of what you have and genuinely appreciate it. That's the starting point from where you can then effectively let ambition take control. You know exactly what you have and if  you know exactly where you want to be, (will touch on that later) you have a life vector. 

The only vector that really matters outside calculus textbooks.

Check out all 27 Ideas so far [HERE]

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