Hello world! Today is my birthday so I find it fitting to write an appreciation post. For the last month (and counting), I’ve been backpacking Southeast Asia alone. As a solo traveler, you have lots of time to reflect and observe the world, so I decided to share some of my thoughts on being happy and having a strong state of mind.
I’ve been living out of a backpack so my lifestyle has been very minimal, to say the least. (pun alert 😂) I only have 3 t-shirts! While traveling, I’ve realized that “stuff” or materials are a mental detriment, while gratitude is the best form of mental medication.
While gratitude may be important, it first takes true awareness to really understand what to appreciate. Without awareness, you won’t be able to analyze how awesome life is and how lucky we are to experience it. Awareness is essentially the plan before you can execute the result of gratitude.
The formula. Separating NEEDS vs WANTS.
The most important part of having a strong state of mind is knowing what to be grateful for. In order to do so, one must separate their NEEDS from their WANTS.
What do we really “need” in this life to be happy? In my opinion, these are the must-haves in order to survive. Things that fall under this category are health, shelter, loving relationships and memorable experiences (like traveling 😎).
All needs require action, so make them the focal point of your day. For example, if you NEED to be healthy, make an effort towards it by working out and eating healthy. Once you have defined your needs, prioritize making them the most important part of your life and be grateful for them.
The WANTS are where your gratitude is vulnerable to be replaced with feelings of anxiety and depression. Materials, status, and excess “stuff” fall under this category. Wants are never long lasting and are usually associated with how we want others to perceive us. “If only I had that nice car”. Do you really NEED it though? The one in your price range will still get you from point A to B.
When our self-worth is dependent on the stuff we own, we play a losing game. You will be happy with stuff only if you can be happy without “stuff”.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
Advertisers target your ego which is a byproduct of the things you see on social media and the world around you. Everyone has different NEEDS but unfortunately, most confuse them with their WANTS. Don’t get distracted and focus on staying true to your own goals and needs.
As I hop into my new Ferrari (just kidding!)….remember to be grateful with what you have and don’t compare yourself with others. I understand we are not all dealt the same hand, but there is one thing that is equal between all of us and that’s time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. I’m going to use mine to be grateful.