“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain
I got a question from one of my students – “I hate studies. What can I do about it?”
Well, you need to understand that this question is not as simple as it appears. It has something more profound to it.
You are studying to become skilled so you can get your dream job. You know you can become skilled only by studying and learning as much as you can.
You don’t want to study because you’re taking things for granted.
Your parents, your college, the books, your classroom, your teachers, your fellow students – most of the things.
You think you should get good friends, good teachers, excellent facilities in college, a beautiful girlfriend, and everything else you desire. But the truth is – You don’t always get what you wish instead you most often get what you deserve.
The World Owes You? Think Again
Stop taking things for granted, especially the world in general. You might be getting all the things you desire, but that doesn’t mean you were entitled. You got them. Great! Now be grateful.
There are millions of children who don’t even get proper food. They don’t have a home to stay in. They don’t have decent clothes to wear. They don’t know what a school looks like.
There are many orphans in the world. They have never seen faces of their parents. Think about them.
Feel their pain, their agony, their helplessness, and realise how blessed you are.
There’s a reason why you think the way you think.
You feel (like most of us) that this world owes you a good life. You are entitled to get a well-paying job, a good home, a fantastic family atmosphere, a loving spouse and so on.
You have been living in the illusion that since you are here, you must get everything you desire. That’s not true.
The world doesn’t owe you anything. Whatever you need or want has to be earned.
You need to make yourself good enough to have that thing.
Don’t Get Discouraged
I am not saying you can’t have what you want.
What I am saying is that you must be the right person to have that thing: You must be deserving, and it’s possible only if a) You feel grateful for what you have and b) You keep on learning new things every day to master your craft.
If you can’t value and be grateful for what you currently have, what’s the guarantee you will appreciate the things you desire?
Be Grateful for What You Have
Here’s a simple exercise to help you feel grateful for your blessings.
Take a piece of paper and a pen. Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed. Make yourself comfortable. Take some deep breaths and start unwinding.
Close your eyes and relax. Now, in your mind, start taking an inventory of your blessings.
Be it your college, your favourite course, good fellow students, fantastic teachers, impressive facilities – whatever it happens to be, feel its presence in your life.
Stay with that feeling. Now, open your eyes and note down all the things on paper. You may write like this – blessing no1, no2, no3……..and so on.
You also might experience some unpleasant emotions during the process – anger, frustration, despair or uneasiness. Let them surface. Acknowledge them, and they’ll get released.
You might not be able to do this exercise in the beginning because you have been conditioned to focus on the things you don’t have, things you need to accomplish, things that are ‘missing’. But you can get into the ‘being grateful’ zone. Find even the smallest things you can be grateful for and make a list. When it’s ready, have a good look at it. Focus on blessing number one, close your eyes and feel grateful for it. Keep doing this till you reach the end. Now, look within yourself. You will feel awesome.
This exercise alone can change your mindset. It can uplift your spirits and make you feel happy about yourself and the life.
But Wouldn’t ‘Being Grateful’ Halt My Progress?
No, it won’t. Being grateful means, you are acknowledging your blessings, and it doesn’t mean that you will not strive to move ahead in life. You will still move forward but with a more profound sense of purpose.
Gratitude helps you get rooted. Now, you will have your roots deep in the earth and your wings high in the sky.
Be grateful and keep polishing your skills. A new life awaits you.