101 Things to Be Thankful for That You Take for Granted
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[You] only miss the sun when it starts to snow. Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. Only hate the road when you’re missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go.”
We all take things for granted. We become accustomed to things, over familiar with them…
…and when this happens, we stop appreciating how valuable and important these things really are.
What’s more, we usually, don’t realize that we had these things, until they’re gone… and it’s too late or too difficult to get them back.
But here’s the thing:
If you’re able to appreciate them before they’re gone, not only will they become more valuable to you,
…but you’ll also be more conscious of them and will fight to hold onto them.
So… to help you take stock of what’s truly important in your life, I put together this list of 101 things to be thankful for. These are the truly important things… the things that each of us should hold onto and be deeply grateful for.
101 Things to Be Thankful and Grateful For
PS: The list below is not little, insignificant things… things like “finding $5.00 in your pocket”, “the snooze button” or “getting a front row parking spot.”
Like I mentioned above, this list is the truly important stuff… the things that each and every one of us should truly be grateful for.
Below each of these things to be thankful for, you’ll see a short description explaining exactly why you should be so grateful for it.
I recommend scrolling through the entire list (you probably don’t realize you take most of these things for granted)…
…but if you’re looking for a specific type of thing to be thankful for, you can use the table of contents below:
Be Thankful for What You Have (12 Things)
101. You’re alive and breathing (read more)
100. You have today (read more)
99. You have health (read more)
98. You’re more likely to have a longer life (read more)
97. You have a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in (read more)
96. You have food on your table (read more)
95. You have clothing (read more)
94. You have family (both by and not by blood) (read more)
93. You have friends (read more)
92. You have a job (or some form of income) (read more)
91. You have some money in the bank (read more)
90. You can read this (read more)
Be Thankful for Those Who are There for You (10 Things)
89. Our country (read more)
88. Our Armed Forces (read more)
87. Our emergency responders (read more)
86. The parents that helped you become who you are (read more)
85. The ancestors who built your family traditions (read more)
84. The teachers who gave you knowledge (read more)
83. The significant others who broke your heart (read more)
82. The people that picked you up when you were down (read more)
81. The competition that drives you (read more)
80. The people who criticized you and pushed you forward (read more)
Be Thankful that You’re in Control of Your Financial Future (5 Things)
79. You are you and you have opportunity (read more)
78. You can turn your brilliant idea into a business that pays your bills (read more)
77. You can quickly crowdfund your big idea with Kickstarter and Indiegogo (read more)
76. You have access to incredible online resources to start a small business (read more)
75. You have access to incredible, and free, online tools to start a small business (read more)
Be Thankful that You Have the World at Your Fingertips (13 Things)
74. There’s innovation (read more)
73. You can access the internet (read more)
72. You get the Google effect (read more)
71. You have YouTube (read more)
70. You have thousands of free motivational videos (read more)
69. You can shop online shopping (read more)
68. You have Amazon and Amazon Prime (read more)
67. You have Kickstarter (read more)
66. You can find a product for whatever you need (read more)
65. You have Pandora (read more)
64. You have Netflix (read more)
63. You have your smart phone (read more)
62. You have the ability to disconnect from technology (read more)
Be Thankful for Nature, and All It Gives You (9 Things)
61. The sunrise (read more)
60. The sunset (read more)
59. The forest (read more)
58. The mountains (read more)
57. The ocean (read more)
56. Hiking (read more)
55. The snow (read more)
53. Animals (read more)
Be Thankful for the Things that Make Life Great (11 Things)
52. Free time (read more)
51. The weekend (read more)
50. The ability easily start a new hobby (read more)
49. Sports and all-star athletes (read more)
48. Music and good musicians (read more)
47. Books and great writers (read more)
46. A good cup of coffee (read more)
45. Good food (read more)
44. Ice cold beer (read more)
43. Pets (read more)
42. Dogs (read more)
Be Thankful for Love (4 Things)
41. Love exists (read more)
40. You have a significant other you love (read more)
39. You live in one of the best times to be single and looking (read more)
38. You can easily up your dating game (read more)
Be Thankful that You Can Travel, Explore and Adventure (7 Things)
37. You have the ability to travel (read more)
36. You have cars (read more)
35. You have planes (read more)
34. Different, unique cultures still exist (read more)
33. You can see beautiful art and buildings, that have been preserved for thousands of years (read more)
32. You can visit a different culture… in your own hometown (read more)
31. You can easily get a different culture’s food (close to home) (read more)
Be Thankful for the Little Things (7 Things)
30. The power of a quote (read more)
29. A leisurely stroll (read more)
28. The kindness of a stranger (read more)
27. The dryer (read more)
26. You wake up next to someone you love (read more)
25. New experiences (read more)
24. Treasured memories (read more)
Be Thankful for the Things You Probably Take for Granted (11 Things)
23. Running water (read more)
22. Drinkable water in our homes (read more)
21. Fire (and heating) (read more)
20. A shower with hot water (read more)
19. Your freedom (read more)
18. Your security (read more)
17. Your vision (read more)
16. Your hearing (read more)
15. Your sense of taste (read more)
14. Your mobility (read more)
13. Your mental health (read more)
Be Thankful for Your Personal Development (4 Things)
12. The lessons you’ve learned this year (read more)
11. That you’re not the same person you were five years ago. You’ve become a better you (read more)
10. You have a desire for growth (read more)
9. And to help you… you have access to countless personal-development resources online (read more)
Be Thankful for You (8 Things)
8. Your mind (read more)
7. Your memory (read more)
6. Your courage (read more)
5. Your ambition (read more)
4. Your positive outlook (read more)
3. Your optimism (read more)
2. Your future (read more)
1. Who you are (read more)
Not the things like “a new TV” or “a new car”… but the important things that you have:
Here’s one of the most important things to be thankful for on the entire list:
You woke up this morning… your heart is beating and you have breath in your lungs.
Life. We get it every day so it seems so small…
….but know that every day you have in the world is a gift.
Life changes quickly… and while you might be here one minute, you might be gone the next.
Today is the day.
The day that you can chase your dreams. That you can start your future. That you can become whoever it is you want to be.
Be thankful that you have today and be thankful that, with today, you can do whatever you want to.
There are millions of people who have terminal illnesses, chronically painful diseases, or worse… that are dead.
If you’re reading this, you’re alive… so remember:
Even if your health isn’t perfect, be thankful because it could always be worse.
Modern medicine has greatly improved the quality and the length of our lives.
In the early 1900’s, you were only expected to live about 40 years old…
To put this into perspective, think about it like this:
In the 1900’s, you were once given one life… but today, you’re blessed with two.
According to the United Nations, over 100 million people live without a home and sleep on the streets every night.
Your roof might leak, your bed might not be the most comfortable…
…but be thankful that you have them, because so many don’t.
795 million people don’t have enough food to live a healthy active life. Nearly 100 million children are underweight. Almost 45% of deaths in children under five are due to poor nutrition. source
Even if you only have Top Ramen to eat, remember that you have so much more than so many do.
Maybe you don’t have the newest, nicest, most stylish garments…
…but you do have clothes and those clothes will keep warm and help you look presentable to the world.
When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.” ~Helen Keller
Your family protects you, loves you, inspires you, and motivates you.
They’re there for you when no one else is… when times are hard and when times are dark.
Their unconditional love and support (regardless of whether they’re your family by or not by blood) is truly a gift.
I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” ~Jim Butcher
Imagine life without any of your friends…
Who would you go to the game with? Shoot pool with? Invite to your dinner party? Life without them would be dull, boring and lonely.
Be grateful for the good friends that you have, because, as we all know… they’re not easy to come by.
You might not love what you do, but you do have something to do. Realize that there are those who would give anything to have your job.
Be thankful that you have it and be thankful for the income it provides.
This might be a lot… it might be a little.
…But if it’s more than $0, be thankful, because you have so much more than a lot of other people.
According to the National Association for Education Statistics, about 23% of the population are able to little more than,
“total an entry on a deposit slip, locate the time or place of a meeting on a form, and identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article.”
You can read this. You can read a novel. You can read a technical document or a contract.
No one does it on their own…
One of the biggest things to be thankful for… those who’ve helped us along the way.
Be grateful for our country, it’s culture, it’s heritage…
…and most importantly, it’s forefathers: the men and women that made our country the great nation that it is today.
No one likes war. And while one day I hope that the world can live in perfect, complete peace… that day is unfortunately not today.
Be eternally grateful for the heroes that are our Armed Forces. They protect our country, keep your family safe, and allow you to sleep soundly (without fear of danger) at night.
*And if you can, please give back to our warriors.
If you or someone you love has ever been in an emergency situation… then you know what heroes our emergency responders are.
Something we all take for granted, but a thing we should all be hugely grateful for:
Help, if you’re in an emergency, is just a phone call away.
Love ‘em or kinda-love ‘em… your parents are a huge part of the reason why you are who you are.
Be thankful that they not only brought you into this world… but that they helped you figure it out.
When we’re young, we reject the traditions of our fathers. We don’t want to be our fathers… we want to be different, better.
…But as we grow older and more mature, we realize that the traditions of our fathers tend to be worth following. That it is in fact their traditions that makes us different and better.
Be thankful that, through your family’s generations, these traditions have been created for you.
*Tradition is one of the suggested values on our list of 75 personal values of strong men.
There were good teachers, incredible teachers, and terrible teachers.
…But each of them taught you a little (or a lot) and that knowledge has helped make you the intelligent and wise man that you are today.
Heartbreak physically hurts.
No, really… according to a study by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the effects of a heartbreak activate the same region of the brain where physical pain comes from.
Through that pain did you rise up? Are you stronger now? Wiser now? Yes… it hurt, but out of the pain grew a better, stronger, and wiser you.
We all go through hard times.
…But it’s in those hard times (like a heartbreak) that we find ourselves and discover how strong we really are.
Be grateful for that person or thing that gave you the chance to prove yourself and allowed you to rise.
*If you’re going through a hard time, use these 100 quotes about strength and being strong to pick yourself up and give you strength.
Like your critics, your competition is one of the best asset you have. Your competition drives you forward and forces you to innovate and improve.
Think about it this way:
If the only competition Muhammad Ali was small, weak boxers, that didn’t pose any real challenge to him… he wouldn’t have pushed himself to become “The Greatest”.
But he was the greatest because he had guys like Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Ken Norton, who challenged him and drove him to be best boxer in history:
Be thankful for your competition that drives you forward.
Just like your competition pushes you forward… so do your critics.
The people that told you that you wouldn’t make it. That told you that you weren’t… smart enough, ambitious enough, or good enough.
Be grateful for their negativity because it’s one of the most powerful motivators.
We all go through hardship in life, and one of the most difficult hardships to endure…
But here’s the thing:
We live in a time where if you’re smart about your future, and you work hard, that you can control your financial future:
You are you.
You were blessed with your own set of unique talents and intelligence, and you’ve worked hard to develop them both.
You + the freedom to choose whatever job you want + hard work + a little luck = the opportunity to be (professionally) whatever you want.
You can turn your brilliant new product or business idea into both a profitable business and something that helps your fellow man.
And here’s the thing:
While we take the incredible possibility of entrepreneurship for granted… it’s not something that you’re able to do everywhere in the world.
So you have a great idea…
…but don’t have the money to bring it to life?
Not a problem… because you have two incredible sites that allow you to crowdfund your idea:
These sites help you to raise funds you wouldn’t otherwise have access to and help you to jump start your entrepreneurial success.
So you want to start a small business.
Well… thankfully, there are thousands of incredible, free online resources to help you get started. Some of my favorites (and the ones that helped me get started):
20 years ago, not only did most of these resources not exist… but it would have taken you considerably more time to learn the valuable knowledge that they provide
On top of the incredible free resources you have available online…
….you have access to incredible, and usually free, online tools and software:
- WordPress – a free, easy-to-use platform to quickly start a website or blog.
- Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides – powerful and free versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint… that can be edited by multiple users (meaning they’re ready for collaboration).
- Trello – robust to-do list and time management software… can also be used to manage a team of collaborators or employees… all for free.
- Canva – free online tool that makes designing easy… create graphics, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Dropbox – safely store up to 2GB of data and files and access them on any device, from anywhere in the world… all for free.
Imagine if your father was creating a business 20 years ago and you told him he had access to these powerful tools, all for free…
Do you think that he would be thankful?
Technology has paved new roads to opportunities our fathers and grandfathers didn’t have:
Got a problem? There’s an app, software or tool for that.
If you need help doing something, all you have to do is a quick Google search like, “tool to help me [insert problem]” or “app that does [insert what you need help with]”…
…and you’ll find a world of solutions right at your fingertips.
The internet has spoiled us all and we tend to forget how powerful and influential it is.
So… to help you realize it’s impact, consider this:
Without the internet, could you…
- Search an entire book, looking for a specific quote for your essay?
- Instantly find the best doctor, for you specific health concern, in the entire continental US?
- Quickly and easily order products from other countries?
Don’t forget or take for granted how much easier, better, and faster the internet has made things.
Remember the internet 15 years ago?
It was mostly a collection of low quality sites, providing low quality information.
Google rose and quickly became the dominant search engine. They improved the internet by introducing algorithms to their search results that were designed to only show users the highest quality content.
How did this improve the internet?
To stay competitive in the search results (like this one), websites started producing higher and higher quality content. This led to a truly new era of the internet that is better, faster and ever improving.
Because of YouTube, you have access to millions of well-made videos, created by experts… all for free. For example:
You need to tie your tie? Good thing my friend the Distilled Man made this helpful video.
You want to get better at small talk? My friend Alpha M made this great video.
You don’t know the right way to roll up your sleeve? My friend Antonio Centeno created this easy-to-follow video.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you want to learn how to do something… you have a library of expertly created videos to help you… all for free, and available anytime.
Feeling down? Having trouble finishing something? Just feel like being inspired?
Thanks to the power of YouTube, there are thousands of incredibly well-made and powerful motivational videos. For example:
In short, you have access to unlimited access to all the motivation you need, at the click of a button.
The internet has made purchasing absolutely anything, incredibly easy.
From buying clothes, to groceries, to electronics, to whatever you need, you can order it all from the comfort of your own home… and have it delivered right to your doorstep.
While this alone is incredible, what most of us don’t realize is that it has also put the power into the hands of the consumer.
Where before, we had to spend hours driving around to find the best price…
…we can now spend minutes and a few clicks to find the best product at the best price.
Amazon takes all those great products you can buy online, and puts them in one central, well-designed, and reasonably-priced location.
Add Amazon Prime and you can get absolutely anything you need… in just two days.
Kickstarter has given rise to a new era of cool stuff. It’s been the reason why some of the best products on the market had the funding to get started:
- Cards Against Humanity (original Kickstarter page)
- Oculus Rift (bought by Facebook for $2 billion) (original Kickstarter page)
- Kung Fury (original Kickstarter page)
Not only can you leverage Kickstarter to jumpstart your own business… you can get early access to some of the most unique, new and exciting products on the market.
Just like with apps, there is a cool new product for seemingly every problem or frustration we face.
…And thanks to Google, finding the product you need is simple. Just do a quick search like, “product to [insert your problem or frustration]” or “tool to [insert your product or frustration]”.
*If you want to see some of the latest, most innovative, and coolest products, check out our post: The Top 101 Cool Things to Buy.
Pandora let’s you select any genre or type of music you want… and plays you songs that have been uniquely selected for you and your specific musical tastes.
It’s like having your own personal DJ, just playing the music you love… all for free. Remember when we listened to whatever was playing on the radio?
Netflix has revolutionized the way we consume TV and movies. It gives you the ability to watch what you want, when you want to watch it.
Watch a single episode of your favorite show, or a whole season… with Netflix, it’s your choice. Remember when you could only watch what was playing on cable?
Our smart phones are so ingrained in our lives… it’s tough to imagine life without them.
They make calls for you, send messages and emails for you, give you directions, play your music and keep you informed.
There was a time when there weren’t even ten separate devices that could do everything your one smart phone does.
I run a men’s website. My business and my life are rooted in technology…
…but for me, and for everyone, it’s incredibly important to be able to disconnect from all the gear and the gadgets.
If you’re able to put down your phone, turn off your computer, and take out your headphones… and to truly enjoy the experiences that come from the physical world… be thankful because it’s here that life really happens.
If you’re having trouble disconnecting, watch this:
With our busy and ever connected lives, we tend to neglect nature and our love for it…
…but it is in nature that we in find beauty, peace, and often ourselves:
Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up…. and handle it.” ~Tupac Shakur
One of the most photographed, drawn and painted moments of all time. Sure… it’s beautiful, but to me, the sunrise has a much more important and powerful function…
It’s a reminder:
Whatever struggles you face in life, tomorrow, there will always be a bright sunrise.
The beautiful close to every day.
Stoic beauty that produces the oxygen we need to survive.
Prominent, brooding and beautiful. The mountains give us some of the best hikes and make some of the most fun sports possible like skiing and snowboarding.
Soothing but commanding. The ocean provides us with food and fun with a ever-present power and danger.
One our top hobbies for men, hiking is one of the best ways get in touch with nature and to disconnect from technology.
Beautiful, ominous and powerful. Snow gives us some of the most fun action sports like skiing and snowboarding.
Tranquil and peaceful. The rain waters our crops and gives us drinkable water.
Diverse and fascinating. Some animals are our best friends… some help us work… some give us sustenance… some we respect and admire.
There are things that make life good, and things that make life great:
In today’s hectic, busy world, the time when you have no obligations or responsibilities has become a rarity.
…But it’s in this time that you not only have a chance to relax and unwind, but also to explore and make memories.
Cherish your free time… because you don’t get much of it.
When you work a 40-hour work week, there’s nothing better than the weekend. It’s made up of the nothing but the good stuff… free time.
Cherish them because they’re far too short and far too infrequent.
Feel like you’re in a rut? Doing the same things day after day?
Don’t worry… with today’s technology and resources, you can quickly turn over a new leaf by starting a new hobby. Getting started is easy:
First, take a look at a list of the best hobbies for men (like this one). Next, do search in YouTube for beginners how to” videos like “how to [insert hobby]” or “beginner’s guide to [insert hobby]”.
*Check out our list of the best hobbies for men here.
As guys, we love sports.
We’re drawn to the competition and the battle…
…and it doesn’t hurt that, with all the all-star players, there seems to be a highlight on almost every play.
So… be thankful for sports… and more thankful that there are only two days of the year without a pro sports game.
Imagine a life without music.
Quiet. Mechanical. Lonely.
…And whether we realize it or not, the music we listen to becomes the soundtrack to our days, and, in turn, our lives.
Be grateful for your favorite songs, musicians, bands, and genres.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” ~Unknown
A good book can transport you to a different country, a different century or even a different universe.
With books you can travel. With books you can escape. With books you can be an action hero, a wizard or an Olympic athlete. With books you can do anything.
Not only does coffee taste amazing, but it also gives you the energy you need to wake up and thrive.
And we all know:
Few things are better than that first sip of coffee in the morning.
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…
…and I couldn’t agree more. If a woman makes me mac and cheese… I’m instantly in love.
Be thankful for your favorite home cooked meal, that special dish at your favorite restaurant, and that guilty pleasure you eat but don’t tell anyone about.
We’ve all been there:
It’s been a long day, you get home late, open the fridge…
…and sitting right in front of you is an ice cold beer.
Be grateful not only that beer exists, but also that the industry is booming… leading to a seemingly endless supply of delicious new craft brews.
*If you love beer, check out these incredible beer of the month clubs (each who send you a fresh batch of new, unique, and delicious beers each month).
Many of us would rather hang out with our pets than we would other humans. They bring us comfort, joy and love every single day.
Be thankful that the pets you love so much are in your life.
There are pets…
…and then there are dogs.
See… dogs are like a best friend who’s never mad at you and who always wants to hang out and do fun things.
Be grateful that your furry best friend is in your life and always by your side.
Here’s the thing:
As men in today’s society, we’re taught and conditioned to act like we don’t care about love…
…but whether or not we’re willing to admit it, love is important to all of us.
In fact, according to MedicineNet, being in a loving, married relationship results in:
- Fewer doctor’s visits
- Less depression
- Less anxiety
- Longer life
So… be grateful that:
Tis’ better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” ~Alfred Lord Tennyson
It’s near impossible to describe love…
…but if you’ve ever been in love, you know that it’s better than anything else.
It opens you up to a new depth of happiness, peace, and contentment that nothing else in the world can give you.
…Sounds like someone describing the effects of a drug, right?
Some days you love them, some days you hate them… it’s the nature of relationships.
…But at the end of the day, they’re there for you. They pick you up when you’re down, help you find your way when you’re lost and hopefully love you unconditionally.
If you’ve found a significant other like this… realize how fortunate you really are.
Alright… so you don’t have a significant other… well, here’s the thing:
You live in an incredible time to be single and looking.
What makes it so great?
You have access to dating websites and apps that make it hugely easier to find the right person for you. Could your father find a hot date for tonight by a simple right swipe?
Alright… so you don’t have a significant other… and you don’t want to use a dating website or app.
…And with a little knowledge and some practice, you can easily date whoever you want.
Imagine life if you we’re never able to leave your hometown. Be thankful that:
Life is all about experiences and memories, and one of the best places to find and make both is through traveling.
Traveling breaks you out of your life’s little bubble and pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. It allows you to experience new sceneries, new cultures, new people, and new foods.
Here’s the bottom line:
Life would be a lot less fun if you were never able to leave your hometown.
Right now, you can jump in your car and quickly and easily travel from your house to the grocery store or make the hour drive to visit your grandparents.
Now… imagine these two simple situations without a car:
You’d have to carry all your groceries back to your house and since you’d have to walk all the way to your grandparent’s house (an hour drive is a long walk), you’d see them infrequently.
Cars provide us with a huge amount of convenience, flexibility, and mobility.
So you want to see a new country… Italy? Peru? China?
No problem, just grab a cheap flight and you’ll be there in a few hours. We take the miracle of flight, and planes, for granted… but again, consider life without them…
What would take a few hours on a plane would take weeks by other means of travel.
Planes make the world a much smaller, more accessible place.
You’ve lived most of your life in one culture…
…and to see that people of another culture live their lives in a completely different way, is one of the most eye opening experiences there is.
One day, all of the world’s cultures will blend into one homogeneous culture… so, be grateful that you live in a time when you can still experience the different cultures of the world.
Imagine if you traveled to a new culture, only to find that they had demolished all of the beautiful structures that their ancestors had built… and rebuilt everything in a new modern style.
Be thankful that, for centuries, people have worked hard to preserve buildings, art and their culture.
Want to see a new culture, but can’t travel right now?
Not a problem… just visit a culture-specific area of your town like Chinatown, Japantown, Little Lima, Little Beirut, etc.
These incredible parts of town allow you to visit a brand new culture, without traveling far from home.
Throughout history, if you were hungry… you ate your culture’s food.
Today, you have restaurants from countless different cultures… right in your own hometown:
Mexican. Chinese. Italian. French. Japanese. Persian.
Whatever type of you food you want… it’s yours.
It’s the little things that make life big… be grateful for:
There’s something so simple and powerful about a quote.
They’re short, to the point, and from a well-known figure we can either relate to or look up to.
Be thankful that the internet gives you quick access to a wealth of quotes, and that websites create “best of” lists of quotes, centered around a specific topic (like quotes to overcome fear, or quotes to get you through a hard time).
Calm, introspective, and tranquil.
Our fast-paced lives make a leisurely stroll a gift and, when possible, a thing to be grateful for.
There is something so powerful about the kindness that comes from a person you’ve never met… someone who knows nothing about you, your struggles, and your pain.
If you’ve experiences the kindness of a stranger, you know they’re one of the big things to be thankful for (and a reminder that we should all be kind to our fellow man).
The dryer not only makes it so you no longer have to hang dry your clothes…
…but also gives you the incomparable feeling of putting on warm clothes… right after they’ve come out of the dryer.
You wake up, you’re tired and groggy…
…but you roll over to see the face of the beautiful woman you love.
Now… you probably wake up every morning next to her, but remember it’s a blessing and a thing that so few truly have… so never take it for granted.
One of the most beautiful things about life… one of the things to be most thankful for… is the fact that no matter how many different things we’ve done, there are always new thing to try.
Be grateful that life will always give you new experiences (and never stop looking for them).
You college graduation ceremony. The night you first met your wife. The three weeks you spent in Tuscany.
Treasured memories of the past are some of our most cherished possessions. Hold on to them, because you’ll never be able to make them again.
We all take things for granted.
…But as you read through these 11 things to be thankful for, that you probably take for granted, realize that there are millions of people worldwide without each of them:
Running water is so heavily ingrained in our lives that we rarely consider its impact and importance. It gives us water to:
- Take showers with
- Wash our dishes
- Water our plants
- Cook our food
Without running water, you would have to find a water source (like a well) anytime you wanted to do any one of the five above.
One of the biggest things to be thankful for from running water is drinkable water.
Just turn on your faucet (and, if necessary, add it to a Brita pitcher) et voilà… clean, drinkable water, right in the comfort of your own home.
Heat. Comfort. Safety.
Unless you were born in the Stone Ages, you grew up with fire.
…But try to imagine your life without:
No hot showers.
No heat in your home.
Other than warm clothes, no respite from the cold.
Hot showers are one of those things that you don’t realize you love so much until they’re gone.
Don’t believe me?
Challenge yourself to a week with cold showers only. After that, you’ll be grateful every time you turn the shower on and hot water hits your back.
Most of us were born with it… so many of us take it for granted.
But here’s the thing:
Freedom is one of the most important things to be thankful for, not just because so many of our forefathers die to earn if for us…
…but also because life without it, without being able to make your own decisions, choose your own religion, live the life you want to… would be depressing, empty, and horrible.
Thanks to our Armed Forces, you woke up today, cozy in your bed, without fear of being attacked or fear of imminent danger.
And here’s the thing:
Because you don’t constantly fear for your life, you’re able to truly appreciate, live and enjoy it.
Imagine life without being able to see.
You couldn’t see colors. You couldn’t see your lover’s eyes. You couldn’t see the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, The Eiffel Tower, or The Grand Canyon.
Here’s the bottom line:
Don’t take your sight for granted because, worldwide, there are nearly 40 million people who are blind and live their lives completely in the dark.
Are you listening to music right now? Can you hear your family talking in the background? Or the local news in the other room.
Imagine if your world was constantly silent… that you could never again hear your favorite songs or your significant other tell you that they love you.
Cherish your hearing because life without it would be dreadfully quiet.
…and the reason why is because we, as a world, love food.
Think about it:
What would life be without mac and cheese?
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, 1 in 50 Americans live with paralysis.
If you can’t move, you’re fundamentally limited in what you can do. You can’t walk to the park, or down the stairs. You can’t hike, ski, or play sports. Traveling is difficult. Going to new places is difficult…
So…be thankful for your ability to move, regardless of how quickly or slowly it’s done.
According to the World Health Organization, 450 million people live with a mental health disorder worldwide.
Never, ever, ever take your mental health for granted.
You’re not who you once were, be grateful for:
Through this year’s trial and tribulations… you learned lessons.
…And these lessons will help you do things more effectively, efficiently, and proactively next year. They’ll help you protect yourself. They’ll help you grow and push yourself forward.
Here’s the bottom line:
The lessons you’ve learned will help you become a better you. Be thankful and remember the knowledge that they’ve taught you.
There is nothing noble in being better than your fellow man. True nobility is being better than your former self.” ~Ernest Hemingway
Let me ask you something:
If you could talk to your five-year-ago self, would you have any advice?
Of course you would… because you are not the same person you were five years ago. You’ve grown, and will constantly grow, into a better, wiser you.
If you’re reading this article… chances are that you want to be a better person.
Even though just wanting to become a better person seem small…
…it’s a huge first step to actually becoming a better person. Be proud and grateful you were blessed with the desire for self-improvement.
One of our main goals at Mantelligence is to help you become a better, more intelligent man.
…And we’re not the only who wants to help you… there are thousands of websites online designed specifically to help you become a better you (check out these ones for women, another for men, and this one for everyone).
Realize you have help… and never stop improving.
You are you… and there is no one else in this world just like you. So, be especially thankful for:
Your mind should be something you’re grateful for, for two main reasons:
Reason #1: Your thoughts and memories, your pain and happiness, and even your confidence and ambition are all a product of your mind.
So… when you stop to think about it, you are who you are, because of your mind.
Reason #2: Your mind is what enables you to survive in today’s world… emotionally, financially, physically, etc. Without it, you would be little more than skin and bones.
So… here’s the bottom line:
Your mind one of the most powerful part of you and one of the most important things to be grateful for.
Our lives are the sum of our memories. How much are we willing to lose from our already short lives by… not paying attention?” ~Joshua Foer
If you couldn’t remember anything, you would have no friends, no family, no purpose.
Our memories remind us of our past and direct the decisions that build our future. Be thankful and cherish your ability to remember.
F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ ~Zig Zigler
You might have a lot of courage… you might have a little.
Regardless, it is your courage that allows you to face your fears and push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
So… first, be thankful for what courage you do have and, second, do everything you can to face your fears and build your courage.
*If you’re having trouble finding your courage use these 100 quotes on courage and fear to help you overcome and conquer your fears.
Do you have a job? Are you actively looking for work?
A yes to either question means that you have some ambition.
Ambition is one of the big things to be grateful for, because without the drive to succeed, you’d end up working a menial, dead-end job your entire life.
You find the positive in many, most or nearly every situation.
While this might seem like a small, insignificant thing, consider the opposite:
Every time something goes slightly wrong (you hit two red lights in a row, you have to work late, your flight gets delayed, etc.) you take it as a negative, let it frustrate you and let it get you down.
And we all know:
Nothing will ever be perfect… so those little things turn to negatives, that build up and up until you eventually become an unhappy, angry, and negative person.
So… even if you have a positive outlook some of the time, it’s one of the biggest things to be grateful for.
*And if you don’t have a positive outlook, it’s time to find one. A positive and optimistic outlook will dramatically change and improve the quality of your life.
Being optimistic means you have a positive outlook on future events.
Imagine if you could only look at future events with a negative lens (regardless of what you do in the future, you assume it will turn out poorly). Your thoughts on the future, and, in turn, your mood in the present, would become nothing more than dreadful hopelessness.
So… look to be more optimistic in life and be grateful for the optimism you do have.
*And if you’re not optimistic, it’s time to starting being so. A positive and optimistic outlook will dramatically change and improve the quality of your life.
Times might be good… times might be bad…
…but whatever the case:
Tomorrow is a new day. You have a future and you can make whatever you want of it.
Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr. Seuss
Be thankful for you and be thankful for who you are…
…because you bring something to this world that no one else can or ever will.
There is only one you, and there will never be another.
We all take things for granted.
…But if you can remember these 101 things to be thankful for you’ll start to lead a deeper, happier, more appreciative, and more fulfilling life.
What other things are you grateful for? Let us know in the comments section below.