Life Hacks

The Single Key to Changing Everything

Surrender to the present

If any headline promises you a magic secret or miraculous cure to all of your problems, chances are it’s bogus. Except this one. Through prioritizing gratitude, reshaping, and elevating your awareness, your entire life will transform before your eyes. I guarantee it.

Raise Your Awareness

We commonly associate awareness with fear or danger. It’s engrained within us that awareness is ultimately meant to shield us from pain or risk. But it’s equally, or even more, important to practice awareness in the ordinary moments.

Growing consciousness of your surroundings can transform the ordinary to extraordinary. Through raising your awareness, you realize that these moments were never ordinary in the first place. You just weren’t allowing yourself to fully experience them.

It’s not a matter of changing the world around you or yourself, because both entities were always capable of this. You’ve most likely just been living in one of two places: the past or the future.

Introducing Gratitude

In order to change your life through gratitude you first must allow yourself to fully live it. Get off your phone, stop multi-tasking, and enjoy each moment as it unfolds before you.

Don’t mindlessly eat your breakfast and drink your coffee. Sit down and fully appreciate how blessed you are to have these beautiful foods before you. When your with your family and friends, mentally acknowledge how much you love all of these people.

I can’t tell you how many times a day, even when I’m alone, I sit and smile to myself out of deep gratitude for the unbelievably wonderful people in my life.

All it takes is a couple seconds to recognize the priceless gift of our personal experience and existence.

Appreciate. Every. Single. Thing.

Great Getting Greater

When you escape re-living past joy or hoping future successes, everything begins aligning. You don’t have to live in a fabricated future state of happiness because it exists right here and now.

Not only does that make daily life an incredible experience, but it also adds even more “value” to the monumental moments such as that first kiss, your sister’s graduation, a wedding, or birth. If every moment is something miraculous these instances overflow with wonder.

While it’s easy expressing gratitude when things go well, the true test is when life starts taking undesirable turns.

Problems Don’t Exist

When I first heard the concept of problems not existing, let’s just say I did not take it well. It took me much longer than I’d like to admit to even consider the validity of such an idea.

It all boils down to this truth: you wake up each day and react. Life is as simple and complicated as that. Your perception of events and navigation of gratitude define everything. Nothing that exists beyond the scope of your own mind can affect you as much as your response to it.

Therefore, problems only exist if we allow them to. I personally chose (or at least try) to not let them exist.

gratitude
Image via Quotefancy

Take the Good with the Bad

The first step in achieving the problem-less mindset is ridding yourself of the problems of privilege. Yes, you need to call yourself out on some things.

Privileged problems include: the crisis of not being able to decide where/what to eat, your phone dying, running out of gas, or plans being cancelled. All of these perceived burdens sit upon a foundation of initial privilege. You possess an abundance of food to eat, a phone, a car, and/or friends and family in your life to have plans with in the first place.

If you can rid yourself of viewing these inconveniences as problems, you equip yourself with the ability to deal with larger tragedy. You can apply the same logic on a deeper level.

The most basic privilege of all: life. If you can make the mere fact that you’ve been allowed to experience this reality the foundation of your entire perspective, then nothing you perceive can become a problem because it’s occurring within the massive privilege of life itself.

Beyond situations no longer existing as problems, you begin seeing them in a positive light. Everything becomes a lesson, it’s all a gift.

Ensure that you’re still allowing yourself to fully feel and process what you need. But, always maintain the psychological foundation of the privilege of existence that you can fall back on when you’re ready.

Live

Realistically, all of the steps mentioned above are means of uninstalling the notion from our minds that happiness, and consequently gratitude, are conditional. Young children, animals, and other un-influenced beings are the best role models for this because they still maintain mastery in the art of living and gratitude.

Live your life, not the one that happened yesterday or is supposed to happen tomorrow. Surrender to the present and quickly you will see the abundance of opportunities to express gratitude, and through this, achieve ceaseless serenity.

Cover image via Flickr

0

Also published on Medium.

Sarah is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Miami. She...