In many parts of the world, they believe that the streets are lined with gold here. While not quite true, it is true that a person can become just about anything that that they can dream here.
But no matter where you live, if you are reading these words, you have a lot you can achieve in life and even more that you could and should be grateful for.
Just 13 years ago, there was no fast, cheap Internet as you know it today.
You couldn't fire up a home computer and have a world of information and hopping at your feet as you do now.
It hadn't been created yet.
13 years ago, in 1993, I got my first computer and began learning to type... one finger at a time.
Man, am I thankful I listened to my girlfriend (now my wife) and bought that brand new 486 25sx "clunker."
This morning I was having a conversation about being grateful, and in the conversation the topic of problems came up...
Abuse, poverty, extreme weather, racism, discrimination, hatred, addictions, jealousy and more.
All these problems, both inside and outside of us blind us to the things that are good in our lives.
And the terms "good," "great," "fun," "exciting" are all subjective, meaning that the things that give me the most pleasure and enjoyment may bore you to tears. Fishing may be great fun for one person - take it away from him and he could be very sad, even depressed. Another person may see fishing as worse than torture - just sitting there for hours with literally nothing to do. The fishing itself could be depressing.
One of the people we talked about this morning was Stephen Hawking, the famous quadriplegic physicist (ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease since the age of 21 - he's now 64) who most believe is one of the greatest scientists of the modern age. On top of being unable to move, he can't talk due to a tracheotomy in 1985 as a result of pneumonia. Now he can only "talk" by using a computer that is operated by scrunching up his cheek. With it, he can talk, write, and through radio waves, operate the doors in his house.
He certainly has a lot he could be bitter about. But he took the only thing he had, his mind, and made a life... the only kind of life he could have.
Most people take bad breaks (we all have them) and use them as excuses for failure and giving up on their dreams and for stopping dreaming at all.
I can't tell you how many bad breaks I've been given in my life. Currently, I am increasingly a candidate for getting an artificial disk in my neck. But in the U.S. right now, they don't place artificial disks near an already existing spinal fusions (three vertebrae are fused together in my neck now).
What does that mean? Often it means pain, stiffness, tiredness. And always uncertainty about what my life may be like in 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. I'm only 43 now.
But through that, I'm building a gigantic multi-million dollar company whose mission is to help people rise above their own challenges in order to accomplish more, attract abundance in all areas and enjoy their lives more... in short, to live more fully no matter what the challenges and difficulties.
The point is, no matter who you are, and what your particular challenges are on a daily basis, you have a lot you can be thankful for.
But it's important that you look for it all, find it and revisit everything that is good in your life on a daily basis. If you don't, you will take it for granted. You won't appreciate it.
The things we don't appreciate in our lives, we don't take care of. We don't protect the things we don't appreciate. We take risks with the things we don't value.
What are the costs?
Well, you could lose your health, your job, your family, friends, your relationship with the Almighty, your ability to move and use your body. You could lose your life.
Any kind of addiction, for example, often starts because of an inability to notice and value what is good in a person's life. When you don't value the health of your body, for example, you abuse it. Abuse it, you lose it.
Think about all the things that make your life worth living...
Write them down.
Look at every area.
Write them down.
The people, the activities, the knowledge, the places, the possessions.
Write them down.
Look at this list often.
What are those things worth?
What if one by one, items on that list started to disappear? Gone.
If you don't value what is on that list, they will be gone.
So tomorrow, before you dive into the bird or whatever you are going to eat too much of, pull out your list and feel grateful for everything on it.
Do this every day and you will keep the things on your list for a long time.