Gratefulness and Point of Focus


Hi everyone! Happy Sundays!

I have recently been warned by a friend of mine that I sometimes tend to see one negative in my life and forget the fact that I have so many things going on just fine. So, I thought this is worth discussing here.

There are many things I can be grateful for. I have a secure job (at least for this year and possibly next, though it is uncertain after that). I live in a good part of a good country. I have a great circle of friends etc. All great things, right? But there is one thing that I don’t have: family. My family is in Turkey and I miss them. Although family is important and it is a human need, the fact that my family is not with me becomes such a highlight of my daily life sometimes that I forget all the other things I have. That is not healthy. Plus, I still meet my family virtually. Imagine if this was 1800s.

That focus on what is lacking is not healthy and it gets me nowhere. I can’t get my family here, nor can I go stay with them. The only thing I do to myself in this case is just make myself sad. This sadness in turn makes me irritable and unproductive. So, essentially, there is no gain from this focus but I sometimes cannot help it. That is why I decided that I will explicitly tell myself the good things I have out loud every morning and it has helped. This is like a gratitude journal but a spoken version. Also, whenever I start thinking about what I don’t have, I started immediately reminding myself what I have, again spoken out loud. This way, I hope to switch my brain’s focus until focusing on the good things becomes natural.

We are not in this world to be sad. We are here to live. So, let’s just not waste our lies with focusing on wrong things.

What do you think? Do you focus on what you don’t have? If so, do you try to get out and how? If not, how do you not? What is your secret? Let’s discuss.


46 thoughts on “Gratefulness and Point of Focus

  1. Focussing on what is missing comes naturally to us humans ….it is part of growth in a way ….this is what leads to inventions and discoveries….the wants and desires are also a must in life. What one must avoid is allowing these wants and desires of this overtaking the mind and overshadow everything else .
    God bless you 🙏🙏

  2. Reading this reminded me of a story my grandparents told my mom who in turn told me. A woman complained to God constantly about what is lacking in her life until one day an angel appeared and took her into a room filled with envelopes. Told her to read as many as she felt like, choose one and that would become her new life. The angel came back hours later and asked if she was ready. She picked up her own story envelope and walked out.
    Everybody has struggles, we want our perception of other people’s lives.

    To answer your question, you are definitely not alone in focusing on what is lacking. It’s a human trait. Self- discipline, verbal or meditative is the only remedy. Keeping busy of course helps the mind concentrate on other matters.

  3. I often find myself focusing about what I don’t have, but thankfully remember more often these days what I do have and feel very grateful. It’s natural, I think, to focus on what we want rather than what we have, but balance is key, I think.

  4. I am guilty of this sometimes! But I’m getting better at avoiding it. Every morning when I wake up, I whisper a prayer of thanks for waking up and for the great things happening and about to happen in my life. It definitely is a healthy practice and sets off the day to a great start!

  5. Yes I do by default focus on the losses and end up forgetting or negating all my gains!

    It was great to read your post today. I will try your tip of saying out loud how awesome my life is and why I think I’m amazing and see if I’ve finally found a way to start believing in all my positives for myself. Thanks

  6. Yes, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of counting the things that we don’t have. I keep a gratitude journal, and I pray every morning. Those two activities put things into perspective. I also end up doing more things, and doing them better, when I have so much gratitude and love to start my day.

  7. I am luckily one of those people who see their proverbial cup as half full rather than half empty.
    I do get negative thoughts in my mind like all humans but when this happens I try to count my blessings and this usually works for me.

  8. Betul, thank you for posting on this subject. I think that counting our blessings is great advice, and reading your post has lifted my spirits.

    None of my family or Robert’s is close by, and the restrictions of the pandemic are very isolating. It is helpful to communicate with family by email and phone, and as you say, I am grateful it isn’t the1800s. Our families are undoubtedly also wishing to see us in person. Sometimes knowing that makes me feel better, and sometimes it makes me feel worse.

    I can count my blessings. Robert is wonderful and is always there for me. My children stay in contact and tell me they love me and miss me. Usually, we celebrate birthdays with a phone call, but this year, my youngest daughter is giving me quite a buildup about a surprise gift from her and her sister that will be delivered for my birthday. I am also thankful to those I have met since starting my blog. it is an incentive to write more, I learn a lot from others, and communicating with them lessens the isolation.

    Have a great day! Cheryl

    1. What a nice list of things to be grateful for! The pandemic has left us with confusing feelings. I sometimes feel very grateful for all I have and then get stuck because we have been stuck generally. But overall, gratefulness shall prevail!

  9. I believe in taking every thought captive. We have a choice…continue down the road of regret, sadness, depression…or choosing to change our thoughts. I turn to scripture, worship music, prayer and diversions. But it all comes down to choice.

  10. I do sometimes focus on the negative but if I see that it’s something that cannot be changed then it’s a waste of energy!

    My parents are also in my home country and I wish they were with me in these important times but because of the virus it’s not possible. I try to make the best out of this situation by talking often to them. 🙂

    Focus on getting better and improving. Think about what you can change and what you can’t and try not to waste your energy on things that cannot be changed.

    1. That is what I am trying to do! I think we need to accept the fact that there are things we cannot do anything about.

      I also talk to my family as often as possible and it helps!

  11. Betul – I did the same thing this morning. I post my weekly TallTimTalks on Tuesdays, usually from my office upstairs. This morning I generated the post from my front porch, coffee in hand, in the company of blue skies and puffy white clouds. What could be a more magical setting?

  12. Over many years our human minds have been conditioned to see things that are threats, to see things that are dangers to our survival. As you mention this can tip over into seeing only the negative aspects of our lives. There are so many things for us to be thankful for that we must actively work on acknowledging these, like you have.

    One caveat I would offer: it is ok to feel your feelings. Being sad is ok. It is not how we will always be, and ‘sad’ does not define who we are. It is simply a way we can feel. You’ve got the nail on the head in saying we must take care not to live in our state of sadness and without realising it search for it.

    Peace. ♥

    1. Yeah, I agree that we see negativity as a threat to our survival and that is mainly why we tend to focus on it. But we must realize that negativity does not mean lack of safety. Also, I agree that we should make peace with our sadness. We need it at times.

  13. Gratitude turns what you have into enough. These are trying times and we can all get into our own thoughts too much. By looking for what we are grateful for can really shift our mood and happiness. I guess many people are missing family right now. Take care

  14. Sometimes it hurts most because we had so much positive in those we miss. For me it’s also because they were so much a part of my life that I took their being in it for granted.

    So yes, I don’t dwell on the negative openly, but it flows somewhere inside and sometimes appears like an artesian well or a geyser.

    Coping’s another matter, but a few tears and thinking about the essence of those happy memories is my choice. I get to miss them but also remember why they were special. I don’t know for sure but I hope that gives me a chance to put some of that magic in my tomorrows

    1. It works for a lot of people! Looking at memories when I miss them makes me kind of sad, so I tend to avoid them, at least currently.
      I think we all tend to notice the negatives. We can try to reduce these focus moments.

  15. Time is a Lenear dimension stretched between past and Future so Gap between past and future expecatations , desires and needs create stress which could be personal , financial , spiritual etc ….

    Memory is a journal of our past and Imagination is the journey into future . we all learn from our mistakes from the past which many time appear as negative thoughts but they makes us alert , aware to our strengths and weakness so to count our strenths is positive thinking and to improve on our weakness by analyzing scientifically by understanding working of brain , Mindfulness . to come to the present moment is pure happiness and moment of Gratitude ,

    Think ….. and ink ……. always write your thought on paper to relieve your brain to remember it all the time

    Zen Master Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters on Time .

    Not twice this day
    Inch time foot gem.
    This day will not come again.
    Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

    Gratitude is a Priceless Gem and art to live in Positive frame of Mind .

    Love all.

Leave a Reply