The kettle had boiled, the tea was made and as I took my first sip and savored that moment I thought to myself. ‘I am so lucky’. The tea was just right. I had managed to obtain that perfect combination of tea, milk and sugar, and being able to drink it on the veranda looking over at the Eucalyptus trees made me appreciate it even more. Is it really luck I am talking about though? I mean we can all drink hot tea, right? You are probably drinking one right now, or even a coffee. So maybe it goes a little deeper than that.

Happiness is something that is very easy to obtain, it is so close you can almost touch it. If you are feeling sad when you start to read this, hopefully by the time you have finished, you will feel better, even if only a little.

They say that religious people and spiritual people are the happiest. Some say it is because they are delusional and don’t live in the real world, or that it is because they believe in fairy tales. In reality though, that is not the case. It is because genuinely, truly spiritual people, are more grateful than most. Being grateful does not mean that you live in a run down shack all your life and claim “at least I have my health”. Not at all, well I suppose it can do. But you have to be careful there, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to improve things if you want to.

Being grateful is the appreciation of what you have, no matter how small the object of your appreciation. It could be watching, your children play, your cat drinking milk, your dog playing in the park or even watching your favorite TV show. It could even be a hobby you have. There is no limit on appreciation.

Most of the time we do not fully appreciate the things we have. For example, how many of you reading this have a car? Do you really appreciate it? Every time you get in it do you think, “Wow, I am so lucky to have a car”?

How many of you reading this live on the streets? So you live in a house right? A place you can go at the end of the day and relax, watch a little TV, read a book maybe. Your castle. Your home.

It is estimated that in the UK alone that 1 in every 200 people are homeless and in the USA an estimated 553,742 were homeless in January 2017, that is 17 people for every 10,000; better statistics than the UK.

Many of you are reading this on a modern device we call an iPhone or some other kind of mobile device. 20 years ago these didn’t even exist. (sadly we are at a phase where these devices seem to be valued more than most things — but that is another story) Yet not everybody has one. I have a Samsung 3G which takes 10 minutes to load a Facebook page, but I still appreciate it.

How many of you reading this have a bed to sleep in at night? Blankets when it is cold? Central heating in your homes?
What about running water? Hot! Running water! I am not really into cold showers, but a faulty water heater meant that for some time I had to take very tepid showers. I truly appreciate my hot showers now. It is something we do not even think about, but let me tell you, when your water heater packs up or your water is cut off for whatever reason, then, you can appreciate just how much you need it. We just turn on the tap and water comes out. How great is that? Next time you are standing under that hot water, just think about that. No having to go to your local lake for a dip. No having to share bathwater with your sibling. Not having to walk for three hours to get it and come back again. Unlike these little guys:

What about electricity? We can turn on a light at the flick of a switch. No need for candles or oil lamps with poor quality light to read or study by. An electric blanket to heat the bed or even a microwave to heat up a meal.

Oh yes! Food. How many of you didn’t eat today or even yesterday? Food is something we take for granted. We eat every day like clockwork. Do we really appreciate the fact we have food? We would certainly miss it if we didn’t have it. Next time you eat, savor every mouthful :)

What about your legs? Yes your legs, that carry you everywhere in a seemingly effortless way? Do you appreciate those? Your hands? How great are our hands! Have you ever just stopped to think about that? Just look and them, move them — they are amazing. Our eyes, our ears — we would miss those if they went…

How many of you appreciate your spouse? The person who cooks, cleans, takes care of the children etc? Do you really appreciate all she/he does? Do you appreciate one another? What about your children? Your friends. Do you show them how much you care? What about your parents or grandparents? They should be appreciated too, you might lose them one day and you will be sorry if you didn’t appreciate them. Give them a call after reading this, especially if you haven’t spoken to them in a while.

So what about coffee? Where would we be without our morning coffee, or in my case, my morning tea?

Every morning when you are drinking your first drink of the day, be it whatever it may. Think about just three things that you really appreciate in your life. Three things that you are grateful for. Keep them in mind as the day goes on. Incredible as it may seem, after just one week of doing this you will be feeling much happier. You might even be feeling happier right now after reading this :)

Spread the happiness!

Artist, Portuguese teacher, Singer / Songwriter, Writer and Philosopher…kinda…