We’re all guilty of it.
Crying poor when we have money in the bank, we have nothing to wear while we stand before a wardrobe bursting with clothes, and lamenting about cooking when there’s a full fridge of food.
In the rapid pace of our modern lives, we’ve lost our sense of gratitude, and let our desires consume our needs. Too often we forget about the beauty around us, everyday.
But according to Angela Simson of The Gratitude Project, it’s not our fault.
“I’m surrounded by beautiful people in my life and I see many of them constantly wanting more, feeling sorry for themselves and taking this amazing life for granted,” she said.
“It’s not their fault! We’ve almost been programmed by the media to feel like we don’t have enough, aren’t good enough and deserve better. We do deserve better, we all deserve the best, but it comes solely from within.”
After giving birth to her beautiful baby girl, Bo, Angela needed a small, manageable project to keep her connected with her creativity and express her passion.
Now The Gratitude Project inspires hundreds of people everyday with it’s daily inspirations, reminding us to live simply and be grateful.
In our interview below, Angela shares her happiness tips and how we can turn what we have into enough, and be grateful, not greedy.
It seems with the constant pressures of modern living, everything is amazing but we’re all unhappy. Why do you think this is?
I recently read an article in WellBeing magazine about a writer who traveled to a poverty stricken area in Kenya and was so touched by how happy these children were when their soccer ball made from newspaper and elastic bands was replaced with a real ball. They had no running water or a proper education.
It seems we have so much but are constantly wanting more. We’re working jobs we dislike, to pay for homes we think aren’t good enough, rush to eat food with little nutrition then pay doctors to fix us. I believe if we all took a step back, lived a little more simply and appreciated all we had, the world would be happier place.
What are some simple steps we can follow each day to ensure we get off on the right track each day?
Just wake up and be happy to be alive! Get in the habit of writing down three things every morning you’re grateful for, or excited about for the day ahead. Type it into your phone or a notepad that you’ll have with you all day.
If you start feeling down and a little unmotivated, re-read them and remind yourself of what makes you happy. Then be sure to nourish your body with a healthy breakfast to get you going for an amazing day!
Some people just seem to emanate happiness – are there secrets you can share that help us to make our world a happier place?
I appreciate the smallest things. When I get home from a big walk, I feel so grateful that I can gulp down a big, cool glass of clean water. It may sound a bit over the top, but acknowledging the small gifts of life make me a really happy person.
Even if you have so many big great things to be grateful for, remember the little things that make daily life that much better.
Your Facebook page cites your aim to make the world a happier place, how?
I just hope that occasionally, a person will read a quote or something personal and it will resonate with them and maybe bring a little more light into their day. I think if you’re constantly seeing beautiful images and uplifting quotes on your Facebook or Instagram, you’re more constantly reminded how great the world is.
If I know I’ve made one person appreciate their life just a little bit more, I feel pretty good about that.
What brings you happiness?
My family. I hit the jackpot when I met Hugh, someone who understands and supports me. He’s 100% in my corner no matter what crazy things I throw at him, while still bringing me back down to earth when my head gets lost in the clouds. He’s my home.
Then there is Bo. She’s the coolest little human I’ve ever met! People try to explain the love you feel for a child but it’s almost impossible. Love isn’t a big enough word, the feeling is this explosive, infinite, consuming desire to be everything you can be in the whole universe for this tiny little person.
How can we remind ourselves to be grateful? And why is this important?
Become more aware and in touch with your feelings. We go through life at full speed, trying to do everything now and wanting it all. Slow down and instead of being concerned how your life looks, think about how it feels.
Don’t exercise to be skinny, do it because it makes you feel good. Eat food that nourishes you and gives you energy. When you start to listen to your body and become more mindful in your actions life becomes so much more rewarding.
Your motto is `gratitude turns what we have into enough’, can you explain what you mean by this? And how we can apply it to our lives?
If you’re constantly wishing you had more and aren’t happy with what you have, it’s impossible to feel complete. I think being grateful for what you have right now and realising that you have what you need makes you more open to changes in life.
It’s so great to aspire to do more and be better, but you have to be content that where you are now is where you’re meant to be, the rest will come when the time is right. Take value out of every experience and relationship because it’s ultimately shaping your future self.
What are your future plans for The Gratitude Project?
Well, it’s a bit of a secret right now.. But definitely watch this space!