Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

The secret to happiness

Last week’s musings contained a challenge to support Fair Trade fortnight, and buy some fair trade products. How on earth does this lead on to the secret to happiness? Apparently Martin Luther King, some 50 years ago, said:

Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.”

That’s quite a thought – cereal, coffee, bananas, milk, bread, peanut butter – regular breakfast items in our house

that someone somewhere has produced. I don’t often give it a thought, and instead often give in to the tendency to be consumed by my own problems and concerns. Those pressing issues of the 795 million undernourished people globally (according to the Fairtrade Foundation) are detached and distanced from my own life.Fair Trade challenge

But this is shocking, when I stop and consider how wrapped up I can be in my own immediate woes and concerns.

How much of my time is spent worrying about what are first world issues?

Things that concern me that would be unthinkable luxuries for many of the inhabitants of this planet?

Elder daughter, in a recent Modern Studies module, came across the concept of shrinking the world to 100 people and looking at the statistics. They were stark, shocking and very sobering:

If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back,

a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, and some change in your purse or wallet,

you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealth.

This is not to induce guilt nor to minimise poverty in this country, which is very real and very serious.

But I write this to challenge myself to stop and be aware of what I do have, and be thankful and appreciative rather than worrying about what I don’t have.

Being self-employed carries with it the challenge of a fluctuating and unstable income. I can easily fall into the trap of worrying about the costs of everything from car repairs, school trips, holidays, the children’s hobbies and activities. I am not going all political, nor am I suggesting that those things are bad and should be given up and the money given away. We are creatures with free will and choice, and the biggest challenge in this is to enjoy what I have and celebrate that with thankfulness and generosity – I have a loving family, great friends, wonderful neighbours, education for me and my children, a job, freedom of speech, food and a lovely home.

Came across this great quote today:

The secret to happiness lies not in getting what you want, but in wanting what you have.

Now I fully realise that this is a huge, complex and multifaceted issue, and far beyond the scope of my short musings. But I am simple soul who sees the world in black and white terms. And thus I challenge you and me alike:

Can we learn to live in appreciation for all we have, rather than worry or regret about what we don’t have?

Can we make wise decisions about how we use our resources to share those resources out a bit more?

Can we be inspired by videos like this one on the world if it were 100 people, and enjoy each day with gratitude, challenge ourselves to reach our full potential, and do our wee bit to make a difference?

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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