2008 was a pretty shitty year for me.
I had just started working for myself as a manager for a professional golfer, who also happened to be a close friend of mine. We lived together in a 1 bedroom apartment. I got lucky because I got the bedroom. He didn’t get so lucky. He got the couch.
At the time, we were traveling around Florida playing in different professional Mini-Tour events, but there was no decent money in it. We were struggling. During this time period, he hadn’t yet gotten a full sponsor and we were basically supporting the dream with whatever money he could win/we could scrounge together.
The fact that we were struggling started to create some serious tension between us, and it all exploded one night with me kicking him out. He left, and I didn’t see or speak to him for a few weeks.
“At least now I can watch a movie on the fucking couch.” I thought to myself.
As time went on, things slowly got worse and worse. I was depressed. No motivation. No desire. I just didn’t really care about what was going on around me at that point, or the fact that I was absolutely dead broke with no money, and no food in the fridge.
Or, so I thought.
Dead broke and starving one day, I was looking for something to eat. There was absolutely nothing.
“Fuck….what the hell am I gonna eat?”
I kept on digging, and eventually, I managed to find a can of JIF peanut butter.
“Expires 9/1/2008” it said on the label.
It’s October, at the time.
“Meh, it only expired like a month ago. It’s still gotta be good.”
I open it up, and I start digging into it. I mean, I’m really going at it hard. But then, I started remember the fact that, if I killed this can of peanut butter now, what would I have to eat later? Or tomorrow? Or the day after?
So, I down a few spoonful’s and store the rest for the next few days.
As it turned out, that can was the sole thing that fed me over the next 4-5 days until I was able to get some money together by selling my Playstation 3 and getting some groceries. The only thing I had to eat that week, every morning, day, and night, was a can of JIF Peanut Butter.
I can’t think of a lower period in my life, and I’ve had some pretty low points.
However….I’m absolutely Grateful for it.
Looking back years on, especially now that I’m a bit more successful, that can of peanut butter always reminds me to constantly be mindful and grateful for even the smallest, minute things we usually take for granted.
Gratitude creates humility. It keeps us grounded and allows us to really be in the moment and to enjoy the simple, pleasurable things in life that really make all the difference. Gratitude helps us to truly appreciate what we do have, and prevents us from always feeling like we need more.
That’s how I used to live. Because I was never truly grateful for the things I did have, I always felt like I didn’t have enough and that I needed more: More money, more clients, more freedom, more business, more time, more goodies, more everything.
So, that’s what I want to ask you: What are you unbelievably grateful for? What are some of the smaller things in your life that you’ve been taking for granted that you could easily appreciate more? Who are the people in your life that you could call tomorrow and tell them that you’re really grateful for them?
I challenge you to find some of those things.
It’s as easy as making a list. It only takes a moment. Throw in anything and everything that comes to mind. Just let your thoughts flow out onto the paper. Don’t hold anything back. No thing is ever too small or too big.
As a matter of fact, I’ll lend you a hand. I’ll show you my list.
As I’m sitting here writing this, here’s what my list looks like:
Things In My Life I’m Unbelievably Grateful For:
My Running Shoes
My iPod Touch
My Playstation 3
My favorite Café
Breezy Days at the Beach
Even when you think you have nothing, and no matter where you are in your life, there’s always something you can find to be grateful for. When all else fails, just be grateful for being alive. There are people who are dead right now that should probably be here instead of me, people who were serving society and the world in ways much greater than I am now.
I’m so grateful for life; the ugliness, the beauty, the pain, and the happiness.
Being human and really living means experiencing all of the beautiful and horrible things that Life has to offer. And, as we’re going through them, we can know that we’re actually living, because the only way you can never experience anything is to never do anything.
In an instant, it can all be taken away from you. Then, you’ll wish you had appreciated them when you had them, even the worst moments.
“You never know a good thing until it’s gone.”
Here’s my version of that famous quote:
“It’s not until you’re starving that you realize just how good peanut butter really is.”
Yeah………..I like that.