101 Ways to Be Really Happy: Step #29– Want What You Have

I think this Step is the most important one for having a happy marriage. Do I think people should stay together if they aren’t happy together? No. No one needs or SHOULD stay married to a wife-beater or an alcoholic who won’t get help. But finding something new every day to appreciate about your mate can go a long way to keeping the two of you together.

Wanting what you have is good advice if you’re single too. NO, this is not the same as having no ambition or not striving for success. But too often I see people who haven’t really gotten comfortable with the job they are doing NOW before they start looking for something else. Many times people only appreciate a job after they’ve lost it.

Wanting what you have is about learning to see things with fresh eyes. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone else point out the good things about your life, especially when that person believes they have less than you do. Many a movie script is based on the rich/famous/brilliant person who trades places with a dopple ganger from a simpler existence. Both enjoy the change of scenery but often go back appreciating their own lives even more.

You can have a similar experience, even without the identical twin. Visit a third world country. Volunteer in a homeless shelter or a nursing home. Make friends with a blind or deaf person. Spend time with a paraplegic vet. The list of possibilities is endless.

Spend some time outside your narrow existence and see if you don’t value it more.

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