Things in Life I Underestimated for Way Too Long
Ralph Waldo Emerson said this about gratitude:
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily routines and responsibilities that we forget to show appreciation for the people, things, and experiences we have.
Because as Emerson said, everything (good and bad) in our life contributes to who we are and where we are in life. This is something I didn’t appreciate until recently, to be honest with you.
I thought, “I’m a grateful person. I say thank you a lot.” But that’s not enough. When I was reading Emerson, I finally realized I was NOT grateful for many things in my life. I’m glad I realized it now.
In this article, I share some of the important things I’ve underestimated in my life for way too long, and how appreciating these lessons made me happier.
1. Where you grew up & live now
I grew up in a city called Leeuwarden, in the north of The Netherlands. I was always the only non-white kid in my class. In the 90s, the percentage of non-white people was around 5%.1
During my childhood and teens, the city had a population of around 100,000. I always complained about our city. No diversity, too small, no big business, no career opportunities.
While our city has grown and has become a bit more diverse, it’s still a traditional Dutch city. And this is something I appreciate a lot now.
Growing up with Dutch values has made a big impact on the way I view the world. People here are hard workers, honest, direct, and frugal. These are common traits that almost everyone lives by. And I love that.
Everyone has their own story and upbringing. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s who you are. Never run from it. Appreciate it. Use it. But never let it box you in.