As much as you should start showing gratitude when you're technically an "adult," it doesn't always happen that way. Before you hit your quarter-life crisis, it's important that you gain some perspective on this ever-moving and changing life of yours. It's effortless to ignore the things to not take for granted before hitting 25, because those things have always been there.
No one does it on purpose (most of the time), but it shouldn't take a humbling experience for you to wake up and smell the roses. Yes, that's super cliché, but we are all handed these amazing gems in our life. They are often there from the start, or we acquire them at various points of our growth. Either way, they come in different forms and genuinely shine some light on who we are.
Again, this could be something so small. Not everything that has an impact on you is ginormous, and quite honestly, that's what makes experiences so incredibly beautiful and unique. You see, one downfall of being young is that you sometimes slip into this mindset that you're invincible. And with that mentality, your days, moments, and the people in them are not seen for what they really are — things that are here now, but eventually have to naturally fade away. So, if you want to be absolutely happy with how you distributed your gratitude before you're 25, stop taking these things for granted.
1. Advice From And Talks With Your Parents
This sounds so simple, but our parents (and their parents as well) are the easiest things to take for granted. It's like when we leave the nest, we forget who built the stepping stones for us to prosper. When we were kids, our parents were our superheroes. They're so consistent with their love for us, no matter what we do, that we tend to forget to say "thank you" — not necessarily for doing something for me at this very moment, but for making me.
Don't sleep on your grandparents, either. They're literally like time capsules of a era we will never know. Listen to them and appreciate them.
2. Your Truest Feelings
"I'm OK" shouldn't be used just so that people won't pry. If someone is your safe space, then they should be privy to how you're really feeling. Don't fall into thinking that because everyone else seems fine, you have to seem fine as well. How you're feeling is extremely important to how you face each day, and you shouldn't ever have to hide your emotions.
3. Your Free Time
Time is precious, and if you find that people or activities are undeserving of it, stop entertaining them. It sounds blunt, but those minutes, hours, and days cannot be redeemed for another time. Once they're spent, they're gone forever. Wasting time on minuscule things will have you living with regret.
4. The Way A Special Someone Makes You Feel
People have the ability to make us feel amazing. So when they do, tell them that. You'd be surprised how far stating how someone makes you feel actually goes. No, it's not corny, and even if they're your best friend and you feel like that, still tell them. It could literally gauge someone's self-worth.
5. Your Talents And Passions
Robert De Niro once said in A Bronx Tale, "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent," and it's something we should all live by. Our talents are an accessory to who we are. A lot of the time we disregard them because we aren't making a living using them, and that somehow devalues them. Well, that's wrong. Your talent may not be loading your pockets with cash, but it's filling your soul with joy.
6. Sunrises And Sunsets
We count on the sun to rise and set every single day. To some, it's just those rays that peek through curtains and wake them up. The sun does what it does and asks for nothing in return. Gazing at a sunset or sunrise (like seriously sitting down and looking at one) is one of the most miraculously beautiful things you can ever do. It gives you this inexplicable feeling about how small you really are. Not in a demeaning way, but in the sense that you are a mini, moving part in the universe. There are many people who wish they could be looking at this very sunrise or sunset... if they had more time.
Showing gratitude isn't just about not taking things for granted, it's about being tuned into how life unfolds. Be here and acknowledge and cherish everything that encompasses who you are.