It's easy to slip into the mindset of "not enough." The paycheck isn't big enough, and neither is the house. The Internet isn't fast enough, and neither is the phone. The car isn't hip enough, and neither is the suit. The problem is that this mindset cultivates an endless desire for more.
In the United States, we have grown so accustomed to getting what we want when we want it that we complain when faced with even slight delays in our plans. Unfortunately, this attitude robs us of gratitude for all we do have. And studies suggest it doesn't make us happy either. Maybe there's a better way.
That better way begins with an awareness of the larger world and an appreciation for one's place in it. This entails learning about what goes on in diverse parts of the globe. This can be done through travel, reading, watching documentaries, surfing the Internet and social networking, to name several possibilities.
The point is that cultivating an interest in the larger world enlarges perspectives beyond the purely selfish. If you know that Africa is experiencing persistent famine and a civil war continues to rage in Syria, poor cell phone coverage and struggles with logging onto Twitter don't seem all that important.
It's also helpful to focus less on material possessions. For example, cultivating compassion for those less fortunate or reconnecting with estranged family members can enhance your satisfaction with life in ways that no extensive home remodel or expensive wardrobe can.
The limited hours in the day necessitate making constant choices about how and where to expend energy. Providing for yourself and your family is, of course, essential. But developing true compassion for others (and yourself) deserves your attention, as well. Increasingly, payment companies are adding charitable giving to their business models. It seems a change is occurring, as ISOs and merchant level salespeople leverage their talents and expertise to create value beyond the bottom line.
It's good to remember that no matter what the current challenge is, living and working in the United States is an opportunity many around the world would grab in an instant. Why not use this awareness of your good fortune to more fully enjoy your life and change yourself, and the world, for the better in the process?
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