Spend An Hour By Yourself Today

 ““A child shows gratitude the way a woman / Shows she likes a pretty dress – / Puts it on and takes it off again.”” – Archibald MacLeish

 This is a good week to reflect upon the things that really matter in your life. So find an hour today to be alone. And think about all the things you should be grateful for.

* Your physical health. Ironically, health is a gift that’s valued least when it’s present, most when it’s absent. Get seriously ill for a day with a very bad headache or nausea and you’ll quickly understand how much less important almost everything else is – your wealth, your social standing, all the things you love to do.

* Your mental health. Serious mental illness is just as debilitating as polio, just as dangerous as cancer. If you don’t have a serious mental illness, be grateful. And don’t complain about the occasional bout of depression.

* Your family and friends. So easy to take for granted.

* Your wealth. Despised by shallow thinkers, wealth gives you the means to accomplish what you want in life. You don’t need a lot of money to be wealthy. But you need enough to pay your bills and make your future comfortable.

* Your intelligence and ingenuity. If you don’t yet have the wealth you want, it’s going to come directly from your head – from the decisions you make and the energy you put into following up on them.

* The things you enjoy. Music. Food. The sun and rain. Your car. Your shoes.

And did I mention your life?

Think about these things. Recognize how lucky you are to have them and how quickly they can be taken from you. Life is so good. And so available.

You can have an amazingly bountiful life. No one and nothing can prevent that. The greatest gifts are available to you now and will always be open to you. This moment. And this one. And this one, too.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]