I’m no doctor. And I am certainly not here to dispense medical advice or recommend any medications, vitamins, supplements or treatments. But over the years I have discovered an almost miraculous cure for many different forms of headache, stomach ache, sleeplessness, anxiety and even depression. That cure is Gratitude.
So many people spend so much time and energy dwelling on what they don’t have, on what’s missing from their lives. If only I had a spouse who was more caring, if only I had that new iPad, if only I had a better retirement account, if only my kids were more this or more that — you know the list of complaints and lamentations. I may be wrong, but dwelling on what’s missing from your life is no formula for happiness or success. Nothing external can fill the emptiness that many people feel inside.
In the course of my 45 years as a writer and journalist, I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing some extraordinary men and women, individuals who had accomplished great things in their lives. And you know what? Many of them started with nothing. Many were born poor or with abusive parents or almost no education. But here’s the key: Almost all of these men and women found a way to turn their negatives into positives. Instead of dwelling on what life or their parents had failed to give them, they focused on the positive and were grateful for what they had. Being grateful, appreciating whatever blessings you do have in life, well, that changes your mindset and fills you with positive energy, oftentimes even joy.
With all that in mind, I want to start 2012 with a huge, grateful “Thank You!” When I started this blog last September, I did so with no great expectations. My only aim was to stir up a little interest for my new book, “Zelda, The Queen of Paris.” But every morning now I wake up to a computer mailbox rich with comments from readers from all over the world. People who connected to me through this blog. I love it. Keep those comments coming! And when this crazy world gets you down, when our political class makes you want to vomit, and when your spouse or your kids or your boss turn you purple with rage, well, pause a moment, count your blessings, watch a sunrise or sunset, or enjoy a movie or a very fine meal. And if all that fails, well, let me prescribe the best medicine there is on Earth: Find yourself a dog to adopt and love. A good dog will always cheer you up and NEVER let you down.