A few years ago I came to watch this movie called Happy Thank You More Please. I don't remember exactly what it was about or if it was particularly good, but there was one scene in it where this female character was explaining to another character her way of seeing life.
Basically, this is what it was:
1 - Ask yourself: are you happy?
2 - If so, say thank you,
3 - And then ask for more please.
It's incredibly simple, and I think its simplicity is what has helped me integrate gratitude into my life on a regular basis. It has become a way for me to acknowledge the tiny things in my life that make me happy, instead of always searching for this great big mysterious thing that we call happiness.
Since watching that movie, I've yelled out "Happy Thank You More Please" from the top of my lungs as I was cycling downhill with the sun finally coming out, during an especially trying camping-biking trip, I've said it with my mouth full of mint-chocolate chip ice cream, as I was walking through the mesmerizing streets of Barcelona with a dear friend I hadn't seen in a long time, but mostly, I have been saying it every day since I've moved to England.
It's really easy, I think, to get caught up in the small annoyances of day-to-day life; "Oh man, I don't feel like doing the morning limbers at school today" - "I wish it stopped raining, I'm freezing and soaked" - "Why do these people get this and I don't?". But this philosophy has really helped me come back to the big picture: I am safe. I am healthy. I have a roof over my head and people who love me. And the even bigger picture: I get to live in England and study what I am the most passionate about with some of the best.
I had a professor during my undergrad that said something I'll always remember: you have to know that being an artist is a privilege, and remember to be grateful for all the other people who are allowing you to be able to pursue your craft: the person who makes your shoes, the man who works hard in the fields to bring you your bread so you don't have to. Therefore, as an artist, you need to make sure you infuse that gratefulness into your work and always push further, harder, and have the discipline to be the best you can be and make art that matters, because you owe it to those people.
Ok, that's enough Deepak Chopra for today.