Fun idea on mental subtraction here I got from my friend, Marc, to enhance thankfulness, especially during this Thanksgiving season.
You can use his example of, “What would happen if we lacked running water?” You can imagine how hard life becomes.
Some thoughts using this idea:
What if I did not have my family?
I would be missing all the laughter, joy and adventures we have had. My heart would be less full. It would be a lot lonelier and I would likely have thrown myself out of balance, much more into work.
How would life look if I could not run?
I would have missed out on all the joys of sports as a kid and adult. I would not have been able to have enjoyed competition, the Boston Marathon, mountain trails or be as persevering in my mindset.
What if I was not an American citizen?
Being able to think or act freely would not be as easy. Having strong opinions may not be something I would have as my personality as well. I may not be as motivated or pushing towards ambitions if I were in a different social or economic setup. I may have contributed far less than my potential.
Some off the top questions that get me thinking of what could have been not. I am grateful this Thanksgiving about all the things that are available to me today by experience, access and context.
How about trying this out for yourself?
P.S. A great quote here from It’s a Wonderful Life.