5 Non-Obvious Things To Be Grateful For


I talked about giving gratitude every morning to start the day feeling more refreshed.

Over the mornings, this ritual made me recognize a number of important gifts I’ve been taking for granted.

Let me know if you’re grateful for these things as well.

1. My memory

Memory lets me retain knowledge, recall beautiful moments and remember the stories behind my relationships with loved ones.

It’s my memory that let’s me tap into skills I developed in the past to create pieces of art or work, share lessons from past experiences, or reconnect with old friends from childhood.

Almost all our daily interactions and activities are hinged on having the benefit of past events or knowledge.

“Life without memory is no life at all. … our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.” ~Bunuel

2. Inspiring writers

A lot of my personal growth this past year was inspired by insightful books and blogs. Guided by other people’s wisdom, I’ve reduced my mental chatter, started finding clarity, and have become more of myself.

3 blogs or books that I’m grateful for are:

3. Painful experiences

I’m thankful for the emotional near-death experience of hating my job at a young age, so that I would question the 9-5 corporate lifestyle, be forced me to discover what’s right for me, and to stand up for it instead of doing continue doing what I was “supposed” to do.

Other challenging experiences such as relationships or tough life situations, have also forced me to question what I currently believe, to find new solutions, and to uncover hidden calmness in myself.

“Through chaos comes clarity.”

Books I recommend are:

4. Technology and connectedness

I’m thankful for the internet and social media which has let me self-direct my learning, seek role models, and find answers to almost every question I’ve imagined.

Through blogs, websites and forums, I’ve gained about design, discovered how to take better photographs, connected with people I would have never met, and heard more brilliant ideas than I could never imagine.

Without a significant amount of time, effort or price, the internet has let me exponentially increase my understanding of the world.

A website I highly recommend is TED Talks, a collection of brilliant talks (videos) from the most influential people in the world. Topics include world issues (e.g. hunger, poverty, sex slavery), our minds (e.g. happiness, creativity), technology (e.g. sustainable energy, medicine) and more.

5. The path that led me here

I used to look back and wish I made different decisions.

Then I realized there is no a control group for life. If I had chosen my path any differently, I could have been hit by a truck or eaten by a shark.

I used to get frustrated by why certain things had to happen. Now, I think back to chance encounters that led to friendships, pointless knowledge that became useful, or difficult situations that led to great opportunities, and realize the significance of an experience may not be clear until the future unfolds.

“What happened happened and couldn’t have happened any other way.” ~Morpheus
“How do you know?”
“Because we are still alive.” ~Morpheus (from the Matrix)

A few great movies and books about destiny are:


Listing what I’m grateful for every morning has helped me start the day in a blissful state. You try it too – start right now – and let me know if you feel a change in your state of mind after a week.

>> What are you most grateful for today? Share your list below.


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  • In all honesty, this article is a reminder to indeed be grateful for a lot of things.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights, keep the posts coming you write wonderfully you will definitely enjoy the World Wide Travel Blog Party bring all your blogger friends and lets support one another! Kudos to you! :)

  • me

    I think I think about these every day except for number 2. I don't read very often unless it's news, blogs, etc. I have infact found some inspiring blogs though, as you've pointed out :) Oh, another thing I'm grateful for is the ability to read and write. Every time I write something I am amazed at that skill/technology. :) It truly is a gift.

  • fez

    Great post, I will definitely have to read the book you recommended. Also, are you aware of Tedx Toronto. It’s basically Toronto’s own version of Ted they had their inaugural year last year and there’s another one coming up Aug 6th. There’s even an opportunity to apply (you should apply). One of the speakers is the guy who started GAP tours.



    p.s. love the posts keep them coming. would you consider a video post in the spirit of social media?

    • Lily

      Hi Fayyaz, let me know what you think of the book – I'd love to hear your thoughts on it when you're done.

      Thanks for the link to TEDxToronto! I heard via Twitter that Bruce Poon from GAP was speaking. (The conference is on my birthday!)

      Hm, a video post would be interesting, what do you think I should do a video post on?