Last week I met my girlfriends for coffee in the city park. As I was the first to arrive to the restaurant, I was in charge of finding a table for three. Since it was sunny, the place was packed and everybody was sitting outside. I looked around in search of a good place to sit, but there was only one table available. It was all the way in the back, and it didn’t have an umbrella like the others.
I was certain I wanted to sit under an umbrella, so I decided to wait for a table to become available. Five minutes later, a couple leaves, and I get ready to take my bag to move to their table. But by the time I got there, a family had taken over the table. This made me very angry as I had to come back to my original place. I almost wanted to blame the family for my unhappiness. Why did they take my table?
I continued to observe other people’s tables to try to guess the time it would take for them to leave. “That woman just finished her meal, and his cup of coffee is empty. I’m sure they’ll leave soon” I said to myself. But they didn’t. Ten minutes had passed, and nobody had moved. I was miserable. Waiting for a better table to become available just took all the fun out of being there.
I suddenly realized that I was wasting so much energy on other people’s tables that I completely forgot to enjoy my own. Sure, my table didn’t have an umbrella, but it was placed under the shade of a tree. It was really a great place to sit. I then decided to stop waiting and embrace the spot I was sitting at. “This is it”, I said to myself. And I ordered a drink while I was waiting for my friends to arrive.
Many times we undervalue what we have because we’re so focused on what others have. Click To Tweet
This is a waste of time and energy, and it doesn’t let us appreciate the present moment. I no longer want to crave what others have, because what I have is perfect. And if I wasn’t meant to have/be where I am at this moment, I wouldn’t be.
When we compare ourselves to others or focus on what we don’t have, we don’t leave room for growth. This applies to everything in life, like when we are too focused on what others are doing, instead of focusing on our own projects. Or, when wishing we had “x” amount of followers/customers/readers, instead of valuing the ones we already have.
Whenever I feel lack in any area of life, I ask myself, “How can I make the best out of this situation?”
When I first started my clothing business, I didn’t have a professional camera. I took all the product pictures with my mobile phone. And I still sold a lot of clothes. If I had had thoughts like “other shops are taking better photos”, I probably wouldn’t have even started my online business. But I didn’t care. I worked with the resources I had on hand. Now that my business has grown, we have a better camera, and sometimes we even hire a photographer. But we had to start somewhere.
When we see the beauty in what we have, we open ourselves up to receiving more. And the universe rewards this feeling of gratitude. Every time we take a small action with the little resources we have, the universe says something like:
“Way to go! I see that you’re making it work. Therefore, I’d like to send more money/ a new camera/help your way.”
This does not mean we shouldn’t look forward to better things. It’s good to have plans for the future, but it’s more fun if we enjoy ourselves while we’re on the way there.
I recently watched a video with Elizabeth Gilbert, which passes on a similar message. It’s fun to watch and it’s only 3 minutes. I hope you like it.
So what about you? Are you minding your own table/cupcake/grass? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.