What Are You Grateful For?

So. What are you grateful for? (Me … I’m digging film again.)

Every morning and every evening I take a few minutes to answer the question: “What am I really, really grateful for?”

I come up with a number of answers (I actually write them in a journal), then spend a moment or two on each, allowing myself to feel that gratitude entirely.

I think this habit is one of the things that makes me such a happy fella, to be honest.

And I also think it’s an important part of what keeps my creativity alive.

Lately, one of the things making my Gratitude List again and again is my film camera. (Remember 35mm film?) I’m not only grateful to be able to own such a camera, but I’m grateful that they’re still manufacturing and developing film! As much as I love digital, I still think it’s a blast to think through specific film types and adjust my shooting to the ways they behave; I also love how film slows me down in choosing subjects and framing them just right; and I love how film encourages me to really think about the exposure I envision before making it …

For me, film is only a sometimes sorta thing. Yet my heart thrills when I’m holding this camera. Not sure how to express it better than that.

But the important thing is: I’m grateful for it. Really grateful. I don’t take it for granted.

Too often I think we take things in our life (and not just things, but conditions, and people, and relationships) for granted. We get acclimated. And when that happens, instead of realizing how wonderful things are in our lives, we end up focusing on petty gripes and a bunch of senseless crap that allows us to complain or feel crummy.

But I can tell ya: It’s hard to feel crummy when you’re feeling grateful.

And when you’re grateful, it’s real easy to feel awesome.

It’s easy to feel INSPIRED.

So do me this favor — sit down and spend a few minutes writing about what YOU are grateful for in your life. What people, relationships, conditions, opportunities, and plain old everyday STUFF is worth taking a moment now and then to really savor?

What in your life makes you happy? What are you proud of?

(And you want to get over any complacency or indifference that might have crept in around it? Ask yourself this: How awful would it feel if you LOST it?! Ouch. Helps remind you of just how lucky you are, right?)

Now take something from that list — something that you’re SO grateful to have in your life — and go capture an image of it … Then I want you to take a few minutes to really think about how happy it makes you … And then I want you to go create a piece of art that celebrates just how awesome it is.

Make these your new habitual questions in your life each day:

* What are you grateful for?

* And how might that inspire you?

Something to think about!

– Sebastian