Hi Team,

I can't quite believe I am writing my hundredth official Weekly Email. If you count my first 48 Weekly Emails that were not released to the general public (because they were really no good), I have been writing these emails for well over three years and the longer I do it the more I am enjoying it. Thank you for being a part of this "knowledge and self-improvement journey" so far and I hope you are enjoying and learning from these weekly snippets of wisdom?

We all have so much to be grateful for and the chances are that if you are reading this Weekly Email, you have already won "life's lottery". If life on earth was one huge game of lottery and there are winners and losers, then all of us (middle class Australians) are definitely the winners. Living in this country at this time we are more fortunate than 99.5% of all people in human history. We live in a safe democratic country where almost everything is in abundance. We are all well-educated and have free access to more knowledge and information than ever before. We have a universal state funded health system and social welfare system, and we all have an unlimited number of options and choices throughout our lives. We are all living in the most prosperous and safe time in human history.

Whilst researching this email, I came across a startling statistic, "only 7% of the world’s population has a college/university degree or trade qualification" This telling statistic highlights how incredibly fortunate we are to live in Australia, where the 2019 Aust sensis showed that approx. 30% of Australian's have a tertiary degree and another 7% have a trade qualification. Australia is without doubt one of the best countries, Melbourne is one of the best cities and the 21st century is by far the best time in human history, so in terms of winning life's lottery we have all hit the jackpot! So why are we not universally happy and constantly grateful for our good fortune?

"If someone isn't thankful for what they've got, they're not likely to be thankful for what they are going to get." Frank Clark

In our constantly busy lives we often neglect to appreciate how fortunate we are, and we also neglect to show appreciation for people around us. Being aware of our good fortune and showing gratitude for what we have got all comes from mindfulness and self-awareness. Gratitude comes from simply allowing yourself to enjoy the current moment and just like mindfulness takes practice so does gratitude. It is only by taking time out to reflect on what you have and what is meaningful in your life that you can become aware of your good fortune and start to develop true gratitude in your life. "Deep down we often already have what we want".

"I cried when I didn't get a new pair of shoes until I saw a boy that had no feet." Michael Crossland

It is detrimental to compare yourself to other people that are rich and famous, but it is helpful to compare yourself to those less fortunate than yourself. Having gratitude for things in your life is like giving yourself a gift and showing gratitude for other people is like giving them a gift. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated. My late Father-in-law,
Jim Quealy often used a wise saying "The true measure of someone's character is how they treat people less fortunate than themselves." Having empathy for others and showing gratitude for what you have is a reflection of your character and your values. So, practicing gratitude is an important part of self-improvement because it helps you to become more self-aware, more resilient and improves your self-esteem. The American writer and philosopher William Arthur Ward summed up the power of gratitude beautifully by stating, "gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn jobs into joy and change opportunities into blessings."

I feel I have only scratched the surface on this universally important topic, so I will be digging a little deeper into gratitude in my next two Weekly Emails to round out this turbulent year.

PS: The lottery is only a tax on people that are bad at maths! So, I don't recommend that you play the lottery.

Thanks for reading # 100.
Stay safe and be grateful.

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