Today I was at a breakfast potluck and there were doughnuts and they looked amazing. Because of a food allergy, I wasn’t able to eat one but my friend was so excited to get hers. She talked about it a lot. Granted she’s been on allergy elimination diets for a while and she hadn’t had a doughnut in months but she was making it a big deal. Taking pictures of the doughnut, sending said pictures to other people, taking pictures of the leftover sprinkles, mmm-ing and ahh-ing. Basically, she was making me jealous.

So what do I do? I go home and pull a doughnut that is safe for my food allergies out of the freezer. But no, that’s not good enough. I make homemade frosting to put on it. Still not good enough. I didn’t have sprinkles, so I put decorator sugar on top. And now, I am feeling like I overdid it.

How often does this play out in our lives? We see something someone else has and we start to compare. We can’t just keep it simple, we have to outdo the other people in our lives. The “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. If our neighbor gets a 60-inch television, we want 70-inch television. Bigger, better, newer!

What does all that get us? NOTHING!

During the recent Christmas season, it’s so easy to get caught up in the giving and getting of gifts that we forget to appreciate all the blessings we already have. The busyness of the holiday can often detract from the true reasons for the season. Between shopping, wrapping, sending, cooking, decorating, and visiting, on top of the regular to do lists that are already so long, we don’t have a minute to pause and reflect on what we already have and the greatest gift of all.

So please remember that your doughnut does not have to be as spectacular as your friend’s. The sprinkles don’t have to be perfectly arranged, and the frosting can be lopsided. The King of Kings has already deemed it, and you, priceless.

If we are constantly reaching for more, we will never appreciate what we already have. The secret is wanting what you have, not getting what you want. The attitude of gratitude is the key to living a balanced life. Slow down, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about the things you are grateful for.

Take some time in this new year to really think and do something different. Enroll now in The Journey Training. The first class for this year is just days away!