Today is my lucky day. That is the mantra I’ve adopted and routinely share with my family. It doesn’t mean that today stands out above all others, nor is it implying a spontaneous eruption of good fortune is coming my way. It’s a simple reminder to appreciate our lives for what they are and nothing more.

I’ve heard some great quotes from others, such as youtuber Brian Alsruhe who uses the doorknob analogy. Since the doorknob is the last part of your home base you contact on the way to your day, make sure the next time you touch that doorknob you have grown as a person.

I love that idea, using something tangible as a checkpoint to remind yourself to take steps toward being a better person. It is crucial that we as members of a society strive to better ourselves in the interest of creating a more wholesome and functional world. What I don’t want to do in my pursuit of personal growth is forget to acknowledge and appreciate what I have and am now.

When we show appreciation we validate. When Mrs Life Outside the Box tells me she loves me, that validates my position as an important and equal being in our relationship. When I offer heartfelt gratitude to the clerk at the store who helped me find the product I was after, that validates their abilities and knowledge and reaffirms their sense of professional pride. Conversely, when we take someone for granted, we are showing them they are not valued by us and therefore they are invalid and unimportant. For anyone who has worked a thankless job, you know this is an extremely unpleasant and disheartening feeling.

When we show appreciation for a new day, we are acknowledging our awareness of the amazing opportunity we have been given, one that is routinely taken for granted. That is life. The fact that we are here at all is astounding, that we have developed self-awareness even more so. A brief moment, even just long enough to show thanks for the day, reminds us how incredible this opportunity really is.

Not every day is going to feel like an incredible gift. Most days, realistically, will feel fairly mundane, perhaps even droll. Some days will feel downright awful. Some days we feel like we are on top of the world, if only for a few moments. But every day is an important step in our lives. The more often we acknowledge that fact, the more we are able to see the days as they are.

Today is my lucky day.

I want my children especially to hear that from me, so they know my appreciation for life. If I can impart a small piece of that to them, perhaps they will be able to use that gratitude as motivation to be the best people they can be. I feel that if they spend their lives knowing that life is a gift, that even though it can be difficult it is still an amazing experience, then hopefully they will allow themselves to view the world through positivity. Maybe they could even help other people in their lives along the way.

I am still struggling day by day to remember this mentality. Some days can be trying, testing my ability to maintain a positive outlook. Sometimes an encouraging boost from a loved one is what I need to pick me up and remind me why the day is worthy of gratitude. These are the days when it is most important to recognize the gift, to focus inward and remind ourselves what our lives are and how amazing even the mundane really is.

Today is my lucky day.

I’ve heard a theory suggesting the best remedy for a sour mood is to smile and laugh. It’s said to be nearly impossible to be grumpy and dour when your face is wearing happiness. True, we all wear pleasant masks at times that disguise our inner angst. But I have experimented with this idea and in the presence of inner negativity, doubt, and discomfort, plastering a large moronic grin across my face has certainly had a lightening effect. Not only for me, but for the people around me laughing at my silliness as well!

I used to cover the noise of my thoughts as much as possible for fear of becoming plagued by insecurity and melancholy, after having experienced such turns fairly predictably in the past. In my later years I have found myself covering that noise not only out of long-ingrained habit but out of a newly discovered aversion to passivity and boredom. It’s as if allowing myself to break free from external entertainment would mean slowing my development of character, when in fact the opposite is true. Only by taking time to focus inward, shutting out the influences surrounding us, can we learn about ourselves. Embrace a moment of quiet reflection, even if it is as brief as telling yourself

Today is my lucky day.

This article originally appeared on lifeoutsidethebox.me

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