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Since I began visiting different countries, I have seen and been lucky enough to spend time with thousands people with very different lives to my own. They’ve often had less than I have, often had more.

So what does this mean? It has given me perspective. I am fully aware of the opportunity I was given at birth to live my life in a way that makes me happy, but also serves others. After the gift of life (in some countries infant mortality is still shockingly high), I was born into a country that has decent healthcare, education system, transport, political stability. I wasn’t born into a war or my family wasn’t being forced to flee my country for fear of persecution. The list is endless.

We’re all too ready to blame our unhappiness upon our circumstances and outside influence. Rarely do we take responsibility for the actions we take and embrace every opportunity.

Hardship and pain could be around any corner, the severity and impact of which is always difficult to comprehend and predict. I believe what we must do is focus gratitude for being given opportunity and on the things we can control, not what the media (awful news sells) or other mood-hoovers would have us believe.

As soon as we begin to appreciate the luck we’ve been dealt, we move on and live in the present, creating value for others and in the process, enjoying the life we have. I often hear the phrase ‘first-world-problems’ used and yet, we don’t recognise and really appreciate how accurate this is. The poignancy is lost if we don’t accept and understand fully the hand we’ve been dealt.

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