"You see George; you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?" - Clarence from It's A Wonderful Life
While the winter season brings joy and happiness to many, statistics reveal that about three to five percent of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that occurs annually in fall and winter seasons. Whether you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, stressed, worried about the infamous family get together or caught up in commercialism -- we all need reminders about why our life is a great one.
1. You've made it this far.
Think about the fragility of life for a second. A car could have taken the wrong turn. An illness could have not gotten better. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sound negative or sadistic, but I am trying point out how fragile life is. You're alive for a reason, and whatever that reason may be, it's obviously important enough to stop an early fate in the tracks.
2. You're blessed.
I don't know your specific life story or the spectrum of wealth you fall on, but chances are, if you are able to read this, you're already more blessed than the 80 percent of people in the world that live off ten dollars a day. If clean water comes out your sink, you're luckier than the 783 million people who do not have access to clean water. While it's easy to forget the simplicity of having a roof over your head, education, a heater for the cold weather, a closet full of clothing and presents under the Christmas tree, people around the world are fighting to make it another day, dying from preventable illnesses from lack of sanitation. You are blessed, and you have been given privileges that most are denied.
3. You're living in a time of progress.
Ever wonder why you weren't born in the 1600s, but instead ended up in the 2000s? I believe that nothing is done on accident, and that the time we are living in is far better than it was before. While different time eras have their benefits, the time we are living in now is vastly different than the 1700s. If you were sick, you ran the risk of not having a vaccine to cure your illness. Now, scientists have made advances in combating some of the world's most infectious and deadly diseases. There has never been such a time in history like now where the once voiceless have risen up and made change. We've seen incredible and interesting things just in 2013. Today is the day for change and progression, and you're alive to see it.
4. You're not alone.
Whether you'd like to admit it or not, there is no way you can be completely, totally and wholly alone. It is within our human design to want to feel companionship with one another, whether that is in the form of a lover, a friend or a family member. Globalization has made this possible, with the spread of social media "connecting" one person to another. At the touch of your hand, there are resources to help you through every season of life. The world is interconnected, and you are a vital part of its function.
5. You have a purpose.
Everyone has a purpose to fulfill, a passion to unleash on the world. Whether it's art, writing, photography, scientific knowledge, applied mathematics or patience with children, the skills you bear help better the world around you. If you didn't have a purpose, you wouldn't be here. I cannot tell you what your purpose is -- it is something that has to be discovered within yourself. What keeps you awake at night? What do you do to procrastinate? Finding your skills and passions help release your purpose into a world that is thirsty for it.
While life gives us many reasons to be sad, it gives even more to dance. This season, celebrate your wonderful life and all the uniqueness that it brings.