Count the Blessings You Actually Possess

“Don’t set your mind on things you don’t possess as if they were yours, but count the blessings you actually possess and think how much you would desire them if they weren’t already yours. But watch yourself, that you don’t value these things to the point of being troubled if you should lose them.”


Rather than craving things we don’t possess, we should take stock of the things we do have, and be thankful for them. That’s the wisdom shared in The Daily Stoic on today’s date.

You likely already have a lot of good things in your life. Some aspects of your life may even inspire envy in others. As Marcus suggested above, imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have these blessings in your life — and how much you would wish you did. Now that is a novel take on gratitude, an angle I haven’t considered before.

We all know it’s important to be thankful. Personally, I make time every day for this, and as a result I feel that gratitude is one of the most powerful habits available to us. It’s certainly been the most impactful in my life.

Marcus garnishes his quote with a warning: that we not become so attached to the things in our life that we are devastated if we lose them. The truth is that we don’t own much in this life, not even our possessions. It’s best if we understand that early, before fate strips them away. Even better is if we can learn to let go in advance, to prepare ourselves for the ultimate realization of how little we truly have.

But all the while, we can still continue to count the blessings we actually possess — while we have them!

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