11 things you should never take for granted in life

Let’s be honest here. Most of us take things in life for granted. We’re so busy working and doing things all day long that we don’t really notice how beautiful life can be. 

And I’ll be frank with you; I’m mostly the same. But there was a recent event that made me think about life. It’s quite trivial actually – the electricity was gone for a couple of hours… 

And thus, I had the time for contemplation without being distracted by notifications, TV, smartphone (the battery was dead), etc. 

So, talking from my experience, here are the things you should never take for granted in life. 

1) Health

“A healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person has one.”

– Unknown

Having gone through a bout of non-stop coughing for 10+ days, I’ve been repeating this quote for many days now. 

You don’t really value your health until something happens to you, and you just want to be healthy again more than anything else in the world. 

Good health isn’t just the absence of illness. It allows you to fully engage in life, pursue your passions, and enjoy meaningful experiences. 

So, for the love of God, please take care of your body and mind through regular exercise, proper nutrition, and self-care.

2) Family

“The days are long, and the years are short.”

– Gretchen Rubin

I had to put family in the second spot because, without good health, you can’t take good care of your family. 

It’s. That. Simple. 

To help someone, you first have to help yourself. That’s why on airplanes, they tell you to first put the oxygen mask and the lifejacket on yourself and then on your kid. 

Family provides a sense of belonging, love, and support. They are the people who have known you the longest and will be there for you through thick and thin. 

Invest time and effort in nurturing these relationships to create strong bonds. And don’t take them for granted!

3) Friendships

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

– Harper Lee

True friends are rare and precious. They’re the ones who accept you for who you are, support you during tough times, and celebrate your successes. 

Show gratitude for your friends by being there for them and expressing your appreciation. As you grow older, you’ll have fewer and fewer friends, and making new ones is incredibly difficult for most people.

Stay in touch with your buddies even when you’re busy. Send them a message and show them you haven’t forgotten about them. 

4) Love

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

– Dr. Seuss

Love is a powerful force that brings joy and meaning to life. Whether it’s romantic love, love for family, or love for friends, cherish and nurture these connections as they enrich your life in profound ways.

There’s a reason why most songs and movies focus on this emotion. It makes us feel alive and sustains us even after the honeymoon period is long gone. 

5) Time

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

– Charles Darwin

As with all other things on this list, you never really appreciate it until it’s gone. But time is the most valuable resource because you can never get it back once you spend it. 

Be mindful of how you use your time, prioritize what matters to you, and avoid wasting it on unfulfilling activities.

Social media and smartphones generally eat up most of our free time nowadays. Do you consider this time well spent? 

That’s what I thought.

No one will be on their deathbed and talk about how they wish they’d spent more time watching TV or scrolling on the phone. 

So spend your time the way it deserves to be spent!

6) Silence

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”

– Edith Sitwell

For the longest time, I hated silence more than anything. I always had to have at least the TV or a podcast on, so I wouldn’t be left alone with my thoughts. 

Does this sound healthy? Of course not. 

But now that I have a young family, silence is something that’s (too) rare. The air is always filled with crying, tantrums, shouting, cartoons, and so on. 

In a world filled with noise and distractions, silence is a rare and refreshing gift. Take time to embrace moments of quietness and reflection while you can!

7) Laughter

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”

– Robert Frost

Our daily lives are typically filled with responsibilities, work, chores, stress… But even in the face of all of these, there’s one thing no one can take from us – laughter.  

Laughter is a unique, contagious, and universal expression of joy. People cope with stress and even loss with laughter because it makes them forget. If only for a few moments. 

Cherish the moments of genuine laughter as they uplift your spirits and create lasting memories.

8) Nature

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

– John Muir

Nature is getting angry. Very angry. We’ve been taking it for granted for so long and simply taking, and taking, and taking, that it’s now fighting back. 

Even Orcas are attacking us now!

But Nature offers tranquility, inspiration, and a sense of interconnection. We should all appreciate the beauty of the natural world and consider our role in preserving it for future generations.

I’m terrified of the world my son will have to live in. But I do know electric cars and banning single-use plastics won’t be nearly enough to appease the force of Nature. 

9) Dreams

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

– John Lennon

The day you stop dreaming is the day you give up on life. For some, it happens in their teens; for others – never. 

Your dreams and aspirations give life purpose and direction. Never dismiss or give up on your dreams. They fuel your imagination and drive you to achieve greatness.

Even when you have the shittiest job possible, strive for more. Don’t ever be satisfied with less. But…

Don’t get caught up with unrealistic expectations. Plus, if you’re only chasing money, you’ll never be satisfied. Just look at all the billionaires and how they’re behaving. 

Even one of them could do so much good for the world, yet they don’t. All of these foundations they set up are just ways to save money on taxes and not to help others genuinely. 

I know they don’t have to hand out money to people, but come on, is space exploration the only thing you can think of?!

10) Freedom

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

– Nelson Mandela

Growing up in a country that never really supported freedom of speech, I have always had a complicated relationship with freedom.

Freedom allows you to live life on your terms, express your beliefs, and pursue your dreams. And you also don’t really miss it until it’s gone.

Remember that not everyone enjoys the same freedoms, so use yours responsibly and advocate for the rights of others.

11) The present moment

“The more complex your lives become with intellectual machinations, piles of paper, and social intrigue, the less you are aware of the Simplicity of the Moment.”

– Laurence Galian

The present moment is all we truly have. Yet, we spend so little time in it as we’re dwelling on the past and always thinking about the future. 

Again, having a kid of my own really opened my eyes to the present moment. Before I blink, he’ll already be moving out of our home, and we’ll get to see him far less than we’d hoped. 

Did you know that by the age of 18 and you move out, 90% of the time you’ll spend with your parents is over? 

That’s shocking, isn’t it? 

Embrace mindfulness and be fully present in each experience, savoring life’s moments as they unfold.

But also…

Random encounters

Chance encounters with strangers sometimes have a profound impact on your life. Value these encounters as opportunities for meaningful connections.

The night sky

The night sky is a vast canvas of stars and wonder. Take a moment to gaze at the stars and admire the immensity of the universe.

Unplanned adventures

Spontaneous adventures and unexpected detours create memorable experiences and stories to cherish. Embrace these opportunities for excitement and evolution.

Fresh air

Clean, fresh air is essential for humans. Yet, we have less and less of it. Just last night, we had to keep all our windows sealed shut because of the wildfires hundreds of miles away. 

So, spend as much time outdoors as you can, surrounded by nature, and appreciate the simple pleasure of breathing in fresh air. Again, while you can!

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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