Gratitude is the portal we encounter
on our way to our dreams

Similar to many of the things we have inspected thus far, a lot has been said about gratitude. 

I had a peculiar learning about gratitude through hindsight that helps me to remember how fleeting our experiences are and to be grateful for this present moment. 
Some years back, I found a birthday card for my brother that said something along the lines of: 
”Ten years from now, we’ll look back and think how wonderful the time and experiences have been. Be aware that this time is right now.”

In addition to the birthday card, I experienced this realization at the end of my stint in Mainz, Germany. After having gone through many disappointments and having been exposed to two years of lockdowns in a new City, I was more than ready to get the hell out.
I had moved to Mainz to be closer to my best friends so that we could enjoy each other’s company in a phase where neither of us had kids or any other major responsibilities.
So when I arrived in the Rhein-Main Area straight from Hawaii, I was thrilled to have found an apartment that was literally a stone cast away from one of my friends. 
To make a long story short, the friend who lived down the road from met a new partner and disappeared from the map. My other friend entered into one of the most gruesome periods in his life called Referendariat, a.k.a. teacher training. So he too, almost disappeared from the map except for occasions when he took short breaks and asked me to meet with him in the park close by.

On my way to one of those meetings, I had a realization.

I had moved to Mainz to be closer to my friends. As difficult and unfortunate as those years had been, I was on my way to meet with my friend, and it wouldn’t be long before I was moving to Norway, and even those short meetings would apply to what the birthday card had said.
So rather than being pissed that the meeting was too short and my share of the conversation was limited to witnessing complaints and anger, I said to myself I am going to enjoy spending time with my friend because I don’t know how much time we have together before I move.

My opinion might be wrong, but I feel like every person needs to witness at least a couple of examples where we wish we could go back to a certain point in time because, at the time, we didn’t realize how precious it was.
So gratitude for the present moment is the doorway we walk through on our way to our dreams. We can not get there any other way because as soon as we complain and resist the present moment, wishing it to be different in the near future, we’re back to the donkey and carrot example we spoke of at the beginning of this manifesto.

The difficulty is in developing gratitude for things we habitually overlook.

When we take a drastic example. Imagine your dreams and wishes and what you intend to manifest in your life. This is the most important thing for you, and you wish it with all your heart. 
You created a vision board, affirmed your vision on a daily basis, absorbed all the materials from all kinds of masters, and implemented what they suggested.
Now imagine you wake up and the country you’re living in has either declared war or has been invaded by a foreign army. Tanks and Heavy Artillery start rolling, and bombs are dropping from the sky.

I am not saying your dreams and visions become irrelevant. All I am saying is that while we are often completely absorbed by what is missing in our life, we overlook other things that are only recognized in their importance and value when they are no longer there.

Gratitude is a wonderful teacher in helping us shift our focus and to slow down. What is it in this moment that I am grateful for? Something that I have overlooked quite often. 
For me, it is the stillness and quiet of the place where I am currently living. Having lived in Cities since I graduated from High School, it is amazing to sleep with open windows and be woken up by the birds in the morning.

Finishing this last chapter, I would like to re-emphasize that if you are unable to be grateful in the present moment, even if it is the most minuscule detail, the manifestation of your dreams will become an endless pursuit of “happiness,” even with all your wishes coming true. On the other hand, when we walk through the portal of gratitude, our life is filled with joy, appreciation, and love for the things we are experiencing right here, right now. Even if our dreams end up changing, go up in smoke, or simply don’t materialize, the quality of having lived a life in gratitude versus disappointment and complaint is inconceivable.