A few months ago I was sitting on the beach and a woman happened to walk by me.  She was smiling, laughing and that’s when I heard her say this to her friend:

“I’m not complaining. I like being alive too much.”

I practically fell off my beach chair.

What an amazing thing to say.

What an amazing way to live.

I immediately grabbed my phone and typed this sentence in. I knew I would want to see it now and then as a great reminder of what it means to live in an attitude of gratitude, taking nothing for granted—even when things aren’t going our way.

I also knew one day I would write about it so I could share these words in the hope they inspire someone else too.

“I’m not complaining. I like being alive too much.” @UniverseLetters (Click to Tweet!)

I love the way this woman recognizes she has a choice. Of course she can complain. She could probably find a million things to complain about. But she won’t—at least not in that moment.

And I like the fact she realizes that for each moment she chooses to complain, she loses a moment where she can voice gratitude for all the blessings in her life.

Sometimes it can be hard to practice gratitude. Sometimes it can feel downright impossible.

But for some reason, complaining is so easy to do. It’s so simple to find something wrong—lots of things wrong—any given day.

We wake up complaining about our night’s sleep. We look out the window and complain about the weather. We think about what’s ahead for the day and complain about all the things we need to do.

And we haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

From there the complaints multiply, swirling in our heads, flying out of our mouths.

And most people around us are doing it too. In fact, it seems like the oddity when we find ourselves around the constantly happy, chipper, grateful person. We may even wonder—why the hell is she so happy?

We might even complain about this person’s overly optimistic, high-on-happiness attitude.

I think complaining has become such a part of our internal and external language we don’t always notice we are doing it.

We have become so accustomed to talking dirty — because let’s face it, complaining is dirtying our lives, our minds and the world around us — that we don’t even think of it as complaining.

We just think of it as our everyday talk where we voice our honest feelings.

There’s nothing wrong with being honest, venting from time to time, and yes, complaining now and then. But we have to remember words, especially ones repeated daily, are the foundation we cast our future upon.

These negative thoughts become beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality.

Our greatest thoughts can help create a bright, vibrant reality—one where gratitude resides—while our most worrisome fears and dirtiest of words can foster a world of darkness, bitterness and hopelessness.

We must make a choice. We must choose our words and our thoughts carefully, with the best and most positive of intentions. We need to be more conscious of what we are saying to ourselves, what we are sharing with others, and what we are asking the Universe for.

Our health, our happiness and our future are depending on it.

We cannot control our reality of yesterday and today, but we can control how we react and respond to it, in the hopes of drafting a better blueprint for our tomorrows.

Maybe the next time we feel a complaint creeping in, or our talk on the verge of turning dirty, we can reset, flip the script and simply say:

“I’m not complaining. I like being alive too much.”

Angie Sarhan received her M.F.A in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College.  She currently teaches college writing.  When she’s not teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking and writing—especially her inspirational, positivity-packed, sometimes humorous, always lighthearted blog. For more inspiration, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Image courtesy of Anna Sastre.