Yoga, Gratitude and the Lottery

lotto

One of my heroes (and former colleague last summer) Seth Godin once told a story about the importance of being grateful. The story reminded me a lot of the Yama, Aparigraha, which is being grateful for what we have. The story went something like this.

There are more than 5 Billion people in the world. Now, imagine each one of them participates in a mandatory lottery. Imagine that printed on each ticket were the circumstances that would dictate the rest of each person’s life. And imagine these were the numbers on the ticket:

• Race
• Sex
• Birthplace
• Government
• Parent names, income and jobs
• IQ (normal distribution)
• Weight, height, hair color, etc.
• Personality traits
• Health risks

First, if you are reading this blog post online right now, it’s likely that you had a pretty good ticket.

Further, if you practice yoga at a studio here in the US, the same thing is probably true.

But if you think about the entire world, the probability of you drawing a “good” ticket would seem improbable. The chance of you being born in a city US, with an average IQ, normal income, good health, good parents is 1 in a billion. Let alone having internet, attending college and belonging to a yoga studio.

When you look at it this way, practicing gratitude becomes way more obvious. And while it isn’t something I’m always good at, it has proven me to be one of the most extraordinary ways of living a better life. Helping me to not just be content but also to be more generous to everyone around me.

So I am going to dedicate the next part of the 100 days to being grateful. And I hope a few others will join me. Let us spread gratitude for the generous ticket we’ve been offered. Let us be grateful for the time and space to practice yoga. And let our light shine so others can do the same.

Namaste!

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