Posted by: Edward | August 13, 2021

Collecting the Four Goods

1. Good fortune or good luck
2. The good others do for us
3. The good we do for others
4. The good we do for ourselves

Consider this an exercise in gratitude. You could reflect on these at the end of every day or every week. Or you could train yourself to notice when one arrives as they happen.

Good fortune or good luck

These are the benefits and kindnesses that come to us without human intention. This can be something like getting three green lights in a row or seeing a sunset that is particularly beautiful.

The good others do for us

The benefits and kindnesses others do for us. This can be someone doing us a favor or the random acts of kindness that people do, like holding a door or the smile that comes with our coffee.

The good we do for others

Some might think this is a strange thing to feel grateful for but the good we do for others makes others happier and us happier. Practice noticing, recognizing, and appreciating when you choose to add to the total happiness of the world and to act as the kind of person you admire.

The good we do for ourselves

Practice recognizing when you are kind to yourself, when you give yourself a gift, when you do something that enhances your health and well-being. Notice that when you care for yourself you are proving to yourself that you deserve kindness and care.

Focus on the small stuff

Give yourself permission to notice and feel good about the small things. If we build a habit of recognizing the small joys and kindnesses of our lives, it will change the texture of our days. And you don’t need to worry, you’ll still notice the big stuff.

What is in our power and what is not

The first two goods are not under our control, while the second two are. If you aren’t finding enough good things in your world, you can create some. You could do something good for yourself or someone else. And then take a moment to recognize that you made that choice and took that action.


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