Life Lessons

How to Live a Grateful Life (a Lesson from a Dark Past)

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We argued for about an hour about peanut butter. Then she took the kids and left. I was all alone.

It wasn’t really about peanut butter, it was about me being an asshole.

The biggest arguments always arise from the most stupid starting points. There is always an underlying reason.

In our house that reason is usually me…

Most days I wake up and I am totally buzzing regardless of what I have going on. I embrace the day for what it is – an amazing new experience in this world to learn and have some fun.

But some days I just feel like I can’t face anything…

I want to sulk and I want to be alone.

I push everybody away, especially those closest to me. They think it is about them and take it personally but it is always about me. It is about me feeling like a failure.

Then the next day I’m 100 miles an hour again and life is back to what it was before. I am unbelievably happy and motivated.

The sunniest days come after the biggest thunderstorms.

This week we went to York to have a great family day out and to teach the kids more about the history of our great country.

York has an incredible and troubled history. A history over 1000 years old with buildings still standing and functional from the 14th century.

We visited the dungeons and were taken on a journey through the ages. We saw the Vikings, a plague doctor and the corpse of a plague victim. We went through the torture chambers, saw public executions and witches being burned at the stake.

I was put on trial in the old courtroom for allegedly attacking a Duke with an axe. The judge screamed down at me from the top of the court while I was on the stand…

To escape execution I had to repeat in front of the group, “I will never get my chopper out in public and wave it in another man’s face again!”

The kids wondered why all the adults were laughing…

“Was that a joke or something Matt?”

Never mind child.

The kids were mortified after the whole experience. These days if we run out of peanut butter at home when one of the kids wants it, the world ends. And they leave me alone in the house to ponder over my actions…

Thou shalt never forget this essential item again if one wants to keep one’s head!

What would those suffering from the Black Death think looking at that situation?

We are incredibly lucky to live in the times we do. If we are born a peasant we don’t have to be one forever.

We have good health and long lives. You won’t get beheaded for shooting a rabbit, stealing sheep or even for treason.


We can pretty much do what we want. Anyone can make their life whatever they want it to be.

Yet so many of us are miserable and have bad days like I do. Maybe there are higher expectations of us now and we want to make the most of our opportunity to live a remarkable life?

Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves and on others?

Whatever. I don’t want to overthink it anymore.

Whenever I have a bad day in the future I am going to remind myself of what life could be like had I been born 400 years earlier.

At 31, I would probably be nearing the end of my life expectancy, yet right now I feel young, vibrant and ready to go.

I am only just beginning to live my life how I want to.

I feel fortunate and motivated. I want to create an amazing life for me and my closest peasants. I don’t want them to have to steal sheep to survive.

And most importantly… no matter what happens, I will never get my chopper out in public again.

-Matthew Brown

Related – How to Never Worry About Anything Ever Again

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