How to Change Your Life in Two Minutes Per Day

Matt Wilson
October 1, 2019

Bali, Indonesia

Well, I’d never seen anyone bathe in a stream before.

I know poverty is a taboo subject, but let’s not ignore what knocks you off your feet when you travel. 

When you see people who live far below the standard of living you are accustomed to, it’s eye opening. Especially when they have a huge smile on their face.

Do we know the struggle beneath that smile? No. 

But was this family having a good ass time bathing naked along the side of the road? Absolutely.

In Bali, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to be invited into the homes of people in the small Melayang Village just outside of Ubud. 

I once walked into someone's home and was impressed by it’s size…until I learned over 35 people lived there.  

Travel can take everything you think you know and flip it on it’s head.

When your senses are open to new experiences, sometimes the littlest things can make a huge impact on you. Especially when you are in need of change like I was.

I woke up one morning in my homestay overlooking the rice paddies and went to check on my motorbike I’d rented for just $5/day...  

Sitting on top of my bike was a small hand woven basket, incense burning, a few tropical flowers, and a knockoff Ritz cracker.


Fairly confused by what any of this meant, I went to find the woman who rented me a room in her home…

“I make Bali offering,” she told me.  

“We say thank you to gods.”

Still perplexed and probably groggy from last night's Bintang, I asked what any of this had to do with my motorbike?  

Why wouldn’t you feed the Ritz cracker to your Buddha statue if you were trying to say thank you to the gods? I was still trying to grasp the situation...

“Bike help me take kids to school. Bike help me go to market. Bike help me make money. I say thank you for bike.”

Goddamn did I take things for granted.

Therein started my practice of gratitude…

Since then, I’ve made gratitude part of my daily life. Even better is all the emerging science published on how a practice of gratitude can help reshape the neuropathways in your brain.  

Yes, western science is now catching up to what ancient eastern practitioners have known for years…gratitude boosts mood, fights depression and anxiety, reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and even stimulates sex hormones. Feel free to nerd out on the science here.

So how do you take action?

Every morning after my meditation practice, I take just two minutes to list some things I’m grateful for.  

It can be literally anything.

Your dog.

Your cat.

Your shoes.

Your erectile function.

Your boyfriend’s.


I usually tend to focus on people and health, the two things I value most. I think of my family and especially my little nieces most often. It’s honestly an incredible way to start the day.

I often focus this positive energy on my heart. It sounds hokey but I actually have an app from the Heart Math Institute where I can see the change in my Heart Rate Variability when I do this.  

My gratitude is actually scientifically quantifiable.

Soon your brain will be trained to see gratitude everywhere.

And don’t worry-- you can still be grateful for cars and money.

New shoes arrive in the mail? THANK YOU ZAAPOS you can say. Holy shit is that customer service excellent!  

Amazon Prime supply chains blow your mind? Be grateful.

Farmer John shows up every week at your local organic farmers market? Look him in the eye and say thank you for not poisoning you and your family.  

This week I challenge you to take the two minute gratitude challenge each morning. These two minutes could easily become the most powerful two minutes of your day.

Thank you for reading!

For a deep dive into business, travel, health, and performance, check out my podcast and my past articles on what I’ve learned in five years traveling the world.

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Experiences and Author of The Millennial Travel Guidebook: Escape More, Spend Less, & Make Travel a Priority in Your Life. He is host of the Live Different Podcast, Millennial Travel Podcast, and formerly Co-founder of He is committed to helping people live more adventurous lives.

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