I encountered a person at Starbucks last week who demonstrated a true spirit of gratitude in his life. His final comment to me as I was leaving with a mocha in my hand was, “I can’t believe I get to do what I do!” It made me think about the opportunities in my own life. As an entrepreneur, I sometimes stress over where the next client is going to come from. I pray for provision and persevere through moments of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. These moments, while mostly brief in duration, can cloud my vision and crowd out a spirit of being grateful for the opportunity to “do what I do!” In my best moments, I am grateful for the variety of clients that I get to collaborate with, the nature of the work that I do, and the calling that God has led me to.
This moment also made me reflect on other aspects of my life for which I am grateful including:
- A God who sent His Son to save me
- A wife who loves me
- Five boys who look to me for guidance and wisdom
- Friends who encourage and inspire me
- Moments of opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of other people
What if, instead of focusing on the stress that screams for our attention, we committed each day to be grateful for things we have been given, the relationships we have been entrusted with, and the opportunities that have been presented to us. Being grateful positions us with the right spirit to:
- Give – back to others and share what we have learned
- Grow – the opportunities we have been blessed with
- Guide – the people we lead and influence through our example of thankfulness and our engagement in their lives
- Go – for the eternal and not the temporal and fleeting things of this life
During this time of thanksgiving, I encourage you to make a list of the things and people that you are grateful for. In fact, this is a great habit to do on a daily and weekly basis. Even on the worst of days, you can be grateful for something in your life. When you physically write down what you are grateful for, it can lift your spirits and inspire you to be resilient, persevere, and strive to make the most of the moments that you have been blessed with. Being grateful also pushes you to be the best version of yourself to those who need you most.
Through our work with high achievers and great leaders, we have found that the best leaders are grateful and practice gratitude as their foundational attitude. Gratefulness for this life and all that it brings with it can be a powerful force in our lives. Seek first to enlarge the lives of others and all of the things that we so often worry about will take care of themselves.
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