It Turns What We Have Into Enough
So, you didn’t rock the world today…
maybe you just changed it slightly. Or, if you didn’t change it even slightly, at least it didn’t get worse. You didn’t wreck your car, run over your dog or cut your finger off. And if you did cut your finger off, at least you’re not dead and you get a whole other chance to try again tomorrow.
We live in the greatest time in human history, when more opportunities are available to more people than ever before. Let’s pause for moment and do an audit of a few things to be grateful for.
1. Good Friends – Good Memories
Not long ago a client told us that she chooses to spend money on memories; not things. Things perish. Memories last a lifetime. If you have just one good friend with whom you’ve created some rich, lasting memories, be thankful. If you have a number of really good friends you are most richly blessed.
2. Hard Times
Truth be told, we hate hard times, but we’re thankful for what they produce: character, thick skin, perseverance, a better way, and a greater appreciation for the good times. Hard times often make us vulnerable. Vulnerability creates space for people who love us to support us. You can get through almost anything when you know that you are loved, that someone has your back.
3. Disruptive Honesty
Self-awareness, a high EQ is one of the common strengths of great leadership and meaningful friendships, yet we all operate with blind spots. We all see the world through our own filters. To have someone in your life who knows you intimately, loves you unconditionally and is willing to tell it like it is can be disruptive and unnerving, but this is a rare gift because they will make you a better person.
To have people in your organization who are willing to have “those tough conversations” with you because they are for you and want you to be better is a tremendous asset.
“Happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”
Wellness. We often take it for granted until we lose it. If you are spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically well, be thankful, many people aren’t. And, even if you’re not in good health you probably don’t have to look very far to find someone with bigger challenges than you. Be thankful for what IS working.
5. Modern Technology
Yes, like everyone else we’ve experienced the drawbacks of the “always on” society. And when it comes to high tech-high touch balance is the operative word. But think about the Internet. It has flattened the world and democratized everything. There are no boundaries. Now a small, budding entrepreneur with a creative solution can compete with big companies in bringing an idea to market. Think of the knowledge you have access to today that you didn’t 10 years ago. Think about the thousands of applications on the iPhone alone that enable self-empowered wellness. Technology has enriched our lives.
“We are all drinking from wells dug by others.”
6. Simple, Taken-For-Granted Privileges
If you didn’t go to sleep hungry last night and woke up with a roof over your head; if you flipped on a light and used an indoor toilet; if you used toilet paper, toothpaste and deodorant; if you had a choice of clothes to wear and a pure glass of water to drink; if you have access to good medical care; and if you didn’t have to walk down the street looking over your shoulder in fear for your life, be thankful.
7. People Who Serve
Almost everyday we run into someone who lightens our load and makes life a bit more enjoyable. Be thankful for the baristas and bartenders who remember your drink and make it exactly to your liking; for the servers who put up with you when you are hungry or in a hurry and not at your best; for the trash collectors who dispose of your garbage; for the call center person who treats you with dignity when so many don’t; and for the grocery bagger who’s been on his or her feet all day. These are the “invisible” people who make our lives easier.
8. Teachers, Mentors, Coaches
People who believe in you make you bigger, stronger, more capable than you ever thought you could be. If you’ve ever had someone who saw something in you that you couldn’t see in yourself and affirmed you, you know what we are talking about. It can literally change the entire direction of your life. We are all drinking from wells dug by others. Be thankful for those critical few who invested in you and made you more competent.
The freedom to have a voice and express yourself; to vote and shape policy; to worship whomever and however you want; to turn your ideas into a business; to travel and see the world; to learn and get an education; to love and be loved, and the freedom to choose how you will respond to circumstances you can’t control are among the greatest freedoms we enjoy.
10. An Abundant Life
Thanks to modern medicine, you are more likely to live longer than any other generation in history. Huge advancements have been made in the fight to cure cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. The stock market is up and gas prices are down. America is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seriously pursuing energy independence. Violent crime in the U.S. is the lowest it’s been in 40 years. And, America is still the greatest nation for opportunity as evidenced by the fact that more immigrants want to come here than anywhere in the world.
10.5 a bonus from Melody Beattie
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
- It turns what we have into enough, and more.
- It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity,
- It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and
creates a vision for tomorrow.”