Gratefulness Leads to GREAT-FULL-NESS
Let’s talk about something that contributes greatly to your success, and happiness, as well as that of your clients.
And it’s fitting that next Thursday is Thanksgiving, since that is what this point today is all about: gratitude.
Zig Ziglar said “You’ve never met an ungrateful person who was happy, nor have you ever met a grateful person who was unhappy.”
As you sit around the Thanksgiving feast next week (a healthy one, right?), don’t let that be the one isolated time of the year where you think about what you are grateful for. Make it a habit.
In her powerful book, “8 to Great-The Powerful Process for Positive Change,” my friend MK Mueller suggests you do your “Gratitude Homework” every day, actually making the time to write out the three things you are grateful for from the past 24 hours. No repeating things either. It’s amazing how great this makes you feel! It’s a pretty simple concept: do you feel better when you are dwelling on what you don’t have or your perception of the hand that has been dealt you, or what you are thankful for?
MK, an internationally-known speaker and trainer on attitude says, “Ever notice how people with lots of love, support, health, and wealth in their lives seem to be really grateful? Which do you think came first, the success or the gratitude?”
Too many people today focus on what they perceive is going wrong around them, as opposed to what is right, or what they can control.
Mark Mangino, was the head football coach at Kansas in the late 2000’s and had been the target of lots of negativity and allegations before eventually being fired, despite having a successful record. During the height of the firestorm he was enduring, he was asked if he had a bad week the prior week. He replied,
“Let me tell you something that’s really important that’s on my mind. I have a player, D.J. Marshall, who’s in Tulsa, Okla., in a cancer center.He just started his chemotherapy this week. That’s called a bad week. I’ve had a great week.”
That’s putting things in perspective. (Update: D.J. Marshall became cancer-free and did play again before leaving the program.)
My own perspective experience:
I had the very fortunate opportunity to play in a golf fund raiser and meet a number of Hall of Fame baseball players, as well as current stars a few years ago. We were all there to raise money for the Miracle League of Arizona, which runs baseball leagues for special needs kids. At the reception the night before the golf event we watched a video of these kids and one of the volunteer coaches said,
“Every parent who ever complained about their able-bodied kid not getting enough playing time, or who ever yelled at a referee should come see these kids play. It puts things in perspective.”
He paused and choked up as he said those words. As did those of us watching the video. I’m embarrassed to admit I was that dad a few times in my kids’ sports careers. You can bet that made me appreciate even more spending time with my healthy, now-grown kids.
I have very little patience with or tolerance for able-bodied people who whine, complain, or blame. For those of us who lost someone close to us–especially much too early in age– I always feel like saying, “I know of someone who would trade with you right now.” Every day is a gift. Be grateful. Seize the day and squeeze everything from it that you can. I do.
Among so many other things I am thankful in my life, I’m grateful that I have the ability and forum to help so many people in their careers and lives. Thank YOU for being you!
“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach