Time to Look in the Mirror for 2023
I wrote this a year ago 2 days after my son passed away from brain cancer. I wanted to share this with you all again so that you would take a minute and just think about what you must be grateful for. This will be my only blog this month as we are about to take my son on his final trip to Ireland to bury his ashes. I am eternally grateful to my wife, daughters and grandsons who will be making the trip with me. No matter where you are in life you always have something to be grateful for.
What are you grateful for?
There is so much about our personal lives, businesses and our people’s habits that we wish to change. In an attempt to make ourselves better and to change our businesses, many times we forget to be grateful for the things we have. We focus so much on the negative that the positive loses its place in our hearts. In this day and age where we need a positive culture to retain our staff let’s look in the mirror and share with many what we are grateful for in both our personal and business lives. As I wrote this it was amazing how my demeanor changed, and a peace came over me.
Things to Be Grateful for in Life
Here is a list of little and big things we all should be grateful for there can be more but these 28 were top of mind for myself, for gratitude itself is a virtue:
No matter how you think it is, it is a gift. So many individuals don’t get a chance to make it as far as you did. You got to live, survive, exist and be able to dream. Be grateful for your life.
Wherever you are, if you’re reading this you are already in a better situation than the hundreds of millions of individuals who are struggling. Be grateful for your situation.
They’re the family you picked. Think of the crazy inside jokes, the embarrassing memories, the late-night phone calls, and the fact that they’ve always got your back. Be grateful for that priceless relationship.
Your biggest fans and most honest critics. The only beings who could possibly love you more than you could ever love them. Not all parents are great, I agree, but they did choose to let you live and gave you life. Be grateful to your parents for their support, encouragement, their strength, and undying love. Be grateful for the opportunity of life that they gave you.
If your parents are no longer with you always look back and be grateful for everything, they gave you.
You’ve lived life to the fullest and you’ve come so far. You made it despite heartbreaks and pain, though disappointment and failure. Yet here you are, alive, motivated, and rearing to go. You are a leader and employer, a mother or father who changes people’s lives. Remember to be grateful for whatever is giving you the will to drag yourself out of bed and face the world. Be it your motivation, your goals, your whatever, be grateful for the courage.
The fact that you didn’t break down that once. The time when you supported your friend in despair, that time you smiled for the family photo when all you wanted to do was to cry, but you didn’t. The time you were struggling in business. Be grateful for your strength to face your troubles and overcome your sorrows.
A complex science, a firm friend. Your mind can wander to destinations unknown and yet be back to the present in a fraction of a second. It keeps you hoping, dreaming, and thinking. It is in essence a part of what makes you, you. Be grateful for your mind’s ability to contribute to making you who you are.
Scared, wounded, healed, and still, up for more of the same, your heart is like the spirit of a three-year-old. No matter how much it bears, it bounces back. If it were to stop even for a second, your life could be in danger. Be grateful for your heart for its mettle.
To touch, to smell, to see, to feel all the beautiful feelings we take for granted. Think of a day when you couldn’t feel. Think of the misery if you couldn’t taste it. Think of the beauty that you would miss out on if you couldn’t see. Be grateful for your senses that make the world so pretty.
The Things You Love
Everything you love gives you joy. It becomes a part of you and can easily make you smile or tear up. Be grateful for its presence and its effect on your life.
Your business, your clothes, your couch, your table, everything that’s yours has a story. Even if it’s boring, it’s a story. When you got it, why you got it, how you got it, when you used it, every little detail works its way to make your life more complete. Each story captures a moment in your life that will never come back. Be grateful for those moments hidden in your belongings.
Remember that time you cried in joy? That time when you thought you couldn’t be happier? Do you also recall that terrible night when you thought your heart couldn’t take any more Your tears bear testimony to the best and worst times you’ve had. Be grateful for the emotions your tears brought forth.
A clouded judgment, a tinted perspective, an unfair remark, that stupid, stupid, phone call. Some mistakes were forgiven and some weren’t. Some mistakes warranted an answer and some that didn’t.
Every mistake helped you grow, learn, and understand. Be grateful for the wisdom that your mistakes enabled.
Your Life Lessons
A lesson could be anything. Basic etiquette, the touch of a hand, the path back home, the stranger who helped, the little girl you learned to console. A lesson in life is one that only experience can enable. With every lesson learned, you’re one step more experienced than you were yesterday. Be grateful for the experience.
Be it your family, business partners, friends, professors, or bosses, be grateful for those individuals who took time out of their lives to help you. To make you feel more competent and give you the cheat sheet of life that they never had. Be grateful for their guidance.
Happiness is a misunderstood, often misquoted commodity. To be loved is to be happy, to be an artist is to be happy, to walk in a park alone with your thoughts is to be happy. Happiness is how you define it. Many people are robbed of their happiness for they often try to follow someone else’s definition of it. It’s a rare commodity today, one that the world is scrambling to own. Be grateful for your happiness.
With every disappointment that you encountered, be it academic, emotional, physical, artistic, or mental, you got a little stronger. Your disappointment temporarily saddened you though, taught you to overcome the sadness and be happy again. Be grateful for the strength your disappointments gave you.
For all the hard work you put in and for the job that pays your rent. It may not be the best yet, but it could help you get the best. It’s one door that will lead to another. It’s a door that you had to fight to get to. Be grateful the door opened.
Your competitors taught you about the world in the way that no book or reality show could. They taught you how to fight, how to be true to yourself, and, most importantly, what not to be like. Be grateful to your enemies for showing you who you never want to be.
They encouraged you, corrected you, motivated you, and applauded you, asking for nothing in return from you. Some you loved, some you didn’t, yet they cared for you all the same. Be grateful for the time and effort that they spent on you.
Each heartbreak made your heart stronger, wiser, and more experienced. It gave you the wisdom to tell between loyal and faithful, a lie and a truth, and eventually between reality and expectations. Your heartbreak taught you to bounce back and introduced you to your quieter side and your best friends. Be grateful for that knowledge.
To be able to extract humor from a situation is nothing short of talent, a gift if you will. To be able to look at something with such an eye that you couldn’t help but laugh. Be grateful for the talent that enables you to laugh.
It’s able, it’s healthy. Be grateful that your body is responsive, healthy, and yours. Your body is yours alone and for that be grateful.
The funny thing about pain is that when you feel it, it hurts so bad; but when it’s gone, you can’t remember how it felt. You have an idea that you hurt but not how much. Be grateful that it’s over, that the pain you once felt is no more. And the pain you feel will slowly die out. Be grateful for the pain for it introduced you to a greater joy after it passed.
Your first and last friends, your partners in crime, your shoulders in despair. Your siblings are the best thing that could ever happen to you. Whether it’s an inside joke, an anniversary gift, a heartbreak or even plotting a plan, they’re always there and always on your side. Be grateful for your siblings.
No matter how few privileges you have, at least you have some. You may work towards a fairer society and that is awe-inspiring, but don’t forget to be grateful for the knowledge of their existence and the power to utilize your privileges. Be grateful that you know your privileges.
Your choices — good or bad — were yours alone. You were lucky to have an opportunity to make your choice, to do as your heart desires, and to be able to pick from among options. You were lucky that it wasn’t just one way. Be grateful for the opportunity to make your own choices.
It’s an identity you were born with. Your name gave you a place in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you changed it, or kept it or hate it, it’s your first, not only, identity, but an identity, nonetheless. Be grateful for an identity.
If we all build a culture of gratitude in ourpersonal lives and businesses, we will be happier, stronger and retain the type of people in our businesses that we want to be associated with. Share these often within your business and family and watch your culture change.
Below is a complete list of what I am grateful for. Although life has thrown us curve balls, I truly believe I am the most blessed man on earth:
Take time to do this this year and you will be very pleased with the additional successes you will have.
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