Balancing Gratitude

It is important to have gratitude in your life because there are very few more humbling actions than being grateful.  When you are grateful, you have more strength and can deal with challenges in a positive way.  Living in positivity demonstrates that life isn’t so bad and gives you the strength to move forward.  Being grateful starts you from a place of service rather than a place of self-centeredness.

The most powerful words in this life are still “please” and “thank you.”  I’m grateful for the people in my world, for my team and that I’m not more disabled than I am.  Still, I have my moments when I don’t subscribe to my previous statement. Whenever I don’t, I’m not productive; I’m angry and I can’t live out my purpose. Another often overlooked benefit of heartfelt gratitude is that it actually feels amazing!

There are people who will walk into an immaculate room and point out that one thing that is a little crooked.  On the other hand, there are people who can walk into a room that’s a total disaster and point out that one thing that is right.  In order to become something incredible, you have to start off by being grateful for that one little thing that is right- then exploit it.  That’s how amazing happens.

In order to have success, you must be amazing.  Your dreams and goals require that you work hard, remain committed, work around challenges, develop strengths and develop a team, just to name a few factors for success.  Roadblocks, challenges, limitations, psychological barriers, physical challenges are some of the obstacles that can prevent you from achieving success.  Within all of us is a battle between our dreams and our limitations. Most limitations sap our ability to become amazing and accomplish our big dreams.  According to Dr. Shawn Archer, international speaker, author of multiple positive psychology books, cavemen were wired to be sensitive to threats.  Thousands of years later, we are wired to see threats rather than opportunities.  Seeking opportunities is a huge part of success.  If we are constantly looking for what can go wrong, then we cannot see opportunities.

Accomplishing our dreams requires us to focus on our gifts rather than on the potential challenges that can prevent us from accomplishing our goals.  We can easily talk ourselves out of any big dream.  A budding author can never write their book and blame the statistics of how challenging it is to get a literary agent. The same goes for an entrepreneur.  Everything great in life can be dismissed as a pipe dream.  Even committing to an amazing person can be dismissed. You could argue, why would they want a person like me?

Rather than focus on what can go wrong, focus on what can go right.  This doesn’t mean ignoring what could go wrong, but rather focusing your energy on what could go right.  We all have unique talents, and your dreams are hungry for your gifts.

There is something comfortable about dreaming.  When we only dream, there are no limitations.  There are no challenges.  There are only endless possibilities.  We don’t need to think about everything that could go wrong.  However, when we start working on our dreams, it gets challenging. Having gratitude makes achieving your dream easier because it brings the possibilities of success to life.

One of the most powerful choices you can make is to be grateful, regardless of your circumstances.  I can paint a picture about my life that is just horrible; and it would be 100% true.  I can talk about bathroom accidents.  I can talk about my speech impediment, which is truly the bane of my existence.  I can talk about how I still have to deal with people who think that I am mentally impaired.   We all have experiences that we can cry over and dwelling on them can stop any kind of momentum.

If you only look at your limitations and only focus on what you cannot do, then there is no way that you will see all the possibilities in life.  This is another reason that gratitude is so important.  A benefit of gratitude is that is forces you to use your gifts to reach amazing outcomes.  Achieving your goals is all about maximizing your gifts and understanding how to navigate through obstacles or challenges.  If you don’t know or are not grateful for your gifts, then you won’t know how to exploit them.  Likewise, if you dwell on your challenges and don’t appreciate the opportunities, then you are paralyzed.

A big part of being amazing is being able to have a team rally around your goal.  The more you express gratitude, the more people will go out of their way to help you achieve what you want out of life.  I’m sure you have people in your life, whether it is professional or personal, who you would go out of your way to support and there are people who you won’t go out of your way to support.  Being amazing sometimes requires asking people around you to go out of their way for you.  When they do, it is important to express gratitude because, if you don’t, then they will have little motivation to support you.

A critical factor to achieving success is maximizing your gifts and working around your limitations.  With regards to limitations it is important to understand what you need to do to deal with them.   It is important to know how to exploit your strengths.  However, to truly exploit them and to take advantage of other resources at your disposal, you must first understand what strengths you possess.  The most powerful way to do this is to be grateful.  Showing gratitude should not be a one-time act and should not only happen when something amazing occurs.  It should be present no matter what, regardless of where you are on your journey.  Gratitude will help you identify opportunities.  It also tells people that if they help you become amazing, then you will help them in return.  You will also come from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness.

I have an incredibly amazing life.  I make the choice to be grateful for it.  Sure, there are times when I mourn what I cannot do.  Obviously, I wish I did not have a speech impediment, that I could walk, that I could get ready by myself or go on a boys’ trip with my sons alone…a million activities, really. But, for my own sanity, I choose to be grateful.  I choose to laugh, I choose to smile, I choose to live an amazing life rather than wishing for one.

Lastly, I want you to be grateful for yourself.  Anybody reading this article has the humility and the understanding that you need to work on your challenges.  Most people want to play the victim card.  I’m honored that you are reading these words.  Be grateful that you can empower yourself to take control of your destiny.  You want more out of life.  You want your dreams.  And, hopefully, you want to work around your challenges, problems, limitations, and whatever holds you back.  Be grateful for that.  You are empowered.  If I had anything to do with that empowerment, then I am honored.  My mission in life is to empower people to take control of their own destiny.

Summary:

Gratitude is a major factor in achieving your dreams and success. Without being grateful for and aware of your strengths and the people around you, there is slim possibility that you will succeed on your own. Taking control of what you want out of life, despite challenges and obstacles that come your way, is key to reaching your dreams and goals. Making the most of the life you have and taking advantage of the gifts you possess will be a guiding light in achieving your successes. If you’re grateful for what you have and for your support system, you’re that much closer to the successes you have dreamed up.

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