Daily Leadership Thought #125 – Why You Should Be Grateful

April 25, 2011

Grateful - vs - Thankful - One Road at a Time

Start every day being grateful for your many blessings and opportunities.

We get to decide what we focus on in life.  The glass can be “half empty” or “half-full.” It all comes down to your perspective.  Sadly, many of us end up obsessing over what we do not have or how we are falling short rather than counting our multiple blessings.  Moreover, without question, there is always something for which to be grateful.  Even in the depths of great personal difficulty or professional challenge, there is always something to hold on to if you are honest with yourself and appreciative of your circumstances.

We all have people who care about us.  It is a rare person who goes through life and doesn’t pick up some positive relationships along the way.  The number and intensity of these relationships may vary with time and by person, but they exist, nonetheless.  Make sure you stay connected to others who make you feel good about yourself and hopeful about life.

Reciprocate their efforts and don’t let distance or pettiness spoil the connection.  When and if close relationships end, accept this reality and seek out new connections.  The world is full of good people.  Friendship is a real gift in this world and should be sought, cultivated, and cherished.

We live in relative health, comfort, and privilege in comparison to our ancestors.  This doesn’t mean that life is without its challenges, but the obstacles we face pale in comparison to what previous generations had to deal with.  In fact, the problem is that we just have more time to ponder our own happiness. Think about how much easier it is to go to college, travel, live where we want, change jobs, entertain ourselves, access information, stay connected with other people, buy what you need, and deal with complex health issues.   Some aspects of life may have been simpler for our grandparents, but it is highly doubtful their lives were easier or better as a whole.

I make it a point to try to count my blessing every day.  It never ceases to amaze me how long the list can be when I put only minimal effort into it.  I can also produce a laundry list of complaints, but what good ever comes from that?  Self-pity is an unattractive and useless character trait.  Adversity may be inevitable in life, but so is love, happiness, friendship, and good fortune.

The world does not conspire against you or anyone else.  We all have much to be grateful for if only we open our eyes, minds, and hearts to acknowledge the blessings around us.