Feeling Gratitude from a Quick Change in Latitude

This year will certainly be a different Thanksgiving than one’s past. Many of us will find ourselves not surrounded by our typical Turkey sharing groups of family and friends but rather, experiencing the holiday in a different way – hopefully, for us, all of us, we can still kindle and create the same sentiments of gratitude and thankfulness that make this holiday so dear.

What a ride 2020 was. No one was expecting the huge waves that rocked our world, country, families, and friends this year. With all that occurred, it would be easy to allow negativity and an attitude of defeat to set in and take over. Fortunately, in our community, among our clients, and within our own team, I’ve been able to witness terrific energy and perseverance; business owners “pivoting” and altering business models and service delivery; doing right by their employees by propping them up; employees putting others and the business first to make sure clients were taken care of; all kinds of great things. It is exactly this type of attitude and effort that reminds oneself of all that we have and should be grateful for

People who know me, know I love water skiing. It’s more than a hobby, it’s a passion – it allows me to connect with others over a shared experience, capture precious time with my kids, stay connected to my brother Shawn, push and test myself, and be humbled all at the same time.
The last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to escape to Florida for a few days to partake in a guy’s ski trip to; chase buoys, laugh, eat well and buy tons of band-aids and icepacks for our blisters and aching joints. This year we had a few more hoops to jump through to make it happen… but like I said it’s a passion. This year is a little extra special as I’m taking my son and young padawan, Patrick for the first time. He’s done an awesome job of getting up early with the old guys to get out and get the best water while also pushing and challenging himself to get better (do or do not, there is no try). Definitely, something to appreciate. Recognizing this good fortune, being grateful for my circumstance – not only the ability to simply get away and share this experience with my son in a crazy and challenging year – but also all the pieces that have to fall into place to make a simple thing possible.

That said, when thinking about this, you can’t help but recognize the evolution that has gone on this year and realized that for most of us, this situation has pushed us to learn on the fly, and has given us a chance to hone in on what is most important. Now with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is the perfect time to reflect on the challenges, opportunities, relationships, and triumphs we have faced as business owners and individuals and find our gratitude for the new perspective and lessons this year has provided to us. During this holiday and every day, may we all be able to be present in the moment and attentive to the people around us.

As we keep moving forward into a new year, we must be forward-focused in our actions but not forget what 2020 has taught us to be thankful for.

A Few tips, tricks, and resources that I’ve found helpful to bring more gratitude into my life:

BookThanks a Thousand by AJ Jacobs – a quick little ditty about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected.

Attitude Adjustment – Say – “I get to”, not “I have to” (I love this one, just started it a week or so ago – ripped it right off an Instagram post!)

Instead of complaining – adopt an “I get to” mindset.

  • I get to go to work
  • I get to spend time with family
  • I get to work out, go for a run, lift weights, etc…
  • I get to be still and self-reflect

The thing you complain about doing, many never even get the chance to do.

Gratitude Morning Routine – success on the outside begins with success on the inside. By setting your thoughts, you set your motion. Try to take 5 minutes in the morning to jot down a few simple things – I do it in 3s – look it up“the power of 3”. On a 4×6 (or 3×5 if you have good handwriting) index card – I like the tangible aspect.

At the top write your 3 goals. They could be big grandiose goals, part of your 10-year target, part of your 1-year plan, goals for the day, week, month, quarter; goals for work, business, family, health, and/or wealth – personal or professional – doesn’t matter – it just matters that you are passionate about them. I like to stick with the same ones for a while. I go with 1 big,
overriding goal, and 1 each for personal and professional. The 1 overriding goal generally for a full year, maybe more, but at least a quarter; the “smaller” personal and professional goals may hang out for a while but be switched around a bit. By rewriting them everyday you can’t help but work towards them. The goal portion shouldn’t take very long. It’s basically a rewrite of your previous goal-setting session(s) (which would take time) so this part is nothing more than regurgitation!

In addition to the goals, on the front of the index card (the front has the lines) I put down:

  •  3 things I’m grateful for – can be people, places, acts, results, etc. Can be big or small, personal or professional – doesn’t matter – you’re just after the action of recognition –recognize that there is so much to be grateful for.
  •  3 things I could improve upon – again, the slate is clear! This can be personal or professional– this is an action of personal-reflection, improving your inner world so you can improve
    your outer-world.
  • 3 items/tasks that if I get done today I’ll be successful. Maybe they are the frogs you need to eat, maybe they are items that drive you to your goal, maybe it’s personal time. All are good items because they are yours – don’t let them be somebody else’s. That’s pretty much it… I use the back for notes, quick reminders, call this person, send that
    email, train the team on XYZ, wife’s birthday, kids’ game at 3:30 don’t be late!