Leading with Gratitude
Updated: Apr 22
I believe gratitude is a mindset and a belief based on the fact that each moment is a gift.
To understand this perspective, we must first understand the meaning of a gift.
A gift is something we consider of value and which is given to us for free, for nothing in return.
Now, the greatest gift we can ever receive is the gift of time.
Time is made of countless moments that make up our lives. It is through these moments that we receive the gift of opportunity to create impact within our lives and the lives of others.
There are two sides to the gift of opportunity.
You have positive and negative experiences.
Positive experiences are those which make us excited and happy. Such as a sunny day for a family outing, news of a potential career advancement, or reconnection with a dear friend.
Negative experiences are those that can be challenging and painful . Such as car trouble disrupting your plans, being fired from your only job, or problems within the family.
It’s easy to see the benefit within positive experiences.
It’s the negative experiences that disrupt our perspective of how lucky we are to have these daily gifts.
For me, I do my best to see the light in the darkness and the good in the bad.
Even the negative experiences as painful and challenging as they may be are our greatest teachers and often deliver the lessons we need the most.
Take being fired from your job for example. As devastating as this can be (especially with financial responsibilities pouring down), maybe this frees up room in your life for a place that truly embraces your skills or even motivates you to start your own venture you have been planning for years.
You see when we lead with gratitude, you allow yourself to be open to receive this daily gift and it’s overflowing opportunities.
When we lead with gratitude, it gives us the strength and tranquility to face hardship in a more positive and constructive way.
This is not to say we should be happy about misfortune or submissive to exploitation, instead we can use gratitude as our armor and our guide.
When you are grateful for each moment (negative or positive) you grow an appreciation for the lessons and take advantage of the opportunities within them.
Here's a three step guide to help you practice leading with gratitude:
Stop : Put on the brakes to life and slow down the mind. We are often too busy focusing on the next thing without paying attention to the moment we are in currently. Stop, take a breath, and be present in the moment.
Look : Once you stop the hamster wheel from spinning you allow the dust to settle and finally have clarity. To see and become aware of this moment in your life. Awareness has the power to shine light on all the possibilities in front of you.
Go : As your mind clears, it's time to enjoy the moment in front of you or to take advantage of the opportunity that may be presented. Here is the crucial point of receiving and moving forward.
Watch this TED talk by David Steindl-Rast , a monk and interfaith scholar, who inspired this article on gratitude.