I picked up the phone and my wife’s quivering voice on the other end said, “Jeff, the results of Grace’s test came back and the doctor just called and said I need to quickly take Grace to Children’s Hospital and pack a bag – they are waiting for us.” If you have ever had one of those calls then gratitude is not the first topic which comes to mind. Gratefully, cancer was not the final diagnosis but rather a nasty infection with a tedious operation and a 2 week recovery Grace returned home in full health. Living in the unknown for 2 weeks changed me forever. I became acutely aware of my gratitude for amazing doctors, friends and family. The further we move away from life changing events the more difficult it becomes not to be desensitized to our deeper gratitude’s of life.
Here are 5 significant perspectives on the acute awareness of gratitude:
- HOPE KILLS:Too much focus on a potential future event can blindly disconnect you to those around us. Living in the future creates hope but often we lose the appreciation for the people and circumstances in the daily journey.
- PAST KILLER: I’m a big believer of knowing your own story, however, our inability as Elsa in Frozen reminds us to, “Let it go.” Yes, I have two amazing daughters and I’m teaching them daily to “let it go”…ok maybe they are teaching me. As Grace told me with her notorious eye-rolls. “Dad, we know, we know, the Steelers stole a Super Bowl, enjoy the one you have.” – Go Hawks!
- EXPECTATION KILLER:Probably the greatest killer of gratitude is high expectations. When people with high expectations achieve their goals, the goal was expected, therefore never fully appreciated.
- PRIDE KILLER:Humility breeds gratitude, embrace it. Pride and gratitude rarely co-exist.
- UN-GRATITUDE KILLER: SEE video for a clear definition. When we come to realize all of our un-gratitude it becomes an untapped endless emotional resource.
In the first company I started my self-inflected high hopes, high expectations and pride all combined to become a silent 800 pound emotional gorilla which quickly killed my passion, vision and soon after played a major role in killing the company. Identification of these 5 silent killers of gratitude is the first step in embracing gratitude as a way of life.
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