Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Conscious Leaders Care about Gratitude

One of my best friends passed away in 2012 from a massive stroke. He was a great man. He was successful beyond imagination from the stand point of wealth, power and influence. Yet, deep down, he felt something was missing. He felt an existential lack.

One day, just weeks before he passed I said, "you need to boost your gratitude. You have everything in the world but you do not appreciate what you have. There is no rest. There is no satisfaction. You got to slow down and get back to what is true."  He said, “Gratitude, what’s that? What do you mean?” It was in that very moment that I realized that we can never assume anything about anyone. 

To answer the question my friend asked “what is gratitude?,” here are a few ways of looking at it. It’s a large subject like love.  Anything we say will be incomplete.

Gratitude is a feeling of immense blessing. It feels like…
  • Being lucky to be alive
  • Wanting to jump for joy because the day is as it is
  • Loving a million little things
  • Accepting what this moment brings
  • Being excited about walking
  • The way the wave breaks
  • The wet sand
  • The sun
  • The existence of planets
Note: I refer you to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Dover Thrift Editions)lest I foolishly try to replicate his masterpiece.

How can you boost your own gratitude? Here is a simple little trick we picked up somewhere a few years ago. Just write down a few things each day on a slip of paper--as if you were creating your own fortune cookie message--ball it up and toss it into a bucket. Then, from time to time, pull one out and read it. That’s it.
Picture of my gratitude bucket for 2015

How is your gratitude showing up these days? Do you tend to focus on what you don’t have to the exclusion of what you do have?