Reflections on "Gratitude"
Gratitude is one of those ideas that is so talked about in the coaching and personal development space that it almost feels too cliché to discuss.
Like most clichés, it gets repeated so often because it is so important. But like many truisms we hear frequently, just because we hear it or say it, doesn't mean we practice it.
Thanksgiving is a day where some people actually try to step into gratitude and practice it - even if only for a moment.
What I tell people about gratitude is simple. In our day to day lives we can think about all the stuff we don't yet have and the pain it causes us, or we can think about the stuff we do have that we should be grateful for. Both things are true, but where you put your focus changes your day to day life immensely.
Think about all the decisions, coincidences, gifts from God or the universe that have shaped and blessed your life.
Maybe it is the fact that you were born in the West where you can brush your teeth without fear of dying from a disease in your water. Maybe it's the detour or night out you almost didn't take that led you to meet the person that changed your life.
You can focus on those things or you can focus on stuff that pisses you off. Your choice.
As cliché as it is, gratitude truly is the antidote to anger and sadness.
Action item: Go back into your memory and remember one of the most special moments in your life. It could be one of those coincidences, a night of passion and love, a landmark day, etc. Play this memory in your head like a movie and step into the memory like you are there again. Feel what you felt. See what you saw. Smell what you smelled. Spend a few minutes of your day back in that moment and take that feeling into the rest of your day.
Kanye and Kim Show us that Personal Development Can be Hard on your Relationships
I’m not a reality TV watcher, but somehow a recent argument between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got served to me by YouTube and I found it fascinating. Their famous argument is something that EVERYONE in a relationship is going to go through, so we can all learn from what is going on with this celebrity couple.
Here’s the often unspoken truth about personal development: When you grow as an individual, it’s going to put strain on your relationships - often to disastrous results.
For background’s sake, Kanye West is one of the most prolific rappers on Earth who has previously promoted all the trappings of rap music - derogatory language, objectification of women, self-worth derived from material things, and so on.
Recently and famously he has re-devoted his life to his Christian faith. He has sworn off creating negative content and music for “the culture” and is only going to make music that celebrates his love of Jesus Christ.
When an individual makes a dramatic turn like this, it is unavoidable that there will be conflict with those who have loved the old you. Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, expressed this beautifully in an argument over whether or not she should dress sexy for other men to see when she said “your transformation doesn’t mean I’m in the same spot with you.”
Does being on time really matter?
In the Western business world, being late is a grave sin. It can lose you jobs, lose you clients, and generally tank your career and even your personal relationships.
This perspective that dominates the Western world has many benefits. It makes the trains run on time. It’s respectful to whoever your next meeting is with. It makes coordinating schedules relatively easy. It’s great for people who live in worlds with deadlines.
People who love planners, organization, and order generally thrive in our culture - especially in business.
Some people take this so seriously, that people will fire people, not hire people, and destroy relationships with people over tardiness or missed meetings.
What’s interesting is that while we here in America think that’s just the way things are, there are cultures and individuals around the world that view time differently. Here, we might consider those people lazy or call them loafers, but we should just recognize it for what it is: a difference in how we experience the world.
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