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The Gift of Gratitude

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The Gift of Gratitude

At this time of the year, I am reminded of how grateful I am for what I have and even for just simply being alive.

There are three significant anniversaries that occur during September that inspire this self-reflection within me:

  • The first event is the celebration of mine and my wife’s wedding anniversary. This is something I am truly grateful for.
  • The second is that September is also the time of year that I was in a terrible car accident. This incident took the life of the person who caused the accident, and it put me onto life support for three weeks and into a situation where I had to learn to walk again. This experience gave me much to reflect upon.
  • The third event is the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11th. This sparks personal reflection as at that time my employer, a co-worker and I were all supposed to be in the World Trade Centre when the attacks occurred. Instead, on our way there we were informed we were going to Boston for a few days prior to going to attending an event at the World Trade Centre. My wife to be and my family and friends all thought we were in the towers when the planes hit and when the towers collapsed. This has helped me remember to not take both my life and others for granted.

These three things remind me of how grateful I am to be alive, that I have friends and family that love me, that I do not have to worry about food or shelter, and that I currently live in a part of the world that is safe from war.

These experiences amongst others have taught me much about the power of gratitude. In fact, when I wrote my book, it sat unfinished for a number of months before I realised that what was missing was a chapter on gratitude.

I would like to share a few of the things I have learned about gratitude with you.

The Four A’s of gratitude:

Acceptance.

For me, gratitude starts with accepting that the circumstances are what they are in this moment. Through the act of accepting the situation that I am in, I am able to tap into my personal power. I can start to ground myself in the present moment where my power truly lies.

Appreciation.

The next part of gratitude is learning to appreciate what it is that I have accepted. With this process, I start to find a pathway to being grateful for the experiences I have had, including ones I have considered to be horrible. This assists me with learning to share and express my emotions more fully.

Acknowledgement.

Acknowledging is the act of opening up and reaching out to others to let them know that I have accepted what has happened and that I am in appreciation of it as well. Acknowledgement takes what I am experiencing internally and makes it external, thus becoming an action that can be observed.

As gratitude is not a solitary thing, I feel that it is the act of acknowledgement that sets it truly into action assisting us with having better connections with others.

Abundance.

You may be wondering what abundance has to do with being grateful; when I stop and reflect I can discern abundance surrounding me in my life. As there is an abundance of beauty, emotions, and opportunities that I have to experience and learn from that also means there is an abundance of things for me to be grateful for.

Being grateful is great so give it a go.

When I am grateful for something, this makes me feel larger than life and more connected to others. Also, when I am the recipient of gratitude, this can feel awesome as well as making me feel loved and appreciated. Gratitude can be humbling, not in a shameful way, but in a way that connects us to our hearts and the goodness we can all feel in our lives.

So give it a go and practice some gratitude in your life and business, it does pay!

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