Leadership Commitment number eleven says that I create value in all things. So what does that mean to me? It means that every event in my life is an opportunity to learn about myself and my life. If I consistently look for the value in each moment I will carry an attitude of gratitude and wonder into every day.
The Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
I think that it is more than just a willingness to acknowledge benefits that we have received or will receive in our lifetime. I believe that it is a belief, a state of mind that acknowledges that everything past, present and future that has happened to us is meant to be for our benefit. There is a universal, divine order of things that has the power to transform every crisis into an opportunity.
If that is true, then, I can be grateful for everything that has and will happen in my life.
Where is your attention?
When I am feeling down and know that I am fixating on the difficulty or unfairness of my life, I have to check in with my focus and find a way to shift my mood. The question I ask myself is, ‘where is your attention?’
Is my attention on the difficulty of the situation? Is my attention on the possible negative outcome to my life? Is my attention on the unfairness of it? Is my attention on my inability to deal with it? Is my attention on others as the reason for it?
To create value I have to have my attention on the value. If my attention is on the value, then, I will focus on how I will learn and grow as a person when faced with adversity. As a matter of fact, I know that I am incapable of growing as a person without adversity.
A few months ago, Christine and I were talking about our mutual experience of losing our fathers in childhood. Christine was especially focusing on how much better her life would have been if her father had not passed away. As we were talking, she paused for a moment and said, imagine how I would have turned out if my father had lived. My challenge to her in that moment was to consider how she had turned out. She was a classic example of someone that made the choice to overcome the loss of both father and mother in childhood to become an independent, self sufficient, successful person. Yes, she had to grow up quickly and take control of her life at an early age, however, the adversity in her life is what formed her as the person she is today. In the time that I have known Christine, every time she is faced with a crisis, she immediately leaps into action and begins to create solutions to problems. She never wallows in the difficulty or the crisis; she focuses on what she can do to overcome the challenge.
Now, it is difficult to speculate on how Christine would have turned out if mom and dad would have been around to mold her as a person, and it would have been wonderful to have had the opportunity to find out, however, I am convinced that the adversity she faced and the difficult choices she had to make is what made her who she is today.
Christine is a classic example of a person who has learned to create value in all things. How about you? Are you one of those people?