Your Gratitude Elevates Your Altitude

While 2020 has been a year for the record books, it has also provided many opportunities to learn new and creative ways of leading, growing a business, and staying connected. It has helped me re-prioritize and take stock of all the reasons I have to be grateful. And has helped me notice how practicing gratitude daily has been instrumental to my success both personally and professionally, and I’d like to share how it can help you as well.

I’ve always admired the American culture as a land of opportunities but never quite accepted the notion of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” While I appreciate the idea of making your success, I also believe that success results from a village of people that helped birth, nurture, raise, and shape each individual. We are a mixture of both nature and nurture, and our unique families, mentors, success, and failures have helped turn us into the people we are today.

As I’m of Chinese descent, my culture believes that of all the things that happen, 90% of them are issues and problems that need to be fixed. 

人生不如意事 十常八九  

Meaning if we were to focus on daily occurrences and stay in that space, we’re going to end up miserable as we’re consistently focusing on negativity. Instead, I decided at a young age to focus on the 10% of things I was thankful for, being at peace and practicing gratitude for all the gifts in my life.

As I adopted a gratitude mindset, I noticed I had more than 10% of my life to be thankful. The other 90% of daily occurrences are gifts wrapped in the form of an issue, obstacle, or challenge. Rather than perceiving the gift by its wrapping, or as one might say, “judging a book by its cover,” I have learned to quickly acknowledge and understand the gift inside, as I know it comes from a place of care and concern.  

An upset customer could choose to leave your business unhappy or to communicate their concerns to you. Which is easier for the customer? Commonly it’s to leave quietly and never return. Anytime you’re presented with critical feedback about yourself or your business, accept and appreciate it for the gift it is. Now, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting. Some may be more skilled at delivering constructive feedback than others. Still, always remind yourself of the gift inside, no matter how it was wrapped; the fact they brought the challenge to your attention means they want you to succeed and provide you with an opportunity to better your business. You must remind yourself of their good intentions as they bring these concerns to you. 

Let’s look at how adopting an attitude of gratitude can change your life personally and professionally.

  • It helps you build trust and strengthen relationships.
  • De-escalates situations 
  • Leads to more thoughtful conversations
  • It helps you focus on what’s truly important.
  • Turns challenges into opportunities
  • Provides a buffer between your initial understanding and your reaction 
  • It helps you be more likable; let’s face it, all things equal, people do business with others they know, like, and trust.

There are numerous books, philosophies, and practices you can follow to live a more grateful life and adopt a gratitude mindset. Here are a few of the small changes I’ve adopted that have helped me over the years.

  • Give yourself grace
  • Be present
  • Assume good intent in others
  • Pause before reacting
  • Practice gratitude daily for your life’s blessings

I challenge you to thank someone every day this week to encourage your gratitude mindset journey.  

When you thank people, be specific about their actions, how they have helped you in a situation, or how they have inspired or motivated you to take action and become who you are. Gratitude with specifics has a lot of power in building strong relationships.

And send me a note. I want to know how this experience transformed you!


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