Why Gratitude Matters

Why Gratitude Matters

“Give yourself time to worry.”

This was the advice that I was given this week by someone whose word I take as gospel. 

“Time to worry, really?,” I asked myself as I contemplated my choice of mentor. It seemed so counterintuitive. I’ve been told my whole life not to worry, because worrying is bad and pointless and never leads to anything good. But yet, here I was being told to schedule time out of my day to worry. 

“Okay,” I hesitantly responded to the seemingly mad advice, “I’ll try to worry more.” As I fidgeted in the chair, trying desperately to figure out the solution to my momentary crisis of faith came the lightbulb moment. 

“But I hate worrying,” I started to ramble, “Worrying leads to nothing good. It’s ridiculous, almost obnoxious even. As I worry, I get irritated with myself because I see how good I have it, therefore, why should I be worrying in the first place?”

A small, knowing grin emerges from my mentor’s mouth as she chews on the pen cap while she watched me stew over the irony that was materializing in  my mind. 

“I have it so good,” I continue, “Like there’s so much that I should be being grateful for instead of worrying.”

Bingo. There it was. See, this woman knows me well, almost too well. She knows how my mind works–how it gets from Point A to B. If she let me debate worry for a while, she knew I’d come back to gratitude–I always do. Gratitude is the saving grace of my life. 

If comparison is the thief of all joy, then gratitude must be the giver of all joy. It’s science, gratefulness is the deciding factor of what makes joyful people,well…joyful. (Seriously, Harvard did a study on it to drive this point home.)

We as a people have to practice gratitude more. It has to be the narrative consistently rehearsed over and over–during the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have to call out the things that are worth celebrating, no matter how big or small. Those tiny moments of insignificant good add up, and those are the moments that we should be screaming from the rooftops. That version of the story will change your entire life. 

So if you’re anything like me–stubborn, think you’re always right, slow learner–worry your way to gratitude. But if you’re smarter than me, just start with gratitude. May we all try a little harder to attain this quaint, light-filled spirit–it’s absolutely worth it. 

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The Power of Showing Up

The Power of Showing Up

There is power in showing up. I am a survivor of several chronic illnesses, and with that comes days that I just don’t feel good. I’ve spent over a year dealing with the ramifications of being incredibly sick (and still continue to deal with it), but I always showed up–regardless of how I felt and regardless if I wanted to. It made me a conqueror, and people noticed. 

Whether or not you want others to watch and judge you, they do. They take into account what you do when things don’t go your way. They see what you do in the face of trials. And it matters more than you think it does.

I have amazing people in my corner, and those people would probably show up for me regardless of my actions. But let me tell you, when I continued to show up, it got attention. It got respect. It got me into places I probably wouldn’t have gotten into. My persistence got me opportunities that I couldn’t have dreamed of, including writing this to all of you. 

When you choose to show up, it definitely magnetizes what shows up for you. Showing up gets you to the plate where you can swing at what life throws at you. You will never get the option of hitting a home run if you stay in the dugout. I’m sure there were days that Babe Ruth didn’t want to step up to the plate, but if he had let his feelings or circumstances dictate his actions, he probably wouldn’t have hit 714 homers during his career. 

The same goes for you and me. Listen, I had no idea what the power of my showing up all those months would do for me. It was grueling and hard. But all the gruel and all that hard brought me into something amazing. I look at my life now and I couldn’t imagine it. So show up–on good days AND bad days. Persevere. Step up to the plate again and again. You never know where it might lead to.

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Intern Insights: Join Rachael every week as she journeys into the world of communications and marketing.

 





Room to Grow

Room to Grow

“I can do all the things, hard and easy, but still all the things” was once my personal mantra. It didn’t matter if that specific thing brought me hardship later. As long as I was taking the stuff in the trenches, and still surviving through, meant perseverance, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. A wise mentor in my life told me that just because I can do something, it doesn’t mean that I have to do something. I was right, I can do all the hard things, but it doesn’t mean that I had to. I don’t have to put myself into situations that I really don’t need to be in, even if I am strong enough to take it. 

To take this personal lesson to the professional world, just because I can do every task assigned to me right then and right there, it doesn’t mean I have to. There’s a huge difference between being a team player and being a dust rag. I am a person with value and a person with gifts and talents to bring to the table, and I get to celebrate that, even from the bottom of the professional totem pole. I should be able to grow my existing talents and learn new skills, and that means that I must be given room to grow. A place to share what I have to offer to the world. A safe environment to screw up and try again. I am more than a dust rag cleaning other people’s messes. I am a person too, and just because I can do all the hard things, doesn’t mean that I have to. 

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