David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Back in March, I wrote a couple of posts referring to influence as a superpower. My posts were based on a great book I read by Dr. Zoe Chance. Today I would like to share with you another superpower that I read about described this way: “It makes magic, changes lives, and inspires kindness and love.” The great news is that all of us have it. For some of us, it comes a bit more naturally, and others need to cultivate it a bit more, but we all have access to this amazing superpower within us. That superpower is Gratitude.
Yes, I am sharing this mainly because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but I have found myself cultivating the superpower more in the last couple of weeks. I have been fighting a cough and cold for almost a month. Two weeks ago, it became an ear infection, and now I am starting a second antibiotic to try to rid myself of this annoying plague.
The other morning, I was making my coffee and realized how amazing it tasted. The sun had not yet started rising over the hill behind our house, my family was still asleep, and my coffee was amazing. At that moment, I realized something that I needed to be grateful for, my cup of Caffe Verona. I looked into the living room, and the wood stove revealed the gentle glow of a fire that kept burning all night. Amazing coffee and a fire that was still burning were a great start to a day. My superpower was kicking in.
Last Wednesday, I woke up with my ear humming and completely closed. It is so frustrating to try and teach a class or hold a coaching session when you feel like you are 20 feet underwater each time you speak. At the suggestion of a dear friend, I called my ENT doctor to see when they might be able to see me. To my surprise, within 45 minutes, I was seen by the doctor and left the parking garage. I was in and out so quickly that I didn’t need to pay for parking. Yes, I still had the ear infection, but I was able to be seen by the doctor and was on my way to pick up a new prescription. Boom, engage the superpower! What I love about my newfound superpower is that it works best when things aren’t going as well as we would choose.
A quick search on the benefits of gratitude revealed the following list (you know how I love my lists):
- Improves self-esteem.
- Improves energy and health.
- Makes us happier and more optimistic.
- Increases resilience and helps us deal with adversity better.
- Increases generosity and forgiving.
- Keeps us in the present moment.
- Increases happiness.
- Lowers stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong; there are times in my day when I start feeling sorry for myself. It’s in those moments when I need to remind myself of my superpower. Yes, I have trouble hearing, and sometimes my ear hurts, but I don’t have bronchitis or pneumonia. My coffee still tastes amazing, and the wood stove is still warm on a cold November morning.
The vast majority of us have so much to be grateful for. Let’s focus on our blessings, pray for those less fortunate, and see how we can help them. It’s my prayer that each and every one of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving that is filled with gratitude.