“Your attitude determines your altitude.” I first heard those words from John Maxwell back in the mid 80s. I’ve reflected on them many times since.
Today, as we approach Thanksgiving, I’d like to offer a corollary statement.
“Your gratitude determines your attitude.”
Thus, by extension, our level of gratitude has an impact on the altitude we can rise to as leaders.
I’ve always struggled with discouragement. When I feel discouraged, it’s easy to see the glass “half empty” vs. “half full.”
This undermines my passion and motivation. I start feeling insignificant, and that I don’t really matter. Not a good state of mind for any leader.
Several years back, I read an article about the importance of intentionally maintaining a grateful mindset. The author suggested that we make a habit of writing down things we’re thankful for.
My initial reaction: “Oh yeah, I did that once. Of course I have things I’m thankful for.”
Sort of like telling your spouse that you loved them 20 years ago and wondering why they need to hear it again.
The next time discouragement hit, I (reluctantly) decided to give it a try. Since then, I’ve actually made it a regular part of my morning coffee and reflection time.
The results were not immediate. Over time, however, I started noticing a positive difference in my attitude. Today this is a regular part of my thinking process. I think of it like this:
Always. Be. Grateful.
This week ushers in the 2022 holiday season. For some, it is a rich time of memories, traditions, and get togethers. For others, however, it can be a time of loneliness, regret, loss or pain.
No matter what your situation is this year, I’d encourage you to consider giving this little exercise a try. Better yet, make it a habit.
Start small. Try to list 2 or 3 things to start. Over time, it will become easier.
I’ll start us off… first, I’m thankful for many of you on this list who have been friends over the years. You’ve each enriched my life in some way. Thank you.
Second, I’m thankful for sunsets over the water.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
A. B. G.