It’s great to see all of you. And it’s particularly special to welcome back so many of our Alumni. And a big thank you to Amy — I saw the outreach again on Facebook. You’re unstoppable. I know I speak for everyone when I say we’re grateful. Thanks for always putting your heart, leadership, and creativity into these meetings.

Speaking of thank you’s, and being grateful, the Thanksgiving holiday is just about a week away. So I thought today would be the perfect time to speak about giving thanks and gratitude. And it’s value in our lives, our relationships, and of course, our businesses.

I believe it can provide access to a source of power that’s all around us and always available.

Consider that in a moment when life is going well, and we’re feeling good, it’s possible that we will feel grateful for it. Maybe so, maybe not. But in a moment when we feel gratitude, feeling that life is good is a definite. In other words, happiness *might* lead to gratitude, but gratitude is *certain* to lead to happiness.

We all have our proverbial glasses. And they all contain both water and air. The question of half full or half empty is completely up to us, and how we decide to view them. Do we focus on the air — what we want and don’t have, what our neighbor has and we feel incomplete without? Or do we appreciate the water — the gifts life has given us, the people, the love, our health and success?

Gratitude is not just about feeling lucky that good things have occurred. And it’s not about hoping that things go the way you want and then being happy about it if they do. That’s way too passive. Gratitude is a *choice*. We will always have gaps and missing pieces. It’s part of the imperfection of the human experience. But when we’re aware of all that we do have, the distance we’ve travelled, that which we’ve created, our experience shifts to that of the positive.

It is of course possible to lose this appreciation. Remaining in an expansive mindset can be challenging, and it takes effort. But just as two pieces of physical matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time, two emotional states cannot occupy the same heart and mind.

We cannot feel grateful and also depressed, or frustrated, or angry, at the same time. Show me a person feeling gratitude and I’ll show you a person who is happy and satisfied.

Regarding our businesses, gratitude is fuel, and being grateful will set you up for success. Think about how you’d show up in the relationships and meetings with your clients and potential clients if you were whole, complete, happy and positively charged, reliably and consistently. The same is true for interactions with colleagues, bosses, partners, employees and vendors.

This is particularly important for those in service based businesses. Being grateful can support your well being, your state of mind, and your ability to make a positive difference for the people around you.

No matter how big or small our possessions are, if our life and health are among them, if we feel safe and provided for, positive feelings follow. And that often leads to a willingness — and a desire — to share and give.

Consider how much easier it is to practice “giver’s gain” when your experience is that of a full cup.

So let’s choose to focus on “the water” — let’s look for it in each other’s glasses. And let’s find it in our own.

Hopefully I speak for all of us when I say that I’m grateful to be together this morning in the spirit of growth and community.

Here’s wishing you a warm, safe and auspicious start to the holiday season.

I’m grateful for many things, including you.

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