Good morning Elevate! Welcome to your Wednesday. And it’s particularly special to welcome back so many of our Alumni. And Amy, a big thank you to you — I saw the outreach again on LinkedIn. You’re unstoppable. I know I speak for everyone when I say we’re all grateful for you. Thanks for running this ship. And for always putting your leadership, creativity, and heart into these meetings.

Speaking of thank you’s, the Thanksgiving holiday is just about a week away. So I thought today would be the perfect time to speak about a source of power that’s all around us, always available, and a valuable resource in our lives, our relationships, and of course, our businesses.… and that’s Gratitude, with a capital G!

Our lives are so full, and we move at such a fast pace — especially during the holiday season — that it’s easy to forget. So here’s a reminder.

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 we will, maybe we won’t. But in a moment when we experience 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 merely our perspective — and that’s 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 we want and then being happy about it if they do. That’s way too passive. Gratitude is a *choice*. And something we can practice. We will always have gaps and missing pieces. It’s part of the imperfection of the human experience. But when we’re aware of — and focus on — all that we do have, the distance we’ve travelled, and that which we’ve created, our experience shifts to that of the positive.

So you can also think of gratitude as a kind of disinfectant against depression, frustration, resentment, and anger. If we swab this powerful cleansing agent into the petri dish of our lives, those less desirable elements simply cannot grow.

Show me a person feeling gratitude and I’ll show you a person who is calm, happy, and satisfied.

Regarding our businesses, gratitude is fuel. It’s all well and good to be hungry of course. And motivated. But being grateful will absolutely set you up for success. It can ground us. It can yield confidence, balance and positivity.

Think about how you’d show up in your relationships, and all of your 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 our well being, our state of mind, and our ability to make a positive difference for our clients and the people around us. And to be fair, I guess we’re really all in service based businesses, aren’t we?

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 will follow. And that can support 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 an abundantly full cup.

We cannot control other people or all of the circumstances that get handed to us in this life. But we can control our effort, attitude, and perspective.

So let’s focus on “the water” — let’s look for it in each other’s glasses. And let’s find it in our own. And when we’re present to it, let’s even share and pour some extra into both our individual vessels and the collective container that is Elevate.

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.

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