As we approach Thanksgiving, I am going to take a closer look at gratitude. When people talk about gratitude, they do it as a method of feeling better about their lives. Factors that prevent us from achieving our goals are the lack of connections, resources, or anything that we feel that gets in the way.
One of the exercises that we need to do when we are going after our goals is focusing on the resources that we have at our disposal while simultaneously navigating our challenges or what gets in the way of success. For most, the latter is stronger than the former. This is where gratitude comes in as a tool for success, not just as a temporary feel-good gimmick.
When I was in my 20s, I was obsessed with the fact that my disability got in the way of my goals and my dreams. Although I was accomplishing my goals, I thought that my disability made everything more challenging and more cumbersome. To tell you the truth, it did. It still does. However, now I realize that was only part of my story.
I grew up with amazing love and support. My parents are amazing. I also grew up in a pocket of Los Angeles, where the school district was amazing, and, even though I was the district’s first student to use a wheelchair, I received amazing attention. I was rarely teased. In addition to that, many of my family members, including my dad, were entrepreneurs. I’m also naturally positive and I have this true love of life. My personality is naturally curious and naturally wants to connect to other human beings. I was always outgoing and I have never met a stranger.
When I started my professional career, I was frustrated because I could not perform activities that able-bodied people could do. Even things as simple as typing fast, pounding phones, or running errands was not in my wheelhouse. This led me to writing and speaking. Eventually, this led me to inspire people all over the world. As the internet and information exploded about a decade ago, this path became more feasible and I love it.
We hear messages everyday about how opportunities have moved away from average people. However, opportunities have changed and evolved. The path might be more challenging to figure out, but it is still there. If you are connected to the internet, you have the opportunity to learn anything you want. Thank you, Google. Thank you, YouTube. You can learn how to start a business, cook anything you want, and even perform surgery. I don’t recommend performing a surgery based on YouTube videos.
It would be easy for me to focus on everything that I could not do- my speech impediment, everything my body prevents me from doing, and all these pesky things.
This holiday, I’m blessed because I’m able to travel, raise kids, have a good marriage, work from my home, have an international team, be spiritually fulfilled, and have a little bit of blessings. It doesn’t hurt that my sports teams are doing well too.
It is important to practice gratitude on the road to amazing success. How we manage and cultivate our connections and resources has a large bearing on whether we will achieve our goals or not.