As we enter the holiday season and Thanksgiving week, I would like to revisit one of my favorite topics: Gratitude.
When I first started writing about gratitude, I assumed that it was something that would make you or anybody appreciate life. That observation is valid and important. However, the more I think about it, the more I recognize and appreciate that it is actually a success principle. It is not just something that is warm and fuzzy.
What limits many people from accomplishing their goals and their dreams are excuses. These excuses can range from “I’m not good enough” to “I don’t have the right resources” to “I don’t know where to begin.” This list can be endless. I have more excuses in my back pocket that I can use. However, I can tell myself and the world that because of my disability, my many challenges, my speech impediment, the misconceptions of others, the challenges of life even without a disability, and the list can go on and on. There is great truth in these thoughts and there is great truth in your thoughts and your trepidation about going after an amazing life.
However, there is another side to this narrative. The resources and the blessings in your life to go after an amazing life need to be celebrated, respected, and, ultimately, exploited. This is where gratitude comes in as a success principle.
In my 20s and 30s, I used to get very anxious and frustrated at my disability. I would think about how much easier it would be if I did not have a disability. Or, I would think about how others without a disability could do more than me. This included hopping in the car, driving around town, hustling, or how just everything, in general, would be easier. After all, who does not wish that life would be just a little easier.
Now, in my 40s, I recognize the blessings in my life that I can use on my path to amazing success. I grew up with amazing parents, who did everything in their power to give me and my sister a good life. Their wisdom included hard work, love and commitment. Growing up, my parents never acted as victims or they never said that life was not fair. In fact, that statement was banned from the Vasseghi household. They demonstrated almost every day that you need to work. This was not a conversation. This was just how life was lived. As a professional and someone who wants to live an amazing life, this narrative ultimately wins over the pesky disability that I have.
In order to achieve amazing success, you must commit to the resources that you can. The first step in that journey is understanding what those are and how you can use them on your journey.
As mentioned, I am grateful for the narrative that my parents ingrained in me. I came of age in the 1980s and 1990s. During that time, children with disabilities were just being mainstreamed and I greatly benefitted. My business is based on fairly new technology, which I can exploit. Because I have a good narrative, I am able to inspire people. I am blessed to build a team with amazing people. The list can go on. If I did not recognize and be grateful for all these blessings, then amazing success would be out of my reach.
Gratitude is not just a feel-good activity. It is a strategy for success. There are challenges with gratitude. If you expect that the world is going to open up to you just because you are grateful and you don’t think that it’s necessary to put in the work, then it will be negative. Just because I have the ability to inspire and my message resonates with audiences, does not mean that I am above the work that needs to be done.
When we want more out of life, we are excited to move forward. When people hit a challenge or two, they retreat. This is where gratitude comes in. Gratitude is the activity along with hard work that will help you push through that resistance.