gratitude

Remembering Where You Came From

Remembering Where You Came From 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Richard Bach said, “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”

I think once we all grow up and start to take ourselves too seriously, we forget where we came from and the journey that got us to the place we’re at. In some aspects, our backgrounds truly shape our motivation and drive.

When I was younger, my parents pushed me and wanted me to reach my full potential. They knew that I could be great someday. Without that initial push, I’m almost certain that I wouldn’t push myself today. I can still hear my mother in the back of my mind asking, “Was that your best? Don’t you think you can do better?” I ask myself the same things whenever I’m working on a project or task.

I’m thankful for the friends I grew up with. Even in elementary and middle school we all would challenge each other. If my friends got a good grade on an assignment, I knew that I could get that good grade too. Our friendly competition helped us all grow into professional young adults that sought out that same competition in college. There, I met some of my best friends and fostered lifetime relationships.

During my time in college, I also met some of my most valuable mentors, especially the professors who would sit down with me, tell the truth and genuinely wanted me to be successful. I remember one professor in particular who I just knew was out to get me. She didn’t like any of my papers. I didn’t want to hear it. I just wanted to take the course for the semester, get my credit and graduate. It wasn’t until much later in the semester that I realized why she pushed me so hard. She believed in me. She knew my potential and wanted to make sure I worked toward it. If we have someone who tells us how great we are and simply agrees with us all the time, there’s no room for improvement and as they say, “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” The humbling experience helped me become a well-rounded person as I learned to accept and learn from criticism.

I have nothing but appreciation for the people who have led me to where I am today. For my parents who pushed me, friends who challenged me and professors who believed in me, I thank you; life wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Let Humility Reside

Let Humility Reside 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Being humble is not always an easy task. It is natural to discuss what is going on in our lives, our businesses, our progressions and our accomplishments. It also seems innate to speak of the things that go wrong and to complain when things aren’t going exactly the way we wish.

For this reason, and many others, it is important to let humility to reside within us. I’ll speak specifically from a business perspective – when times are tough, it’s easy to gripe; when times are great, it’s easy to boast. That being said, in tough times, the best thing to do is press on and persevere. Take responsibility for what needs to be done, and do it. Work hard, do everything you can to improve and help others around you grow. Find the elements of the business you can change and develop creative ways to change them. You CAN make things happen, so put on a perseverant face and forge ahead. Don’t blame others, and don’t spend time finding faults. Take action, work hard and push through the tough times.

When things are going swimmingly with your business, it’s easy to want to shout it from the rooftops. And we all love to share good news! I am not suggesting that we should not showcase accomplishments, but it is important to remember to keep a humble mentality. Remember that you are where you are because of the people around you, the sacrifices that have been made for you, the parents or grandparents who have raised you – the reasons are truly endless.

Use the good times to take note of what went right and what you can continue to do to make the path ahead even greater. But rather than spending your time boasting about your accomplishments, instead spend it thanking those who helped you to achieve – your staff, your spouse, your friends, your customers. In your accomplishments, be happy and celebrate, but also be grateful, show your thanks and use your successes to make you work that much harder.

Two Simple Words

Two Simple Words 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Thank you.

These two words are so simple, yet incredibly underused. One of the most important things that any one person can do is say, “thank you,” and recognize the efforts of others.

Here are some ways that you can make the extra effort to say thank you:

  • Pick up the phone and thank someone. This may seem like a novel concept in this day in age. Take time to thank them for their business, their friendship, their support – make it meaningful and don’t expect or ask for anything in return.
  • Thank someone for doing the little things.  It may inspire them to do something even bigger. 
  • Thank someone with food. I always love a thank you basket of food & good eats. I love giving them, too. I associate tasty treats with happiness – so I think good things about a person who shares food, whether it is baked goods, candy or a loaf of bread. Find out what their favorite type of food is and attach message telling them why it is being given to them.
  • Inquire the best way to say thanks. Talk to your clients, peers, spouses, siblings or anyone else you may want to share your thanks with. Find out what they like and what makes them smile. Make a list of these things so you can always revisit it.  Then, when you have the opportunity to show your appreciation, use the things on your list to give a “thanks” that is specifically tailored.

Gratitude in the form of the words, “thank you,” is not just a small act of acknowledgment; it is a gift in and of itself.

So in the spirit of appreciation, THANK YOU for taking the time to read these words. Use these words today – regardless of what the thanks is for, express your gratitude. You never know whose day you could be making brighter.

As Gordon Hinckley says, “Gratitude creates the most wonderful feeling. It can resolve disputes. It can strengthen friendships. And it makes us better men and women.”

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