Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man – yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So, for the hairsbreadth of time assigned to thee, live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.” Marcus Aurelius

Friends, this week I would like to talk about gratitude.  Gratitude is not just saying Thank You. It is being grateful, believing each day is a gift and opportunity to be your best.  To help others, to lift up and not put down, to engage in each activity as though it could be your last.  To be inspired by the possible, not seeing life as an impossible mountain to climb.  Believe in your ability to overcome your fears to reach your dreams.    

Gratitude comes from within. It is a choice to be thankful for what you have or do not have.  You can choose to appreciate the things or opportunities you have been given and that which you have earned through hard work, or you can grow envious of not having or being somewhere you think you “should” be, and feel entitled to have it.  If you choose not to be grateful, you expect things, you expect mom and dad to give you things, to make it easier, you expect your teachers, peers, coaches to give you what you want, to give answers to questions or problems that need to be solved on your own.  When feeling entitled becomes a habit, life can become hard!  You may find that you will have fewer people around to help you reach your dream!  When you choose to live life with gratitude you will see more opportunities to help people. You will also find that more people will be willing to help you in return!  Your support system will grow, you will feel less stress, your capacity to overcome adversity will be greater, and your life will be better!  When you are ungrateful life is more difficult.  Overcoming adversity becomes frustrating and dreams tend to go unfulfilled. If you want to reach your goals and dreams, make it a habit of living life with gratitude. 

Be grateful for all the opportunities you have received; we learn from them all.  Wherever you are on your developmental journey, be grateful, embrace the struggle. In the end you will be stronger for it. You will grow more from the adversity than taking the easy way out or receiving gifts.  There has been much research on how human gratitude affects us positively.  World traveler and Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player was quoted saying, “Boys and girls, wake up every day and be thankful and grateful, say thanks to mom and dad, be glad that you are able to live in the land of milk and honey!”

Enjoy Your Journey!

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