Gratitude is the Secret Sauce to a fulfilled life and is the fuel that develops our grit.
Some of us look at a mountain and immediately think, “Eh-there’s no way I’m climbing that thing.” Others of us will look at the mountain and think, “I’m climbing it. It’s not going to be fun or easy, but I’m climbing it.” To climb that mountain takes grit-the stuff that separates those who do from those who simply watch. Of course, having grit is not necessarily something we inherently have. Sometimes, we have to develop it.
Shawn and Larry share their stories of how they developed grit. Both share the pivotal moments where they had a choice: give up or face the mountain. The essence of their stories is this-developing grit is a process, it’s getting up every day and knowing there is a choice. This choice is to live with gratitude, even in the face of extreme adversity.
Easier said than done, but if we choose to wake up every morning and look at what lies ahead of us with a grateful heart, challenges will seem easier. Larry suggests making daily gratitude deliberate. In other words, one of the first things he suggests doing each morning is writing down what you are grateful for. (He even includes his kids in on the practice and they look forward to doing it!).
With this in mind, he then suggests creating a daily mission statement. Think about it-when you know what you are going to do, you have a better chance of actually doing it. This mission statement doesn’t have to be profound, it can be something as simple as, “Today I am going to read a book to my kids before bed.” There. Done. And guess what? Mission accomplished.
If you happen to see your day getting off track, your mission statement in jeopardy of being derailed, Larry says he uses his “power statement” to bring him back to home base. This “power statement” is the phrase that you utter to yourself when you feel fear keeping you from climbing up that proverbial mountain. It’s the same thing the Navy Seals use when they face a challenge (for more on this, listen to Episode 28 with Mark Divine. Oh! And he’s coming back!). Choose something simple like, “I’ve got this” or, really, whatever speaks to you.
Even when you have done all of this, there will be times when we won’t be the best versions of ourselves. But, instead of allowing the regret to take over, embrace it. Yep, that’s right, embrace regret (sounds oxymoronic, but stay with us here). Regret can be a great teacher; it can show us where we need to improve. So, when we embrace regret, we not only learn from what we did wrong, but we also know how to improve in future events. This way, you really are eliminating regret from your life by absorbing its lesson.
Finally, when the day is done and you have a chance to reflect on all you have accomplished, look back at two of your most positive moments that day and one regret. Be grateful for each of them, but take a lesson from them as well. Once we learn to master our failures as well as our successes, climbing our many life mountains won’t seem so impossible.
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