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Approach life with an attitude of gratitude

Whenever I see my friend Hall of Fame speaker and author Dr. Willie Jolley at our professional speakers’ conferences and ask, “How are you doing Willie?” he always responds, “I’m blessed and highly favored.” Willie truly is blessed and highly favored. He has a great marriage, family and is a successful businessman. But his life has also been full of challenges and “setbacks” to use Willie’s words. It is Willie’s attitude of gratitude and his mindset that a “setback is a setup for a comeback” is responsible for his success. This is an attitude we all can have. Thanksgiving is a good time to start.

Over 15 years ago I learned to start my day with “the practice.” It is a series of yoga type stretching movements and affirmations. The practice opens and closes with three things I am thankful for on that day. It is easy to take things for granted and to focus on what we don’t have or our lack. When we open our day with gratitude for what we already have, it begins to create a positive attitude and one of abundance when we realize how blessed we already are.

A year ago, this week I felt blessed just to be able to get out of the house and go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in my wheelchair. My kids pushed me in my chair on the boardwalk. I was grateful after three weeks in the hospital just to be with my family at the beach. This year I can walk and run again. I just finished an 11-mile run with my daughter. I am grateful to my doctors, nurses, physical therapists, friends and family for their work, encouragement and love. My daughter put together my training schedule. She is an accountability partner and encourager. I’m on track to do a half-marathon again in a few weeks. I am blessed because of the team I had and now have working with me.

Our good health is a blessing, our children and grandchildren are blessings, having a roof over our head and food for a Thanksgiving dinner is a blessing. During this year of COVID we can all think of things we couldn’t do or have. I encourage you to stop reading right now and think of your own blessings. Forget about your lack and think of at least three things you are grateful for. If you do this little exercise at the beginning of each day? How might your thinking change? Focusing on our lack can depress us. Focusing on all we have can be empowering.

We all have talents we have been given. These are also blessings. Have you discovered yours? If you aren’t sure, find a mentor, coach, friends you can trust or be part of a mastermind group. Others can many times identify our talents and strengths better than we can. The late sales expert, Zig Ziglar said, “You can have anything you want if you first help enough other people get what they want.” In these challenging times there are plenty of opportunities to help other people. Are you using your talents to help others? Our communities and our nation need you and your talents now!

We were on a Shale Crescent call recently with a company interested in expanding to our region. The CEO asked us to explain to his potential finance people why the Shale Crescent USA was the best place for the expansion. We explained the energy and feed stock are essentially right under the plant in the Shale Crescent USA. Places like China must get their energy and feed stock from OPEC in the Middle East and then ship products to the USA. We explained how Shale Crescent USA is in the middle of one of the largest markets in the world. A company locating in our region is more profitable because they can build on top of their energy and feedstock and in the middle of their customers. We have an economic opportunity that is unique in the world. We also have a low carbon footprint because of our location.

The financial people were quick to understand the opportunity and got excited about it. When they began to ask questions the first question wasn’t about Shale Crescent USA or the opportunity of our region. They asked about the CEO and would I follow him and why? It was an easy answer. The CEO is a people person. I have known him for several years. He is a visionary and a leader who has the unique ability to understand people and assemble a strong team. The CEO believes in his vision. His persistence carries him through challenges. I would willingly follow him. The point is, the financial numbers are easy to see. The finance people know the key to success of any project is leadership and the ability to put together a successful team.

What about you? In these challenging times we need leaders. People who have a vision and understand how to assemble a strong team of motivated individuals with diverse skill sets who believe in the vision and want to achieve it as much as the leader does. We manage things like money and equipment. We must lead people. Successful leaders understand the importance of gratitude and appreciation for what they have like their talents and the talents of others. Gratitude is part a positive attitude of a leader. Leaders understand there is no limit to the abundance that can be created.

All things are possible if we start with gratitude. You have talents the world needs. Discover them and use them. They are part of the many blessing you already have. Believe in yourself. You have the power to change the world for the better. Do it now! I believe in you.

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA.

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