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    Entries in gratitude (2)



    I strongly believe that our lives are better when we are more aware of those things in our life that we should be grateful for. In a busy, sometimes stressful world, a great way to do this is simple exercise where we list the positives in our lives followed by a short 'why'.

    There are no hard and fast rules, but here is a format that works for me and the people I work with. Take a clean sheet of paper (or screen), write in the middle in a circle 'What I am grateful for'. Simple fill the page in other circles with the things that you appreciate in your life. For example ...

    'What I am grateful for'

    • My family. Why? They love me and I love them.
    • My partner / wife / husband. Why? If we are lucky, they are our best friend and someone to share our life with.
    • My health. Why? Without it I can't be there for my family and live a full life.
    • My work. Why? It allows me to fulfill my life's purpose.
    • My friends. Why? They add value to my life and I add value to theirs.
    • Where I live. Why? It allows me to live the life I want to live.
    • The ability to make decisions about what kind of a life I have.

    By the way, the exercise isn't over until you have done two more things.

    • Expressed thanks for each of the things that you are grateful for. Eg, tell you family you love them.
    • Identified what you need to change to have a better situation in some areas of your life.

    This time of the year is a great time to reflect and take an hour to complete the exercise.



    I recently returned from a trip to India where I had an opportunity to share my leadership message with a group of Indian based business people and entrepreneurs. Every time I have travelled abroad I have learnt, and this trip was no different. I learned that the need for better leadership seems to be universal! I learned that people all over the world have a desire to be more influential and I learned that my simple, straight-forward approach to building leadership capability has appeal in contexts other than just the Australian one.

    I think the most valuable lesson I learnt though, was to be more grateful for what I have in my life. India is a land of contrasts. I was challenged and sometimes confronted with what I saw and experienced. A group of us visited a charity called Vision Rescue and went to the sites where they are helping India's poorest families escape the poverty cycle. These humbling experiences have broadened my perspective and have made me reflect on just how privileged many of us are.

    We were sitting at a very busy intersection in Mumbai. This little girl came to my window and tapped on the glass, motioning towards her mouth, as if to say, "Please give me something to eat". There was sadness in her eyes. She made me think about my own two girls, about the same age. I knew they were warm and safe at home. When I got back to my hotel I Skyped my family. Tully, my five year old, excitedly ran towards the computer monitor to say hi to Dad. She proudly showed me her new yellow dress that she was wearing to kindergarten orientation that day.

    Let's try to be more grateful for what we have. I know that I will, especially if I see a little girl in a yellow dress.