I’m approaching the four year anniversary of sharing my story of gratitude.
It was difficult to allow myself to suddenly be so vulnerable, but I knew that I had a journey that needed to be shared. A difficult journey that started with the death of my fiance 30 years ago.
My hope was that maybe a few people would find some benefit from my experiences.
It ultimately would be published by several popular publications, reaching an audience that I never would have imagined. It succeeded in resonating and offering hope to a lot people. Many have reached out to tell me how much it helped them and how well they could relate to it.
Eight years ago, my wife had a freak accident with the explosion of a homemade bottle of ginger ale in our kitchen. The blast nearly killed her. The subsequent grit and positivity she attacked her new situation with really opened my eyes to a brand new way of looking at things. The ramifications of her traumatic brain injury and the post-traumatic stress she is still saddled with has been life-changing. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, her positive attitude was a wake-up call that has enabled me to thrive in my role as her caregiver.
Gratitude and peace had been building in the years leading up to the telling of my story, as my perspective had shifted and my priorities changed to focusing my life on kindness and service.
The reaction to my story gave me the understanding that both the wreckage and the growth from my journey wasn’t something that I needed to keep buried inside of me any longer.
But four years ago I was still damaged by my struggles. I was healing, but as I look back, there still was a ways to go.
I had recently moved the family back to Arizona from our five years in Idaho. As the sole provider for the family, I was fighting hard to reestablish myself from the grocery business back into the mortgage industry as a loan officer. Being 100% commission is a difficult proposition to get re-established with, but it creates a type of urgency and pressure that I have always relished and thrived under.
Once my story was told and I continued to write, my damaged confidence began to heal and subsequently began to grow. I gained the understanding that this kinder, better version of myself was my greatest asset.
The focus shifted to being as real and raw as possible. With this new focus, I began to let go of any and all negativity and pretension.
It’s not a coincidence that with this shift, my business has substantially grown. Sure the timing of historically low interest rates has been a key driver to my recent success. But in addition to a lot of hard work, equal credit should be given to my focus on kindness and unconditional service.
By treating people as I prefer to be treated, the referrals for new business continues to expand and build.
My success both personally and professionally is a by-product of the growth of gratitude that my life has become centered on.
I no longer worry about what is ahead or dwell on the past; instead I focus on the now. This mentality has allowed for a shift to peace and calmness that I never would have imagined possible for myself.
The smallest thing used to bother me to the point of obsession.
Now I attack much larger issues with a poised focus on finding a solution, while never losing my cool or my confidence.
For many years I knew that what I have been through in life had given me a unique perspective on what truly matters, but until recently I wasn’t able to successfully channel that.
I’m grateful and blessed that I am now finally able to use this perspective as the driving, positive force for a life finally being lived to its fullest with peace, gratitude and balance.