Young: Show a little gratitude and it always comes back

For me, Christmas is a time for reflection as an entrepreneur advocate, a father, and as a grateful resident of the Okanagan.

For me, the Christmas time of the year is always a time for reflection as an entrepreneur advocate, a father, and as a grateful member of our Okanagan community.

It seems clear to me  that it’s always the right time to live life from a place of gratitude.

One of the simplest, yet often overlooked contributors I have discovered and sometimes overlooked to create a positive culture in my entrepreneurial world is the expression of appreciation.

Taking the time to say a simple “ thank you” cost nothing but resonates powerful positive intention throughout any organization, any company and in everyday living.

Expressing gratitude is a fundamental quality of conscious leadership.

Gratitude for the contribution of others in our entrepreneurial journey is yet another facet of empathy.

It reflects to me our leadership consciousness of natural human desire to be validated and appreciated.

Even the most stressful of times in challenging situations and environments may be relaxed through the expression gratitude.

John Maxwell, an international leadership author and speaker, says the power of expression of gratitude helps to light the candle in the lives of those around us our daily lives.

Gratitude, as commonly defined, is a state of being, an emotion. In any given moment, you feel it or you don’t.

So is fulfillment available only to those who are naturally disposed toward feeling grateful, as happiness is available to those who are naturally disposed toward feeling happy? Not fair and not true, I suggest.

We can’t force ourselves to feel gratitude, but we can force ourselves to practice gratitude. And practicing gratitude does lead to feeling grateful.

We might express such gratitude to honour that one person who changed our life.

Give them the thanks they deserve through a unique exercise in gratitude and magnify  that thank you in a way that will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs coming our way in our beloved Okanagan.

This is an opportunity for you and I to recognize a entrepreneurial hero in our life through a powerful gesture that he or she will cherish forever.

By writing a letter of gratitude to such a person/s and then sharing it with them, you can change their life and your own.

Frankly, no email or phone call can equal the sincerity of meeting in person. This act of gratitude will greatly move the person/s you seek to thank, but it will also benefit you.

This seemingly selfless act will give each of you an enormous sense of the gifts you have been given.

Nurturing a strong sense of gratitude allows us to see the good in others and enables us to recognize and seize entrepreneurial opportunities when they arise.

I would like to conclude this treatise on entrepreneurial gratitude with a few expressions of my own please.

First, I am thankful for my inspirers, men and women who never cease to amaze me with their inner strength and caring; their steadfast commitment to personal growth, their dedication to fostering growth in others through their own experiences; and their ability to meaningfully connect with those around them gives me immeasurable strength.

Such people are a priceless gift to me in my roller coaster ride though life.

I am thankful for the larger entrepreneurial community of the Okanagan, a community filled with people who see opportunities in place of obstacles, who take ownership of their actions, who are on a never-ending quest of learning and self-improvement and who are committed to making our world a better place—one venture at a time.

They give tirelessly to others, they get back up when they stumble, and unquestionably, they are the engine of economic growth and recovery in our region and our Canada.

I am thankful for the ability to give back. I am thankful to all the organizations, and fellow entrepreneurs and the plethora of wonderful colleagues and associates that have recognized my value, and provide me the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

My successes and failures provide lessons that will help others in their entrepreneurial journeys and professional growth and self-discovery.

Helping others succeed is truly my passion, and the gift of sharing is one that I will forever appreciate and cherish.

And finally, thank-you to all of my dear readers for your loyalty and support as I strive to contribute to the building of an Okanagan entrepreneurial culture.

My purpose in this contributory goal in building a successful culture is to help others create a “culture of greatness” in their own lives, personally and professionally, and to assist our leaders build extraordinary cultures to attract and keep extraordinary people in our midst.

I would not be able to carry out this vision and mission without the loyalty and support of those of you who believe in me.

I wish everyone the completion of a wonderful holiday season.

Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, consultant and educator and founder, Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.



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