All happy people are grateful. All of my mentors seem to share this common theme of gratitude. This mindset costs us nothing but can change everything in our lives. Some people use gratitude journals that they write in each morning, others take gratitude walks each day, and some use their voice to speak gratitude into the world. The way that you show gratitude doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we are intentional to develop this habit. Dennis Prager states, “We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it’s truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.” What I love about this quote is that it reminds me that attitude is a choice we all have.
One of my co-workers shared this visual with me. He said, “If everyone took their biggest problem and put it into a hat and then passed it around the room, everyone would wish to pull their own problem back out.” Often when I am ungrateful I get in this mode of “the world is against me” and “nobody else has it this bad”. Not only is this unhealthy but it’s also not true. I think we all default to complaining and negativity because it is easier. With all that being said, here are a few things I am grateful for to start my day off right. My hope is that you may list off a few things you are most grateful for after reading this and realize that you chose your attitude each day and that you are loved, can add so much value to those around, and have so much to be grateful for DESPITE your current circumstances.
“Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss. To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind.” - Fred Rogers
When reflecting on transitions in life, I love the idea of our lives being like a chapter book. Some chapters of our lives are long, some are short, some are filled with happiness, while others are filled with grief or anger. The beauty of this concept is that we are authors of our own story. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from some phenomenal speakers this last week that consisted of a best selling author in the education field, a Green Beret who earned a Purple Heart, and a federal judge who was appointed by Bill Clinton! These men all shared the idea of finding your own voice in the world. Their stories too were filled with adversity, loss, happiness, and next chapters.
Where am I going with all this??? Last night marked our last JV basketball game of the year. Every year this transition to “life without basketball” feels as though your legs get swept out from underneath you. For 6 months you grind everyday, build relationships with your team/coaches, work towards common goals, laugh together, disagree, plan, travel, play, and then the next thing you know...the chapter ends. The Fred Rogers quote was screaming at me this morning when I woke up. Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss. Our JV boys will go on to their respective spring sports, some will stay with us for our varsity tournament run, but that exact team will not ever play another game together. This is where that transition feels like loss for me.
On the other hand, Rogers says, “Transitions are almost always signs of growth.” This chapter of my life has brought so much growth. I told our guys in the locker room after the game Friday to try and take a 10,000 ft. view of our season. I knew this was hard as I was struggling to find this perspective after a loss and an end to this chapter but I knew it would help. I grew as a coach in my ability to lead culture, implement in-game strategy, and develop basketball skill. As a team we learned how to fight through adversity, commit to something greater than ourselves, and develop as young men on and off the court.
I believe that we are all better at the end of this chapter and it is a chapter worth being celebrated. All of you reading this are in a transition in one area of your life right now. Be encouraged that you can write your own story and know that this will lead to growth in your life!