19 Oct

Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to check in with how you feel about things in your life. We get so caught up in the everyday challenges of family and work that we often forget to look at what’s really going well.

I have always been a huge proponent of practicing gratitude for all I have. I write about gratitude; I’m aware of the importance of being grateful for the things that happen in my life, and I try to keep my life in balance by practicing gratitude all the time.

I had a fascinating thing happen yesterday. I live on a large piece of property surrounded by many very old trees. It’s beautiful, but occasionally, one of those old trees decides to fall. Yesterday was one of those days.

In the morning all the trees were fine and standing tall, and by afternoon, one of them was hanging, literally held up by a single bittersweet vine. It was swinging in the wind, ready to fall on the roof of the house and take out all the gas pipes! A pretty dangerous situation was going on in my yard!

We got into action, calling the gas company and every single tree removal company we could find. Unfortunately, because it was late in the afternoon, most of the tree removal people would not even talk to us. They said it was far too late in the day to take down a tree! That was an interesting thought since that tree was ready to take itself down with no regard at all for the time of day!

Luckily, there was one man who was extremely busy but decided to stop over and see what the tree looked like. He came right away, took one look at the situation, and said he would get a truck here right away.

While waiting for the truck to come, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time saying thank you to that vine that was holding up the tree because without that vine there would be a lot of damage to my property. The truck finally arrived, and the driver climbed up into the bucket seat, got the crane moving, and those big jaws just wrapped themselves around that tree trunk and pulled the tree right out of the ground. The driver, as carefully as he could, simply laid the tree on the ground in the driveway and everything was fine.

This story isn’t really about a tree, (though the tree was my inspiration) or the challenge I had to go through, it’s about the fact that even during one of the toughest hours of my day yesterday, I noticed myself being grateful for that tiny little vine.

Where’s the tiny little vine in your life that’s holding things together for you? Is it a family member? Is it a great coworker? Is it your best friend? Think about all the challenges you face and notice how you were able to get through them. Was there someone who gave you courage by supporting you or giving you some great advice? Did you get through it by looking for the good that was present even in light of all the adversity? It’s those moments where we realize we are gaining strength enough to make it through the challenge that are so important.

If you find you’re not dealing well, change your mindset. Work your way toward gratitude. Look for those tiny things that bolster you up and be grateful for them. If there is a special person who is always there for you, take the time to thank them and tell them how much they mean to you.

We often talk about mindset. It is the single most powerful tool you have to shape the direction of your life. It can turn a bad situation into a good one simply by changing the way you look at things.

You could spend the rest of your life waiting for that tree to fall, or you could thank that vine that holds it up and makes the day worthwhile. The choice is always yours.

I’m grateful for you and the support you give me.

As always, I’m rooting for you!

Angela I. Schutz

Driven to Succeed Consulting LLC

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