So, I was on a hike with a friend recently, and he said, "Hey Chris, you know I've come to believe "that gratitude and greatness are these two concepts "that are intertwined." And at first I didn't buy it, but then I started to think about it more, I think there might be something to that. It made me think about my buddy, Mike. Now Mike, his leg was bit off by a shark when he was 18. And when I first asked him about the story, I was completely floored. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And at the end of him talking, I said, "Man, that must've really changed or altered your life." And his response really surprised me, what he said. He said, "You know, yeah. "It's made me grateful for so many things." And he went on to list all of the stuff that he was grateful, grateful that the shark bite was below the knee, rather than above, grateful for this and that. And Mike is one greatest people I know. He's an amazing photographer, just this amazing person, and it got me thinking about thi...
s whole idea that I think that people who are really great, who are really creative, it's almost like they have gratitude that courses through their veins. 'Cause think about it for a second. Let's say, I'm a photographer, right? And so if I'm shooting and if the frame doesn't turn out right, I can either become self-absorbed and say, "Oh, poor me, this is never gonna work", or I can say, "Okay, well what else could work? "Oh, I'm grateful there's a ladder there." And I may not say the word grateful, but I'm looking for that thing, and then I can shoot that. I like how C.S. Lewis put it. He said that, "Humility isn't thinking less of ourselves, "But it's thinking of ourself less." In other words, it's not being quite so self-absorbed. And to be creative, we have to have that approach. Mike is one of those people that definitely does. And so then, how really does this relate to you and I? So we wanna become more creative, more strong, in all of these things that we do. I think a lot of it's about integrating gratitude into our lives. Now, of course we can do that by doing a gratitude journal, or on my desk I have this jar. At the beginning of the day, I sit down, write down three things I'm grateful for every day. Fill that jar up. Occasionally I'll pull those things out. It just gets me in that mindset, which helps the creative juices to flow. Another way we can do that is following advice that my brother received in one of his business classes. There he was, sitting in class, and the teacher said, hey, you guys need to be like the Dead Sea. Or, you guys need to be not like the Dead Sea, but like a different body of water. He said you need to learn from the Dead Sea, that's what it was. And what he said was that the Dead Sea is dead because water only comes in and nothing goes out. If we wanna be like a lake, which is vibrant and clean and alive, we need the inflow of stuff, but we also need the out. So part of becoming grateful means, hey, I'm so grateful for all this stuff and these things, and this treasure and talent and all these things that I have, I wanna pass some of that on. What does that look like? Well, one of my friends, Robert Gupta, plays the violin for the L.A. Philharmonic. Amazing musician, brilliant, genius-type of a guy. One of the things that he was telling me about, was this idea that he's played his violin in hospice centers, where he'll play for people when they're really at the end of their life. And a few times he's even been playing and the person has died. He's ushered them out of this life into another one. Perhaps one of the most profound things you can do, and here he is using his gift in a unique way. He's grateful for the gift he's been given, and then he's creatively figuring out how to help other people as well. Alright, so what's the exercise for this particular segment? Well, the exercise is to do something like create a gratitude journal, maybe have a jar and do the exercise I do, where I write stuff down. Or at least today, just write down five things that you're grateful for. Then if you wanna dig deeper into this, I have two books. First one, by Mother Theresa. It's called, No Greater Love. If we study the lives of these people who have this gratitude just as part of who they are, we can learn from them. Another one, Nelson Mandela's book, A Long Walk to Freedom. There he talks about his story, about being in prison for all those years, and the guy was never jaded, he never gave up, he was grateful through and through for all the experiences that he had in his life. And by having that gratitude, what it can do is give us this creative edge, it can make us better illustrators, photographers, accountants, whatever it is. It helps to get us off of ourselves and onto something else. So anyway, that's the challenge for you today, is to take some time and to think about what you are grateful for, and to do this as a way to begin to change your mindset, so you can be more grateful, but also more creative, as well.