Perspective Shifts

For the fourth consecutive year the SOS Leadership team is continuing its tradition of blogging about gratitude and what matters most during the week of Thanksgiving. Today Amber Fogarty continues the series with a post about not taking the gifts in our lives for granted. To read the first blog in the series, clickhere. Stay tuned throughout the week for more perspectives on gratitude. 
It’s almost baffling how easy it can be to take what we have for granted. From the simple pleasures in life to the people who provide us unconditional love, we often focus on what we don’t have, rather than being grateful for the gifts that are right in front of us.
When I think about my day yesterday, just one day of my life, I am in awe of the blessings in my life. In just one day, I experienced my son’s Thanksgiving Play at school, a Lunch & Learn with a group of incredible leaders who are all actively working to develop themselves, coffee with a mentor and friend who I admire and respect, a Board Meeting for a nonprofit that serves the needs of the most vulnerable on a daily basis, a delicious meal made by my loving husband, cuddles and butterfly kisses with my kids, a hot cup of tea…How easy it can be to get caught up in the whirlwind that is our lives and miss the day-to-day joy that is right in front of us. 
How many days do you lay in bed at night focusing on what didn’t get done that day rather than what you accomplished? For most of my life, that’s been my default mode…no matter how productive I was, no matter how many things got checked off my to do list, it was never enough. A perspective shift was needed. I’ve been in the midst of that perspective shift for many years. It’s not always easy, and that default mode still takes over from time to time, particularly when I’m stressed or overwhelmed by my to do list.
I am grateful for perspective shifts. I am so thankful that those perspective shifts come at exactly the right time, when I most need to be reminded of what matters most. 
Last night when I was tucking my almost four year old son in, he said, “Mommy, I have to tell you something.” As I came closer to his sweet face, he wrapped his arms around me and said, “I want to be just like you.” As the tears welled up in my eyes, I thought about the awesome responsibility of leadership.“People become like their leader.” I say this often when I’m speaking and facilitating workshops, and I know it’s true. Yet, last night those words brought about a perspective shift, as I thought about what I’m teaching my kids about gratitude. I know that my leadership matters. What I do and say makes a difference. I’m grateful for that reminder; it came at exactly the right time.
Reflection Questions:
  • What perspective shifting moments have you experienced recently?
  • How will you make thanksgiving a way of life and not just a one-day turkey and stuffing celebration?

Let’s not take the gifts in our lives for granted – a roof over our heads, food on the table, and most importantly, the unconditional love that we experience from the people in our lives who matter most. They are the gifts that keep on giving. 

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