Giving Gracias

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Raise your hand if you are apprehensive of reading your social media news feed? Or opening the newspaper? It’s like falling into an “upside down”, or alternate dimension of violence, crime, and depressive situations, but life is about mindset and choosing our attitude. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, here are my top reasons to be grateful: 

Feels Good–  Research shows that grateful people have a health advantage, typically taking better care of themselves with behaviors that foster overall wellness.  Gratitude also helps to manage stress better, providing coping mechanisms to handle everyday challenges.  It simply feels good to be grateful. 

Journey– I’m grateful for this moment in time and the journey I’m living.  From the growing pains of my company to the friendships and deeper relationship with my family.  Along with travelling, enjoying a new land, savoring the food and culture.  I’m truly grateful for this adventure I get to live. 

Win & Win–  Peter Diamandis, founder of Singularity and the Xprize, lives by the mantra that the world’s largest problems are also the world’s greatest business opportunities.  We see this every day in our work, as we serve to connect Hispanics and the Mainstream community – from workforce to healthcare and market research.  What our team does every day, is truly a win-win.  Imagine doing what you love every day and seeing the impact to your community?  My cup is certainly overflowing. 

Inappropriate Kids– Of course, the norm is to love our family and children, but sometimes they are not easy to like and appreciate.  I want to formally express my gratitude for my teenagers, who are highly inappropriate, exceedingly witty and most likely smarter than me. They force me to pause and enjoy life- from their voracious need to live every moment, the drama tied to the number of Snap Chat “likes” and silly videos (bonus- follow LeJuan James for a hysterical perspective on being a Latino in the U.S.).  I actually LOL every day because of them and their perspective, their brutal sibling rivalry and wrestling matches.  My heart swells just contemplating their future and imaging the adults they will be coming.  

Hacks & Tips I’m perpetually curious and an avid student of life, always seeking to improve, but life’s pace and pressures sometimes make learning a bit challenging.  Which is why I’m so grateful for my SHIFT Peer Advisory group, where I learn all sorts of hacks and tips! Like SaneBox (cleans out your mailbox!), Calendly (helps schedule meetings) and Slack (organizes internal team communications).  Every extra minute gained from leveraging these tools is very appreciated! 

Plantains, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pupusas–  Whom am I kidding? Food makes me happy because of the experiences that bonds us, centered around sharing food.   Such as the simple joy of sharing empanadas, freshly made by Mami while hearing my 91-year old Papi relive his baseball days; savoring tres leches cake while catching up with the girlfriends; cooking plantains at 6am with the teenager for her class project.  These moments are the ones that build memories, strengthen relationships and create traditions. 

Here are some tips to re-incorporated gratitude in to your everyday living: 

-Be positive- it’s a choice, opt to find the silver lining in all things.  Should somebody cut you off on the road, choose to celebrate the fact that you didn’t flip them off, and opted to take the high road.  See- Silver Lining! 

-Make a list of the Awesome Stuff.  You are working, getting a steady paycheck, purchased new shoes, landed a new client, won your case, lost 5 pounds, enjoyed a great date, and on and on and on. Seeing the concrete examples of the positives in your life, in writing fosters an attitude of gratitude. 

-Journal- slow down to savor the wonders listed above.  The pace of our modern world prevents us from not only connecting deeply with others, but connecting with ourselves and reflecting on how the small things truly matter.  

Nope, we didn’t solve the world’s problems with this column, but I feel good, grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of myself and hopefully remind you to give Gracias.  

Amigos, enjoy the holiday with your family, Amigos!

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