GRATITUDE – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Did you know that Around 60 percent of the world’s people (4.5 billion of them) don’t have a toilet that properly manages human waste?

Hey, let me ask you you this please? If there were a list that ranked everyone on Earth in terms of overall success and happiness (from 1 to 8 billion approx.), where do you think you’d rank?

Got your number? Yay!

Obviously, there are too many variables to identify your exact rank out of approximately 8 billion. However, by throwing this data at you, I hope to get you to manifest what’s actually going on in the world outside your direct surroundings.

I’m completely driven by perspective and gratitude. I was born and raised in Kenya, a third world country in Africa, so I deeply understand how much worse life could be. I feel so lucky that I was able to get out when I turned 16.

Luck is an interesting word. I probably would attribute most of my success to my tenacity, ambition, and other emotional ingredients rather than luck, but the fact that I was able to escape eating tuna in the dark at a young age certainly involved luck.

People don’t understand the reality of what’s happening in the world because their communities are so insular.

My boys are 22/19 and 14 yrs old and they look at million dollars as the entry point of success based on a fake feed they saw on the gram. That’s normal by the way, I did too at first.

When I was 20

Something years old I bought huge houses, cars and shiny things to impress my friends and family members that I didn’t even like.

Many twenty-somethings are trying to “make it” before thirty. When you’re living in an apartment or a house in midtown Atlanta or buck-head because it’s cool instead of 31 miles away in Cartersville where the cost of living is cheaper and still complain that your life is miserable because you’re unhappy for whatever reason.

it’s tough to wrap my head around the fact that women from my country in Kenya and other parts of Africa collectively spend millions of hours a day collecting water.

People look upward at those who rank higher, but they don’t look downward at the billions ranked lower.

Anybody who owns a business in a First World nation is already living their best life.

I don’t think most entrepreneurs realize how blessed they are. I know I didn’t until I lost my business to the failed economy in 2008 and lost everything and started at zero after being in business for over a decade.

Even if it’s a grind. Even if it’s hard. Even if there are bad days.

Don’t forget—over half the world doesn’t even have a real toilet.

When you develop perspective, the timelines you set for your goals naturally shift.

As I write this, did you know? Life expectancy in the United States is about seventy-nine years. In 1930, it was fifty-eight. In 1880, it was thirty-nine.

As our life expectancies increase, shouldn’t our timelines for goals increase too? Shouldn’t you be OK with not having everything figured out until later?

With advances in modern medicine, I believe many of you will live to a 100.

If you’re twenty-two or 48 and hate your job after working your way up for 3 years, it’s fine to take a step backward and find another job, that takes humility by the way. One day I was the CEO of a small business and then the next thing you know I’m traveling 44 weeks per year as a sales trainer grinding and hustling and working my face off for less than 60k per year in 2008.

Listen to me, If you’re thirty-three and decide to start your own business from scratch after getting a degree in something you’re not passionate about, you’re not “too late.” You’re actually the luckiest of the lucky.

You get to be alive during an era when the math shows you probably have another sixty years to play.

Regardless of what happened yesterday or every day before that, you still have a generous amount of time ahead of you.

Be thoughtful and honest with yourself about your missteps, but don’t start dwelling on them. People beat themselves up and obsess about something that happened thirteen years ago—a business partnership that didn’t work out, a startup that failed, or a boss they didn’t like—and it becomes the jail they live in.

With all the time you have left, there’s zero value in getting bogged down there. If I ever get into that mud, I’m grabbing my “gratitude hose to wash it off.”

One of the biggest points I’m trying to make in my content this year is that positive emotional ingredients provide more sustainable fuel than negative ones. If you draw energy from gratitude, you’ll find that it lasts much longer than energy drawn from insecurity, anger, or disappointment.

Anger and resentment are heavy ingredients to carry around. Gratitude is light.

I’m fascinated that people think that gratitude creates complacency. There’s a reason why complacent and grateful are two different words.

The definition of complacency is “a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.”

They’re not the same.

you can be grateful and ambitious. You can be grateful and tenacious. These traits don’t have to come at the expense of one another.

Want to know where my energy and smiles come from when you see me on social media?

They come from gratitude. If I wake up in the morning and nobody I love has passed away or come down with a terminal illness, then my day starts off great. If the people closest to me are OK, I’m good. I won. Nothing else can truly faze me beyond that.

If you’re truly grateful for what you have instead of being envious of what you don’t have, you’ll be a dominant force in business and, way more important, in life.

Leaders, I am so grateful for you reading this, thank you so much and I hope you have the best week ever!

Published by Zarir Merwanji

Empathy lives at the intersection of my family FIRST and my work space SECOND through influence, leadership, sales and technology.

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