“How did I get here?”
“What went wrong?”
“What do I do to get back on the right track?”
These are questions I ask myself in some of the most difficult valleys in my life. However, after many seasons of unexpected change I made the decision to express gratitude even in a valley of personal uncertainty.
I cannot completely control what happens in my life or professional career but I can make my reaction to it all positive in my acceptance of the lessons that I can learn from it.
The first time I received an unfavorable performance rating at work I was devastated and I did not agree it.  I decided that I would express gratitude in being thankful that I could recover from the rating. I knew that my resilience to succeed would help me to persevere in gaining the additional knowledge I needed to apply in my future endeavors.
My biggest lesson in gratitude was August 29, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans and the horrifying aftermath. My parents, family and friends all lived in the place I grew up and I watched the news in pure anguish through reports of displacement of residents in devastating flood waters.  It felt like days but only hours before I heard from my loved ones and realized everyone was safe.  The valley of uncertainty was staring me right in the face once again. Despite it all, I felt extreme gratitude just in hearing each of my parents’ voice saying, “I’m ok” and it being one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
Overall, I have learned life will stretch your mental muscle in being thankful in the presence of both the light and darkness along the paths you will take.  You can plant a seed to make impactful changes in your life but when it will grow and flourish is not promised.
I leave you with this challenge plant a seed to find a way to always express gratitude each day and let no personal struggles or unexpected changes stop you.


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