This weekend I had the chance to listen to one of Jay Shetty’s podcasts which featured actor Zachary Levi and something that he said during the interview really stayed with me. He described his troubled past and I found myself relating to many of his own experiences. However, after overcoming a significant amount of disappointment and heartbreak, Zachary Levi is now in a place where he lives in “Humility, Gratitude, and Trust”. That statement was so powerful to me and I realized that is truly resonated with me right down to my core.
I have been around so many people, close relatives included, who live their lives with a sense of entitlement and are constantly finding themselves complaining about what they don’t have or what they have been cheated out of in life. “I try so hard and deserve better but I keep getting screwed over by everyone”, those are words which I continue to hear from a very close relative of mine who refuses to own any accountability for his actions and learn from them. He is always right and the rest of the world is out to ruin him. How many of us know someone like that? It could be that he is a bit narcissistic or has narcissistic personality traits. Whatever the case may be, he is breeding negativity into his life.
By the way, in case you have not stumbled upon Jay Shetty, you are truly missing out. I highly recommend you listen to his messages. Not only do they hit home with many of the challenges we all go through every day, he takes a simple and positive approach to helping people change their mindset to welcome abundance into their lives.
During this podcast I felt quite proud of the mental checklist which I had created while hearing this famous actor pour his heart out about his emotional scars and the deep healing work he had to do in order to overcome the pain they had left behind. I realized how far I had come and I felt grateful for the learning moments which my scars had also provided me as I had learned to be a better person for them instead of a bitter one like the person I mentioned previously. I am grateful for the failed relationship which I let go over three years ago because I walked away stronger and more determined and not to mention gave me two of the most beautiful children I could ask for. I am grateful for the terrible bosses I have had and the humiliation I have felt under their “leadership” because it gave me the opportunity to learn to carry myself with grace. I am grateful for the job that I did not get because it made me want to better myself and get an education to be ready for the when the right job came along. I am grateful for the friends that walked out of my life or betrayed my trust because it taught me to be forgiving and to find the value in the experiences I had while they were a part of my life. I am grateful for the tough love my mom gave me as well as the not so loving moments with both of my parents because I learned about the type of mother I want to be for my kids and value the simple moments such as curling up on the couch with them to watch cartoons or reading them stories before bedtime. I am grateful for the fact that my mother worked way too many hours and was not there with me because it taught me the meaning of work ethic and perseverance. I am grateful for having to walk into the food stamp office with my mother and having to feel embarrassed to translate for her due to her not knowing English. It taught me the meaning of humility and overcoming the fear of asking for help. I would often ask my mom if she felt embarrassed asking for financial assistance and she told me that she did not. All she was looking for was to get to a “yes.” She would tell me that she already had a ” no” and if she wanted better for me and our family she needed to get a “yes”. I didn’t quite understand what that meant at the time but now there are entire collections of self-help and sales books written about that very concept. Simplicity at its best folks.
We often over complicate our troubles. How many times do we have an issue which we have been able to resolve and look back on it and think it was not that big a deal. I find that this is most often fueled by the lack of uncertainty of the outcome or how it will impact our lives. Instead of thinking about the worst that could happen, I now think, what is this challenge trying to teach me. Although some challenges are easier to overcome than others, I have released some of the anxiety which I used to put on myself and instead pray for clarity to understand what I need to learn. (we’ll save prayer and faith for another day) I then show gratitude for giving me the opportunity to learn or be rewarded with something. I know that many people may still be skeptical about the “gratitude” theory, but think of it this way. If you are constantly giving someone gifts or displaying gestures of affection to them yet they never say thank you or appreciation for it much less acknowledge you gestures, what are the chances that you will continue with you generosity? I would venture to guess that the odds are not very good that you would continue. The same is true for the universe. Call it your higher power, mother nature, the creator, or aliens if it makes you happy. In the end, your energy of choice will stop providing you with any gifts if you do not show appreciation for them. Also, we need to take the time to realize that not all gifts are material ones and the most priceless ones do not comes from a store and cannot be bought.
So I leave you with this thought and think about the impact that gratitude has on how you interact with others. Pay that gratitude forward and take some time in your day to truly show some appreciation for what you have, what you have not been given, what you have learned, and be ready for what is on its way to you.
“Humility, Gratitude, and Trust”- Zachary Levi