It’s been three months since I’ve gone full-time with Think and Grow Chick, and wow do I have a lot to be grateful for! I’m super excited to be writing this blog for you because it is the Monday before Thanksgiving. I love the holidays, you love the holidays, we all love the holidays, right?! Maybe it’s the way the world slows down, and we finally get the opportunity to take a little time off. This holiday season for me is a little different though since I’m not in the normal office environment, working for myself, but it’s times like this that I’m missing the excitement of having a half-day on Wednesday and then a looong weekend. I definitely do not have that time anymore but it’s fine because I really am excited to be working for myself full-time and do what I want to do most of the time.
Coming up on my first 90 days of doing Think and Grow Chick full-time, I feel like my journey totally fits this topic The Grateful Grind. It’s the idea of wanting to do better and to achieve more, but still being appreciative and grateful for what you have in the present.
Now, don’t get me wrong..I love what I’m doing! Working full-time has really been exciting and I would not want it any other way. But, as much as I love being a full-time entrepreneur, I admit there are times that it has been exhausting. I’ve been doing more work than I thought I would, at least in the beginning.
Everyone I have talked to who seem like lightyears ahead of me said this was normal for the first few months because of the foundation you need to do to build a real business like building systems, hiring more people, and doing things that begin to shape the business.
Lately, this grind mode that I put myself into really pushed me to do better to the point that I just felt really burned out. I felt like my business was killing me and I almost felt like giving birth to a newborn baby. I was just exhausted.
My husband called me out when I talked to him about this and he just looked at me, shook his head and said, “Okay, when are you gonna get to a place where you’re happy?” And I was like, “What are you talking about? Of course I’m happy. I’m totally happy. I’ve achieved what I wanted.”
And he reminded me that when I was in school, I said I would be happy when I finally graduate, get a job and get some… A real salary. And then when I got the job, working for myself and making a good salary and all that, my place of happiness now was to elevate my business and blog up to a place where I can work for myself full time. It became this grind of getting to a place where I can quit my job.And now that I quit my job, I’m sitting here talking about having another place that I want to get to and I won’t be happy until I get my business to exactly the way I want it.
And so he said, “Just let me know when are you gonna be happy.”
And that really struck me. I had to take a step back and think about what he was saying. I wanted to be defensive and say how dare he tell me that I’m not happy when I worked so hard to get to this place. But I didn’t because I know what he said was true.
Still I wouldn’t have it any other way, I definitely wouldn’t want to be back at my job, but I received what he was saying. It’s true I have a habit of deferring my happiness until I achieve some external result and he was calling me on it.
I realized there is a lack of appreciation and gratefulness for the moment or the space that I am in, or what my life currently looks like. And so I really had to sit with this because I don’t want to be one of those people who’s always bouncing from one achievement to another and they’re never stopping to smell the roses and take the time to really appreciate all the things that they’ve done.
Sitting on that thought, I realized that I have not been on a grateful grind and appreciating my journey. There are instances that I slip into that space of being unappreciative , and it’s something that I’m constantly working on, not falling into this kind of grinding mentality and unappreciative of where I’m at and forgetting all about doing the good stuff that’s happening and how enjoyable it can be if I just allow it.
Many fall into the danger of grinding. You work hard enough, push hard enough, do it longer and do all what it takes until it takes because at the end of the day, it does work. So, you immediately default to grinding it out because you just gotta have it done. In the end, you just end up exhausted.
Make It Happen From a Space of Ease and Grace
Aspiring to be a leader in the personal development space, and sharing insight about improving and accomplishing my goals, I am extra sensitive to the fact that if I am not careful, this whole empowerment and self-improvement space will have me hating my life.
As a person who preaches messages of achieving, pushing limits, and doing what I have to do, it’s still significant that I balance it out by talking about the importance of doing it in a space of appreciating life ,being grateful and enjoying the journey.
Be Grateful Not Just In Words, But In Actions
A lot of times we dismiss people when they start asking if we’re grateful for what we have. Of course, we are grateful for all that we’ve worked hard for, but secretly, we are still waiting to be happy because we won’t really be happy until we get to the point that we reached our goal.
We keep deferring our happiness until we see some results. But then there is always something else to achieve and there’s always something to do, and so most people fall into the danger of deferring happiness over and over again while making achievements one after another.
Finding happiness even when you get to your goals is difficult when you do not practice gratefulness and appreciation for your journey and being happy for where you are right now.
Being grateful is not just merely saying you are grateful, but to show it not just in your words, but in actually choosing to enjoy your life now while still on a journey to something better. You can want more for yourself, achieve great things, but while you are doing that, who says you can’t enjoy life? Not enjoying your life in the present is being ungrateful. Like love, appreciation and gratefulness is a verb and not a noun, and so the verb manifests itself in your ability to enjoy your life.
If you can enjoy your life, you are appreciating aspects of it.
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There are three main reasons gratefulness and appreciation for your journey are important:
1. How it starts is how it usually ends.
I love this proverb for its truth if you’re not being careful. When you are intentional about what you are doing, you can change the trajectory of anything, whether a relationship, financial practices, etc.. But if you’re not intentional, and you don’t focus on course-correcting, then how things start are usually how they end.
In the context of our topic, it means that if you continue deferring your happiness until you get to a certain goal, you’re just flying through life tensed up until you get there. Even when you reach your goals, you’ll still probably be unhappy and still tense.
Life is a series of self-improvements, goals and different things to achieve. That’s the thing nobody tells us about achieving goals. Appreciate the milestone as you go and the new journey you’re going to take.
If you’re not appreciating where you are on your journey, you’ll constantly be on this cycle, of no matter what you do, it’s never ever enough. When you focus on the end result and you don’t deliberately show appreciation or gratefulness or enjoyment on the journey, you actually lose the end result faster, because you put too much hope in that result.
2. Life is happening now, not when you get there.
Life is a series of moments. You have to be careful not to bounce from one achievement to another, and then you’ll look up and realize that you actually missed your whole life. So right now, whatever you are doing, this is your life. This is a part of your life. Your life is in the present now.
If you are always thinking about the future, you are disregarding the present moment. It’s really important that you enjoy now or you’ll miss now. And so the joy is in the journey, really, honestly, not in the result.
Imagine going to a dance class, but you hate all the practice, hate learning the moves until you understand the entire dance. That is insane, right? Because the joy of being able to do a dance is in the dancing. And so there are aspects of your goal that you are trying to achieve that you can still enjoy right now.
So just as a dancer ultimately wants to nail the dance, being able to do it means being able to dance. Even as you are practicing, you are still dancing right now.
A lot of people send me emails saying that they just can’t get motivated. The reason why you can’t motivate yourself is because you hate the process. Nobody gets motivated into doing something they hate to do. And so there’s always going to be this feeling of force and resistance around doing things that you despise doing.
The easiest way to get out of that is to simply stop hating what you’re doing. Or do something that you can learn to love on the way to your goal because that is really important.
3. Ungratefulness is unattractive.
The third thing that you’d want to keep in mind is why it’s so important that you maintain a spirit of gratefulness and appreciation as you’re on your journey, is because ungratefulness is unattractive.
A lot of single women have this ultimate desire of getting in a relationship or getting married, but they hate their singleness in the process and they basically feel like they should not have any goal of going after anything.
They’re scared to live their life because they’re so focused on this end result of getting in this relationship, they don’t realize that, again, hating their singleness actually makes them more unattractive to the very men that they are trying to attract, because, from a relationship and a romance standpoint, guys are attracted to women who got their own thing going on, and are enjoying their life as it is.
Unattractiveness doesn’t necessarily mean in the context of a romantic relationship but to everything. Getting people to go to your corner is part of the attractiveness that I’m talking about. It’s not necessarily about romantic attractiveness but if your goal requires other people supporting you, you need either friends or mentors or advisors or investors or people who are thoroughly enjoying what they’re doing in the moment even while they are working towards their dreams.
People who love their life are magnetic. They are naturally charismatic.
We attract people not just by how we look physically, but in the spirit that’s about you, the way you are and your energy. People can feel that and no one likes to be around people who have this tense, angry, anxious energy and they’re just not being happy, they refuse to be happy.
People suppress happiness in many ways. We always have the choice to be happy in the moment with what we are doing, and yet we chose not to because we felt that we’re not deserving of happiness or we use it as a motivation to do more to achieve our goals.
Gratefulness is like this magic elixir that gives you the motivation and the energy to stay on the grind, without hardening you and making you miserable. It comes in the form of actually enjoying the life you have now. But how do you do that? What certain actions do you prioritize so that you don’t slip into breezing through life and not enjoying it?
There are many techniques and practices that you can do in order to learn to be grateful while you’re on your grind and to enjoy your life, but that goes in another post. I just want to encourage you not to make yourself miserable in the process because you will get to your goal faster, I believe, and you’ll enjoy your life in the process.