As last week ended, I had a moment of extreme joy that built until it spilled over into a huge wave of gratitude. Once this beautiful, natural progression happened, the sun shined brighter, the day ticked along more easily, and my feet felt like helium balloons. Don’t you just love it when that trickle effect happens? I mean – joy and gratitude are great companions.
I must admit my week did not start on that same high note. It was cold. I was frustrated at the knee-knocking height of my daughter’s desk I had borrowed for my “healthy at home” office. After what felt like 20 consecutive hours of conference calls, I looked at my watch and it was only 11:00 AM. Every question I asked by phone or email was getting a response that was opposite of what I wanted to hear. “No” instead of “yes” and “Not gonna happen…” instead of “I’m on it…” Believe me, the state of joyful-grateful bliss in my future was nowhere on my radar. In a word, everything was hard.
As I take a minute to reflect on that dreary Monday, I can see that it was not really that bad of a day. In fact, it was much like any other day: a mix of some challenges, some setbacks, and some achievements. Turns out the deciding factor on my experience and my mood was yours truly. I was the common element. Days in advance of the “Joy!” moment, I had what you might call a “no can-do attitude” of my own.
I am sharing this because I think that members of the Construction industry should be practicing gratitude, even in the midst a global pandemic. If we’ll pause a moment to take inventory, it’s readily apparent that we have much for which to be thankful, including each other’s’ skills, the regulations that keep us safe, the process and procedure checkpoints that keep us from buying or building the wrong thing, and so forth. So, yes, I’m actually challenging all of us to be grateful for the “other” sub, the OSHA reg, the Submittal reviews…stuff that can actually be the very source of the frustrations that steal our ability to move forward. I challenge us because it is hard to problem solve or lead or collaborate when you are out of sorts. I know I certainly don’t make my best calls in those conditions (and am working on the discipline to give myself time when I do feel that way). However, when I am pursuing an attitude of gratitude, my immediate response to the external forces immediately becomes more productive.
“Practice gratitude” may sound like something you’d see printed on a refrigerator magnet, but it’s actually a power tool for getting stuff done. Experiment a little to discover the power of choosing gratitude for those around you, for the things that are going right, for the things that keep you on track and accountable.
As our industry works tirelessly to beat back the tide of current human events, we should appreciate each other. We should work to see the possibility in each problem. To lift each other up so that we can move forward together. After all, there is a lot more than money on the line in life. We also need to account for our self-worth, our relationships, and our legacy. The cash stays here when we check out at the end. What really endures in the minds and hearts of those we touch are the memories of how we treated each other and how we responded to life’s inevitable challenges.
So, choose gratitude then share the joy that follows for a life of genuine worth.
Candice Rogers, President