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Being Grateful

I had the blues because I had no shoes… Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. – Author unknown

I am grateful. At least, I’m trying to be more grateful — grateful for my family, my home, my food, my shoes, my job, my co-workers, the weather, my trials, my heartaches, challenges and my dog.

Most people would probably say that being grateful for a dog is a ‘no-brainer.’ Not for me. Getting a dog has been a stressful venture. Cleaning up after her, repairing damage around the house, walking her every single day, feeding her, taking her to the veterinarian and arranging for boarding when we go on vacation was much more than I bargained for. She is my first dog… and my last. My family, on the other hand, is head-over-heels in love with her. So, sending her to ‘the farm’ is definitely out of the question.

But, in my attempt to be more grateful, I have started to realize the benefits of our dog, Gracie. Sure, I do have to walk her. But, that benefits me as well. I’m able to get outside, exercise and think much more than I probably would without her. She provides comic relief with her quirky personality. She is always at the door when I arrive home – sometimes the only one at the door. She always seems to be grateful to see me. She still requires a lot of work. But, she is rubbing off on me – just because I’m choosing to be grateful.

There seems to be some data that shows being in a state of gratitude is beneficial. The University of California, Berkeley featured an article on this very topic: A “Thnx” a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.

The article states that 1,600 people used a website called Thnx4.org. What these people found is that the greater the number of gratitude experiences reported on a given day correlates with having a better day. Days with more gratitude resulted in more positive and fewer negative emotions. People expressing thanks to other people were 150% more likely to say “this made my whole day [better].” This same group showed significantly increased happiness, greater satisfaction with life and higher resilience to stress.

This all sounds great. But, what about being grateful for trials, heartaches and challenges? Why would anyone be grateful for awful things like illness? Just ask Sean Stephenson. He was born with physical challenges, including brittle bone disease. As a full-grown man, he stands at three feet tall. By the age of 18 he suffered more than 200 painful bone fractures. He could have given in and consigned himself to a life of pity and despair. But, he had a ‘wake-up’ moment as a teenager when his mother asked him if his physical challenges would break him or if he would use them to his advantage. He couldn’t imagine how he could use his challenges to his advantage until he became grateful.

Adopting an attitude of gratitude, he decided to capitalize on his energy and personality and become a well-educated individual with a Ph.D. He has written several books, including his latest: Get off your “But”. He now works with schools, companies, hospitals, prisons and other agencies – sharing his inspiring story. He has shared the stage with the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Richard Branson and Bill Clinton. In his own words, he is grateful for his out-of-the-ordinary stature because no one forgets him. Talk about branding, he states! Now, here is someone who is grateful!

I’m just beginning to understand the power of gratitude. I’ve seen a difference in my personal life, family, and work. I’d love to hear what it has done for you!

What do these examples have in common? It boils down to a change in perspective. Nothing changed with the outside world in each of these examples. But, the eye of the beholder changed.

That’s what we try to do in our marketing – change perspective. Our remarketing efforts afford a unique opportunity. We talk to people who have responded to our initial offer. But, for whatever reason, decided not to employ our credit repair help. Instead of looking at this ‘non-sale’ as a failure, we are treating it as an opportunity to continue to educate and help. Our email marketing campaigns are a perfect example. We’ve revamped our entire email strategy to include educational material about the world of credit, credit repair and consumer rights. I’m grateful to be a force for good, to give people hope and change lives, one person at a time. In return, when one of these individuals turns to us for help, they are grateful for the excellent experience they’ve had with our educational materials and stellar agent experience. Since we would not have a business without our clients and our clients would have a difficult time repairing their own credit, making these connections every day… well, makes my day 150% better!

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