Gratitude: It Makes a Difference
Monday was a good day. Not only did I make real progress on some long-overdue projects, but it was also objectively a beautiful day here in Los Angeles. The temperature was in the mid-70’s most of the day, it was sunny but not hot, and there was a gentle breeze all afternoon. I was up at 6:30, and gratitude became the word of the day. Of course I was thankful that I had the day off work, but I was also grateful for my success so far.
I had a leisurely breakfast at my favorite pancake place, drank several cups of coffee, and shopped the latest NPD catalog. But I spent most of my time at breakfast reminding myself how important gratitude is. Things haven’t been going my way much lately on this build. That’s obvious to anyone who reads this blog, I’m sure. And I’ve done a lot of complaining and writing about the things that are going wrong. There’s a good reason for that; not a lot has gone right!
It’s easy for me to fall into a rabbit hole of frustration and despair when success is constantly being overshadowed by failure. At least that’s how it feels. And I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m spiraling down, the last thing I’m thinking about is my successes. I focus on the current problem, for obvious reasons, but that isn’t the right way to do it.
Trying to Focus on Success
There’s a lot more to learn from success than from failure. Each teaches a lesson, sure, but the main lesson I want to learn, and most of you do, too, is how to be successful—successful at work, successful in the garage, successful at life in general. And to do that, you’ve got to spend some time celebrating your successes and appreciating your good fortune. That’s where the gratitude comes in. I’m thankful for the successes I’ve had and for those which are still to come.
I’ve been incredibly blessed. I have the means to indulge a passion, I get to fool around in the garage instead of worrying where my next meal will come from, and I have friends and acquaintances who have been extremely helpful and supportive. And while the car has taken longer to get here than I’d hoped, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made. I’m thankful I was able to install the windshield twice without breaking it. I’m confident I made the right choice on the paint color. Thinking back on how far I’ve come, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to get this far. I look forward to finishing this car up before the end of the year!
In closing: I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the knowledge I’ve acquired these past few years. I know I’ve mentioned that before, but it’s worth repeating. I’ve learned so much, and now that I’ve done every job two or three times, I’m pretty confident I could do this car all over again in half the time. But hopefully that day is far away.