How The Simple Habit of Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Back in May I packed all my belongings and set off to make a name for myself in the charming city of New York. A fresh start and my first big boy job. It was my time to shine.

I was ecstatic, until I wasn’t.

The once alluring skyline quickly began to fade. The clouds found comfort in smothering my ambitious eyes.

I missed my family. I missed my friends. My dream job, it turns out, fell inches short of the perfect fit. Worse yet, the city I so desperately wanted to love didn’t think twice before throwing my identity to the curb.

My generally optimistic foundation began to falter, and the train was always late. With the whole world in front of me, I couldn’t see past the nightmares that kept me awake. Even the well lit Madison Avenue couldn’t help me find the man I was just months before.

Loneliness and sorrow were frequent guests.

As my struggles played on repeat, the roof top of my overpriced apartment lent me his hand.

Then one night with my eyes set on the city, I began to cry.

Breathtaking. Beautiful. Solace in the skyline.An immense wave of gratitude welcomed me.

How could I not have seen this before?

My life post rooftop epiphany isn’t perfect. I still miss my family and friends. And sometimes, despite the electric pulse of New York, I feel like I’m the only person in the world.

But things are looking up. Not because my circumstances changed, but because the horizon of New York city reminded me that underneath the uncertainty is an abundance of little smiles waiting to be released.

Don’t get me wrong. The train will still run late, you’ll still trip and fall. And sometimes you’ll feel like giving up.

But in those special moments of appreciation, no matter how small, you remember why you’re alive.

This Matters

This matters.

This moment. This time. This place.

Your fears, your anxieties,  your desire to make a dent.

Your failures, your triumphs,  and all the steps in between.

This life of paradox.

Connected, yet alone. Happy, but feeling hunger. Confident, yet insecure. 

This matters. 

Your strengths, your scars, your vision. 

Your blind spots, your ambitions, your actions, your words. 

Every move you make. 

Your pages are wet with ink. 

You matter. This matters. 

Don’t you forget. 

Leave Your Fears Behind

Editors Note: In spirt of my friend Torre’s book launch – I’ve decided to share a litte bit about fear.  

I’m on a plane to New York City, about to start the job of my dreams. 

I’m ecstatic. Yet I’m scared.

Will my coworkers like me? Will I get swallowed whole by the city that never sleeps? Will things go as I planned?

Seven years ago, I lost my best friend. A jet ski accident took his life. It’s a day I will never forget.

Why did this happen? How will I go on?

Six years ago, I boarded a flight to Shanghai China after spending the majority of my young life growing up in Texas.

Will I make any friends? How will I learn the language? What about the food… does it taste bad?

Eight years ago I ran cross country. After pushing through some minor soreness over several weeks, my legs gave out and I collapsed to the floor.

Unable to move my legs voluntarily, I was essentially paralyzed from the waste down for what was the longest two weeks of my life.

Will I be able to walk again? Will I ever be able to run? How will this impact the rest of my life?

The darkest moments produce the brightest light.

In my short time here on earth, I’ve traveled to the highest peaks and the lowest of lows.

I’ve been too scared to sleep, and often felt as if I was the only person in the world.

But you. Me. We aren’t alone.

Your current fears mean nothing when faced in the moment. Your worries today will all but be forgotten ten years from now.

It’s often hard to see the big picture, especially when you forgot that life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Rejected by that cute girl? Big deal.

Bomb the most important job interview in the world? There will be more.

Feel like you’ve amounted to nothing? Success is behind the next door.

I’ve traveled the world, I’ve made friends from all over the globe, and I have a close network of people who want nothing more than for me to succeed and live a happy life.

Yet…

I’ve also faced tremendous challenges. I’ve moved across the world, I’ve lost a best friend, and I’ve thrown pity parties that rival the best of them.

As I reflect on my up coming journey in New York City, I can’t help but smile at the adventures that lie ahead. I’m certain there will be bumps in the road, but I couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store.

You may feel paralyzed by the fears you face today, but I assure you tomorrow you’ll be that much stronger.

Leave your fears behind. 

Do What Got You There

You finally lost those last few pounds. Your relationships are booming. People are finally starting to listen to what you have to say.

Your hard work paid off. You finally found success… or so you thought.

Just moments before you reach the peak of the mountain, things begin to slip.

Those last few pounds to begin to creep back on. Relationships once stable, are rocked by chaos. Your once loyal followers are nowhere to be seen.

The excuses roll in.

I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know enough people. I’m destined to be average.

It’s tempting to throw yourself a pity party and think you just don’t have the chops to make it.

But the harsh reality is, success left because you got lazy.

You got comfortable. You got greedy. And success doesn’t take kind to being under appreciated.

This pattern has found itself into my life far more than I care to admit. I’ll find success, and slowly stop doing the work that got me there.

Perhaps you can relate.

You stop putting in the hours. You stop eating the right foods. You stop busting your ass to communicate with the ones you love.

Long term success isn’t common because most people don’t put in the work day after day after day. True success is a 24/7 job.

If you want the world you have to give the world.

If you’ve recently fallen from the mountain you worked so hard to climb, the solution is rather straightforward but certainly not easy.

Success knocks as long as you put in the work.

Do what you got there, and answer the door when it rings.