Events such as the passing of John Ilhan are chances to reflect on what is important in our own lives, and business approach.
An attitude of gratitude
Even though I had never met John Ilhan I was deeply affected by his untimely death. I read all the articles on his life over the last week, particularly on SmartCompany, and I could not help but reflect on his incredible achievements, both on a business and personal level.
It seemed that he was a man with a very good heart, a great sense of community and family, and a person totally dedicated to his business – and he had learned how to be all this in such a short time.
One of the articles mentioned the fact that he was always grateful for the opportunities he had in Australia – even though everything I read indicated that he was truly a man who had made his own luck, starting on the production line at the Ford factory.
When these terrible things happen to others it is always presents an opportunity to reflect on our own lives and the things we have learnt.
I remember my mentor at Pola Cosmetics gave me a very good lesson upfront in that business when he said: “Have an attitude of gratitude, but never expect gratitude”. In direct selling or possibly any business I think that is very wise advice.
Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the great resources we can draw on in tough times – no matter the challenges.
To me, living in Australia alone gives me reason to be grateful and move forward – if we only focus on the people who appear to have more, be more successful, we are always on the back foot. As someone said to me many years ago, there will always be someone who is prettier, thinner and/or richer. So it’s best to focus on what you have – not what you have not. And be grateful for what we do have.
As for never expecting gratitude, that also seems very wise to me as long as we can be pleased with our own efforts and proud of those efforts, we don’t need the accolades of others – and sometimes chasing those accolades is fruitless and disappointing.
It seems to me that very successful business people and people who live successful lives are driven by internal rather than external factors – their own drive and resilience and not the applause of others. No doubt as they become successful they get those accolades as their efforts become recognised. But very few successful people will say that their motivation for success was recognition, rather they say they are driven to succeed for much more personally compelling reasons.
Going back to the idea of having gratitude as an underlying value, it reminds me how important it is to say thank you to people who deserve to be thanked, and what an impact it can have on both our lives and business lives. It is said the most powerful two words in the English language are “thank you”.
The power of saying thank you to friends, family, customers, suppliers, employees and anyone who supports us cannot be underestimated. Just try it.
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Debra Jacobs writes: Having the attitude of gratitude is a powerful thing. Being thankful for our health, our family and friends tends to top the list but how many of us put the very things that we are most grateful for on hold as we get so busy in our professional lives that we take them for granted? It is increasingly clear that working women, in particular, take on so much that we literally cannot work any harder and as a consequence feel overwhelmed with no end in sight. What’s the answer? If we can’t work harder, we have to work smarter. So ladies, take a stand and look to see what you can outsource.
We all do our best to set ourselves up professionally with a supportive environment, but do you feel that it all falls to pieces when you leave the office? Domestic reality hits when you walk in the door with hungry kids and there’s no dinner, or there are piles of washing that still need to be done no matter what your title at work is. So give yourselves a break and pin point the biggest problem in your day and get it sorted. Find a service that will solve it once and for all and use it. Then you can truly be grateful for the extra time and headspace you have for the things that are most important to you – before it’s too late. Don’t forget, children and loved ones spell love – T I M E. If you and your family don’t deserve it – who does?