Gratitude: An important lesson for millennial leaders

Have you observed how the kinds of stuff you have the least control over are what troubles you the most? It is in our nature to try to gain control over the stuff that is most critical to our survival in life, such as our capacity to live. It is incredible how many individuals are out there who put up some erroneous situations in their lives solely because they feel more in charge in that bad situation than they would if they moved away from it and tried something new.

The very concept of doing something new means that there are no organized rules to wrap you in that different way of life and giving you the idea of being the least secure root to take. This is your fundamental instincts taking over your need for survival. Your fundamental instincts are a blend of genetic traits passed on from generations and tried and tested methods that your innermost mind uses to keep you safe from wrong. Your inborn instincts are the typical fears you have as a baby, such as the fear of heights. Your tried and tested abilities are the mixed adventures of your life until now – and the best way of taking you towards the things you want and away from the things that trouble you.

As human beings, our desire is always to seek the path that would bring us the most delight, sometimes though we see ourselves walking down a path that brings us grief. But because we append more benefit to our situation than pain, we find ourselves walking further down this painful path. Can you relate to a problem in your life that you know, causing you considerable pain, but you still put up with it because you feel that you are getting more perks from it than pain?

It could be that tedious job you go to day in and day out because the money is good, so you would instead trade your time for the monthly paycheck rather than try something else that you would be more comfortable with, but may not make the same money. Or it could be a relationship that you would fancy to be in because it is better than being single. Thus you stop yourself and your partner from ever finding that true peace until the love ends.

The feeling of identity is down to our subconscious mind’s ability to connect with related processes and put them into a natural order for our brains to recognize the next time we come across a comparable situation.

Hence, when we come across fire, whether or not it is safe to touch it, our subconscious mind makes the connection from the first time we felt fire as kids and immediately stops us the next time we come close to the fire so that we don’t get baked.

As with most methods, once you have acquired the rules to produce the desired results, you are overwhelmed with the results the first few times. After repeating the process a few times, we become used to the level of skill you have obtained and take the end result as something familiar. Like a kid learning how to ride a bike, they start on a tricycle, with one wheel at the back and two wheels in the front.

It doesn’t take much to check it, just the ability to pedal and stir. Once the kid becomes confident with the basics of powering and stirring the tricycle, they can then proceed onto a bigger bicycle with stabilizers. In this second stage, they learn the mechanics of a standard bike but still support the stabilizer wheels. Then, finally, the stabilizers are taken off, and the kid rides freely on their bicycle. This new learning curve teaches the kid balance. It’s a severe learning curve, as most kids experience a few falls along the way to learning to manage their balance.

I know by now you are questioning where this is all going. Well, here is the point. Every position you have been in that has challenged you to learn something new has taken you through a related process which I have explained with the bicycle example. At first, you start with an idea of what you would like to perform. You learn the basic requirements needed to take you in that customary direction by building up a support group. Once you are confident with the essentials you need, you then put yourself in a similar situation with your support group close by. This could be you working with a teacher or mentor to get the fundamental skills that you need. Once you have the sufficient skills you require, you can then move to your end goals safe with the new understanding you have acquired along the way. You get excited about the results you have achieved and repeat the same learning process on different things to get more results.

After a while, most people get used to their results in their lives and start looking for newer and better goals to aim at. This could be anything from learning a new game to picking up a new language. You need something different in your life that would rechallenge you. When you are looking for something new in your life to give you a refreshed sense of pleasure, it is a sign that you have reached a hill in your life where you feel that you have absorbed all there is to learn in your prevailing situation and now need a new hurdle to help you grow as a human.

There are so many ways in which you can improve your life and do something different. The problem is that once you start looking for other ways to improve yourself, it is all too easy to get lost in the iota of information out there. Instead of finding better ways to improve on the skills you already have, you just add more information to the haystack of knowledge you already own. With all this information around, it is easy to forget just how privileged you are to be where you are in your career. There is always room for growth, that’s our human nature. It’s also our human nature to become accustomed with our skills and surroundings we already own and take them for granted.

It is incredible how fast you can forget about the things you already own and what you had to go through to get to where you are right now in your life. You need to remember all of the great things you have in your life and how lucky you are to have your health. Looking at your life right now, what are you grateful for?

Having an attitude of gratitude for all that you have right now makes you realize that you live a blessed life. You have a lot to offer to the world. The fact that you have visited NYK Daily and are reading this and seeking to improve things in your life means that there is a part of you that understands this. Wanting to do something unusual in your life is your subconscious way of recognizing all that is great in your life and building upon your progress so far.

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