The impact of adopting an “attitude of gratitude” can be profound. Shifting our perceptions from what’s wrong with our lives to what’s right is the first step toward creating a more positive world. This simple action can be amazingly transformational. Here are 5 powerful ways that tapping into our gratitude gets the ball of positive change rolling:
Take time to smell the roses. When we’re aware of all the great things in our lives, we naturally enjoy our life more. Sometimes, even the most mundane of actions like sipping a steaming, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning can be one of our happiest indulgences if we’ll just take the time to truly enjoy it. Those simple pleasures are fuel in our tanks, and help us to persevere when times get tough.
Recognize that contentment is contagious. When we’re aware of our current blessings, we naturally become kinder and more charitable to the people around us. Others are drawn to our new-found positivism, and can’t help but feel the same way! Gratitude begins a domino effect that touches people exponentially, and has the potential to grow into a powerful new wave of thinking.
Appreciate the good that is everywhere. The world is full of wonderful things if we just choose to see them. People dream, flowers bloom, and our pets adore us. And when all else fails, just remember that as long as hot fudge exists, things really can’t be all that bad.
Work toward a better future. Practicing gratitude also serves the purpose of keeping us focused on what is, instead of what could have been. Although we must have a vision of what we’d like to achieve down the line, the power moment is this one! Now is the time to begin working toward a better future. Goals are fine, but what can you do today to get one step closer to your vision?
Reflect on accomplishments. Since we came into the world with nothing, focusing on what’s right in our lives reminds us to reflect on what we’ve already achieved. These are our hard-earned treasures. Acknowledging them shows that we already have a proven pattern of accomplishment and now know from experience that, with the right plan, we can effect positive change!
In a world of six billion people, how can one individual make a difference and begin to create a better world? By simply being grateful for what already is. Just think what each of us can accomplish if we’re appreciating what we have, indulging in the moment, working toward a better future and uplifting others along the way. I can’t think of a better plan for making a “positive impact” than that.
One day, many years ago, it occurred to me, what would happen if I stopped wondering what it would be like to have all my dreams come true. That I deserved to be happy and successful, and if I just believed that no matter what circumstance I am in, in any given moment, that anything is possible. But I knew it was not just going to happen. Believing was not enough and I knew I had this task, like pushing a boulder up hill, of over-hauling my life and seizing the moment. That creating a life of abundance was going to take intention, fortitude, and creativity, must be declared and determination at all costs. And for some of us, we keep repeating the same patterns day after day, year after year, thinking I want more from my life and not figuring out how to do something about it. Telling ourselves that someone else deserves to have all their dreams come true more than we do or selling ourselves short of what we are capable of. Our dreams in our life are not based on what our parents think we are, not what others think we are, and in actuality, not what we think we are. They are who we are and it is our responsibility to figure out what they are. We have to be willing to bet on ourselves, roll the dice, and take ownership of our dreams, build what I call a dream team to help us make them happen and instead of accepting our lives as they are, live up to our potential and see everything as possibility.
Recently, I had the opportunity, on more than one occasion, to have a conversation with Dr. Maria Gandell, of Gandell World Enterprises, Inc., and professor, motivational speaker, business consultant, and more importantly, a mother and a wife. In that conversation, Maria kept bringing one thing home to me that I heard loud and clear: People who dream dwell in possibility. And dreaming is for everyone. Maria made me think about my own personal life experience and my journey of living up to my potential. I truly enjoy Maria’s enthusiasm for life. It is simply contagious. She believes we are all born successful and it is up to us to live up to what we are born to be. Maria is a breath of fresh air and she passionately speaks out to the fact that we are all winners and everyone has the potential to do extraordinary things.
TC: Maria what is it that makes you so positive and optimistic about life?
MG: I have been positive and goal oriented my whole life. I love living. I believe we are all winners and everyone has the potential to do extraordinary things no matter what obstacles we face. I learned early on, “If it is meant to be, it is up to me.”
TC: You have done many things in your life and have been very successful. What do you attribute that to and where does this thought process come from?
MG: We are born with all the ingredients to live a successful life. Everyone has dreams and it is important for each one of us to fulfill them, focusing on one dream at a time. They are built inside us, when we come to this world. It is a great opportunity to be alive and be able to accomplish each of our goals in this life. But, we must act. It just does not happen by itself, we must activate what each of us have inside. Flip on the switch and go. We start with the basics and one brick at a time, we lay the foundation for success.
And laying a foundation for success is exactly what Maria has done. Maria finished her BA at the age of 18, has her PhD, has lived and worked in Europe, Easter Europe, Scandinavia, South America and the Caribbean with citizenship in both Europe and America. She has held top administrative positions in the Government of Puerto Rico and international management consulting work. Her accomplishments speak for themselves. Her tenacity, determination, pit bull attitude and passion to become who she is meant to be, has afforded Maria the opportunity to open doors for women to work side by side with men in the army by being the first woman to finish basic training with 190 men getting her commission as a Captain of the Army Medical Service Corp, become a training officer for a unit of over 2000 male officers and enlisted personnel . As managed Fort Gordon Stockade, an all-male military personnel prison under the command of the Provost Marshal, Col. Paul R. Atherton, her mentor and friend for many years.
TC: Maria your life in many ways has been a real roller coaster ride. So much of what you have shared is riveting. I could not get it all in this article. You are an example of what one human can accomplish and overcome if one puts their mind to it.
MG: We must focus on the finish line Thomas. We do what I call fall-fail forward and every time we get back up. We are constantly re-adjusting our lives and our goals. We have many obstacles – but, we must see the finish line. We must focus on what we want to do. I have learned to concentrate on each step along the way and make adjustments in the process. After all, we are born winners. And winners press forward. If we do not move forward and grow we die inside.
Maria has overcome many obstacles that have given her the miracle of living life with great abundance. Having survived death nine times because of different health issues and being completely healthy today. Maria believes enjoying life is the name of the game and she loves helping people reach their full potential.
MG: Thomas I believe we must accept people for who they are. Everyone is very special. We must have a mutual respect for others. We appreciate the values and differences of others. And don’t blame others for our own actions. It is a road that does not pay dividends. We cannot blame our parent’s actions for our behavior or anyone else for what we do. They have no control over our behavior and how we live our life. We are the one in the driver seat of our present and of our future. Promote diversity in your life and love people for who they are. Most importantly, forgive yourself. We are where we need to begin. We must take responsibility for our own actions, reach for the stars and have fun in everything we do in life. And when we help others fulfill their dreams and reach their potential we are reaching our own.
Maria’s favorite quote is, “Life is a wonderful adventure, enjoy and have fun each minute, for it will never come back again.”
TC: Maria you told me to dream big dreams. Do not rest on my accomplishments. Live in every moment.
MG: I love living Thomas. We only have this moment. Things happen to us in life every day, but it is up to us to not let it affect us. When we dream big dreams everything else is insignificant. It does not mean it is not important. But big dreams over shadow all of those things that happen in our lives, good bad or indifferent, and are a part of making those dreams come to fruition. Focus on the dream. Focus on the finish line. We all receive talents and we cannot waste them. These are talents no one else has – Only us. Our talents must be used and not taken for granted.
And using her talents she does. With her charismatic personality and many talents Maria has built a world class company, Gandell World Enterprises, Inc., that teaches that we learn by doing, having an action plan and making it happen will bring us extraordinary success. Using her more than 25 years of administration, management consulting work experience and teaching in the military, federal government, state governments, universities and private enterprise Maria has created an eye opening and motivating Business Development and Operational Auditing Seminar to be held in Corvera de Asturias, Spain that will impact all levels of any business. The red carpet treatment for each of her participants, for seven days, will provide a learning experience that will keep giving each day of your life.
Maria tells me more about the seminar she will be presenting in Spain.
MG: Technology is every where Thomas. We just need to know what we are looking for, what to do with it and how to apply the knowledge. My purpose in delivering this hand on seminar is to provide a framework and tools that participants can use to develop, assess, and make the necessary adjustments to whatever type of enterprise they are in. The knowledge can be applied to all levels of business in all situations. I make learning fun, relaxing and very productive. When we are in an environment of possibility we become sponges soaking up the knowledge. It will be seven days of adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, Asturias, Spain. It is a once in a lifetime multi-cultural experience that will teach how to look at things just a little differently.
Maria this is going to be an amazing trip and event. One I look forward to hearing all about. I know it will be a huge success and for those attending one not too soon to forget.
Albert Schweitzer once said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Maria said to me more than once that happiness is the key to everything. And we choose to be happy.
TC: Maria I know you have said that happiness is the key to everything. But how do we always be happy? As discussed previously, life certainly has its challenges.
MG: Yes and it is how we view them. I live in gratitude. Gratitude multiplies everything in our lives. I am thankful for God and everything he has done for me. I am thankful for all that life has given to me, big and small, because it is in everything I find possibility. I am grateful for all things and all people. Can you imagine that the simplest thing like being grateful can give us everything we ever want and make us everything we ever could be? Reach for the stars Thomas, and the stars will be their when you are ready.
The time I spent with Maria, of course as always, will change my life forever. Dreaming is for Everyone. If anyone was ever skeptical about whether their dreams can come true through dwelling in possibility they need to spend some time with Maria, and better yet attend her seminar. As Maria said, “Life is a wonderful adventure, enjoy and have fun each minute, it will never come back again.”
For more information about Dr. Maria D. Gandell go to www.gandellworldenterprisesinc.com