Meet Gerald. Gerald is the doorman of my Brooklyn apartment building. Gerald travels over an hour on the subway, six days of the week from Queens to Brooklyn to get to work, and then an hour back again many hours later. He gets back home close to midnight. His job is sometimes monotonous and also sometimes strenuous – lifting strollers up stairways, moving heavy boxes, opening doors even when it’s super cold outside.
And yet, despite all that there is always a smile on Gerald’s face. There’s always a spring in his step. And, he always remembers if you’ve gone away on vacation, or if you weren’t feeling well, or if your child has a birthday is coming up.
I am in awe of this man.
Not only does he take pride in his work, but he has shared with me that he is deeply grateful to be able to do his work, and that is what allows him to show up fully for the residents of my building.
Why is he grateful?
Simply, because he is. It’s his way of moving through the world.
He is grateful because he has a job in this economy. He is grateful because he gets to read the paper during his subway ride. He is grateful because he enjoys the residents of the building. He is grateful because he gets to watch the children here grow over the years from babies into young adults.
Gerald is grateful that he receives Christmas gifts from many of the families. He is grateful because the transistor radio and tiny little black and white TV at his doorman desk work. He is grateful because he doesn’t have to think about what to wear to work – it’s always the same uniform.
It’s his gratitude that shines through in his actions.
And here’s one of the best parts: Gerald makes a HUGE difference in the world. How? Well, when your doorman smiles at you and kindly asks how you’re doing as you leave your building. More times than not you’re naturally going to be in a better mood and take that out into your day. And when your doorman offers to help with your groceries or ask how work was, more times than not, you’ll continue to unlock your door and greet your kids with a smile. And then your kids are happier too.
In my coaching practice, I meet a lot of folks who are working on HUGE levels to change the world. They’re doing amazing things. They’re making a difference. And yet, often when they first come to me, they are unhappy. They expect the worst. Things aren’t going for them the way the want it to. They’re not enjoying life OR making a difference.
They just need to take a look at my doorman: he knows how to cultivate gratitude and feel it deeply to his core.
What do you sense might happen if you committed to feel gratitude deep in your heart, if you committed to decide that it’s more important than lack, if you committed to loving thoroughly all that you have? Imagine, just imagine, how YOUR life might be different if you made gratitude a priority. And imagine, just imagine, how the world might be different if you made gratitude a priority.
Pretty amazing, don’t you think?