On Gratefulness and Spirituality (Pt 2)

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Booking under: Nicole

Aloha, August!

By this time in the summer, we are all feeling different kinds of emotions. While kids are still enjoying their summer vacation, we adults are working our socks off to close deals before the fiscal year ends in three weeks. For me, August is always a month of happiness and blessings as I get to celebrate the joy of life with family and friends. It’s also a perfect occasion for me to ponder the purpose of life, reflect upon myself, and explore the spiritual realm of infinite possibilities. So what are my key takeaways on this topic?

1. Keep a gratitude notebook

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What are you thankful for today? TGIF at least and weekend awaits.

While gratitude is important to happiness, it’s a good idea to maintain a gratitude journal and keep track of what I am thankful for on a regular basis. The beauty of adopting  a gratitude journal is that it’s solely about one self and can help people be more self-aware and focus on what really matters to them without judging and comparing themselves to others. Once a gratitude “repository” is developed, people will gain clarity on what they want more of in life. And the more they pursue these drivers, the happier they will (hopefully) become. Noting what you are grateful for also serves as a good reminder to not take things for granted and cherish the moments.

Recognizing the importance of being thankful and showing appreciation to life, I do have a routine of doing night prayer of thanks before going to bed. This month, I am happy to test if documenting positive events happened daily can cultivate more positivity. As such, I will take Gretchen’s advice, and document 3-5 things that I am grateful for every other day. It will be a quiet moment for me to count my blessings and contemplate the people and things I feel appreciated for.

2. Imitate a spiritual master

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Wow! Even this good-looking creature with three eyes looks up to Sheryl Sandberg!

Gretchen believed that people often read biographies for spiritual reasons. I do love reading history books and keep a collection of biographies of Chinese Emperors and U.S. Presidents. Reading their stories allows me to stand on the shoulders of the giants and glean lessons from their life experience – but not really for spiritual reasons. Ever since becoming a believer of Jesus Christ, I believe the Bible and his teachings is one of the best ways to address my spiritual queries as it reveals the ways of God and prompts me to think beyond. Other than that, I don’t really have spiritual masters over the years but do have role models that I constantly admire and look up to – one at distance being Sheryl Sandberg, an intelligent business leader who made huge contributions to women’s rights at the workplace and changed lives of many. Feel free to read further here. 

Being an inspirational icon for our generation, Sheryl has great care for her family, dedicates so much of her time to drive gender equality and women’s rights, and supports women empowerment groups at work. The fascinating aspect is that she is very vocal on the great cause that she believes in, as seen in her TED talks and her book, Lean In. Recently, she gave a moving commencement speech at UC Berkeley where she spoke about the death of her husband publicly for the first time. There, she shared three critical factors that enabled her to bounce back from this tragedy: personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence. Spirituality is a key characteristic of resilience, and the seeds of resilience are planted in the process when we accept, process, and turn around the negative events in our lives. I am very much looking forward to Sheryl’s new book, Option B, where she will share how to find meaning when we face adversity in our lives: It’s the hard days — the days that challenge you to your very core — that determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but how you survive.” 

Sheryl’s example has inspired me to stand up for the causes that I believe in as I share the same vision as her. And this is also one of my commitments for this month. About a year ago, I started a women program for my practice to connect ladies across the office, develop skills, and have regular conversations on how to achieve personal and professional goals. As we have several initiatives in the pipeline and are looking to expand the program to other geographical regions, I hope to build a more connected support network among women and celebrate one another’s achievements through creating a Lean In Circle. The work is well under way and I am excited to see how it turns out!

Summing up

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That’s it for me this week. In August, I signed up to document 3-5 things that I feel grateful for every other day, and continue to work for causes I believe in through gaining inspiration from Sheryl Sandberg and other successful leaders. Come back next week to see how Keith kept up with his actions on gratitude and spirituality. Do you have a habit of keeping a gratitude journal? Are you enlightened by any spiritual masters or role models to work on a specific agenda? Let your voice be heard by either leaving us a comment below or writing to aloha.abf2@gmail.com. See you then! 

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