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Ada Obiako: Embrace the Suck


“Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.” – Zig Ziglar

If I choose to be honest with you, I’d tell you that I’ve done a poor job of being grateful lately.

I’ve done a much better job of being thankless.

When things haven’t gone as I’ve “expected” in recent times, my knee-jerk reaction has been to complain. It is to whine, to moan, to get moody, and to even lash out from time to time in anger (I apologise to all that have been on the receiving end of that).

Since that attitude isn’t helpful or productive, I’m calling myself out. I’m challenging myself to approach my life, my experiences, and my environment from a “for my good” perspective. This means also embracing when things “suck”.

Not an easy thing to do.

It requires a painfully (yes, painfully) deliberate effort to accept that all people, actions, and experiences (pleasurable or not so much) that come my way are “for my good” and I need to be grateful for them. Based on that, let me list 5 things I am choosing to be grateful for at this point in time.

I’m grateful for every undeserved gift I take for granted because they’ve typically been constant in my life (e.g. my health, my loving and supportive family, true friends that “show up” to share a good laugh or enjoy an outing or discuss ideas or provide a safe, listening ear when life feels tougher than usual).

I’m grateful for the winds of change because it forces me to become more adaptable, flexible, and open to “new” growth, relationships, and opportunities in my life.

I’m grateful for failures when they come because it means I have put in effort to produce something and the failures teach me what-not-to-do when I try again.

I’m grateful for painful wakeup calls that “knock sense into me” when I am on the wrong path or take the wrong action or associate with people in the wrong way at any given point in my life.

I’m grateful for infinite access to resources (people, books, articles, videos, conferences, etc) that afford me the opportunity to learn more about topics / themes / fields I have personal interest in and provide practical tactics I can use to further develop myself as a person & professional.

I could go on but then this post might become novel-length.

I’m taking this gratitude / “embrace the suck” challenge one day at a time. I don’t expect to be perfect at it. However, if I can be consistent in doing this for one day, then I have a greater chance of maintaining gratitude mode the next day, then the next day, and then the next day…and that gratitude will consistently result in joy.

So, if you find yourself negatively reacting to your life or feeling joyless, you might find this gratitude / “embrace the suck” challenge fruitful for you — feel free to test it and let me know how it goes

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