One of the most important personal beliefs I carry is that an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement will bring me greater happiness in life than all the material trappings of success. I have so many examples of successful people in my life who have taught me that it isn't the things you get, it's the way you live that counts when we are measured by a power higher than our own egos.
I have many personal favorite examples of success. My husband's Grandma Glover is one of them. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who spent the majority of her life in the state of Texas. She didn't have books on shelves or make lots of money, but she had an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement. I don't think I ever heard her say an angry or spiteful thing in all the years I knew her. She was a truly humble soul. She gave of herself every day, and she met each day with joy in her heart. I often tell my husband that I want to be like Grandma Glover when I "grow up."
Grandma Glover had a wisdom that came from age, from sacrifice, from loss, and from faith. I admire that quality in my Dutch best friend's mother and father as well. They are not movie stars or celebrities, but they are amazing parents and grandparents. They shower their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with love and affection. They honor their family with their words, their acts, and their presence. They are who I want to be when I "grow up."
I often read the obituaries for name ideas. Sometimes I find more than a name. I unearth a success story. I discover a two column spread about a person who passed away after a long life. Everything written about the person describes a humble soul, a spirit of service, and a loving heart filled with a zest and a joy for life. That this person will be missed is clear in the depth of the praise for acts as simple as being a loving Pop Pop, or a friend to all the rescue animals, or the Best Momma in the World. I want to be one of them when I "grow up."
So I practice an Attitude of Gratitude and a Spirit of Encouragement while still stumbling over my own ego at times because I really do want to "grow up."
Who do you want to be when you "grow up?" Do you have any favorite stories you'd like to share with me? Who influences your spirit and heart in a positive way?
Note: This blog first appeared on Digging Out of Distraction on January 14, 2011.