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  • Being Grateful For The Ride vs. Being Bitter About The End

    Nathan Jamail, Being Grateful For The Ride vs. Being Bitter About The End

    No matter how much we try as adults and professionals we still struggle with being just like kids or the kids we were 20 or 40 years ago. Many times as children, we forgot to be grateful for our parents doing things for us, that they probably didn’t want to do, such as taking us to an amusement park for 10 hours, instead we were were mad because they made us leave 15 minutes before closing. As a parent it makes me so mad when our little girls get upset because we can’t stay another day at Disneyland instead of being grateful that mom took them in the first place. I call that a mistaken sense of feeling. As adults and employees we too can fall into that trap. I like to think I am grateful for my 20 plus years working for Corporate America and the numerous opportunities it provided me versus being bitter about how some of my relationships and opportunities ended.

    Yesterday a client called me and let me know one of their manager quit after the company had to make some tough decisions on their compensation and organizational org chart. I knew this manager and I know how smart and talented he is, but that did not stop him from doing what so many professional do in today’s business. They quit or become bitter for something ending or changing versus being grateful for the ride or opportunity they had recently benefited from. Long story short; this manager was on a compensation program that was designed for a start-up type of company and he did awesome for himself and the company. Now the company has experienced changes and growth and they must change their model of how they do business (ps this is how businesses STAY in business).  Because of this change the manager decided to quit as he felt he no longer could work for the company given the new direction. The unfortunate part of this story is I feel the ride the manager got to take was awesome and one that very few people get (it was really that awesome).  I think he feels the same way; but because the ride ended, he was frustrated and disappointed causing him to make an emotional decision that did not benefit him or the company in the long run. Now, I  also respect the manager a great deal for stepping up and resigning and not becoming a negative and bitter employee, although knowing this manager, it is not a big surprise because he has great character and is a upstanding person. The part that saddens me, and I see more often than not, is this manager may eventually regret making a knee jerk emotional reaction to change.


    As a coach to hundreds of business leaders over the past 10 years, I see this behavior from all levels of employment. This is not a character flaw or attitude problem, rather it is an emotional response problem. The next time a good thing comes to an end in your business life, whether it is a job, compensation change or a relationship change, try to remember the great fortune you had by getting the opportunity originally and try not to be bitter about it being taken away. I believe this is what it means to live a life of gratitude. One thing I have learned is the facts are the facts. Difficult things happen and the only thing we get to control is how we choose to deal with it. And always, always, during difficulty or change, if we have the right attitude, the winds will change and we will find the positive flow of energy and sometimes, an even better situation.

    We choose our mindset of how we decide to view situations; whether we want to live in a state of mind of gratitude or a state of bitterness.  And one will bring us joy and prosperity, regardless of what we face. The other will bring us frustration and regret.

    I choose to be grateful.

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