From my newsletter (visit www.simonsmithcoaching.com to sign up) - February 2007
I’ve just flown in from sunny Los Angeles this morning, having spent the last few days attending Jack Canfield’s Advanced Training for “Breakthrough to Success”, the programme based on his number one bestselling book “The Success Principles”.
I’m always honoured and privileged to get back together with old friends from these trainings as we learn and grow together and get more and more in touch with ourselves and our respective purposes. I find myself so grateful for the opportunity.
One of Jack’s exercises this week was to have us take just five minutes in silence during one of the breaks to be aware of our surroundings and notice what we take so easily for granted. We had earlier prompted the thought process by simply asking the question “what are you grateful for?” to each other. I was amazed by how much I do indeed take for granted: a simple walk out of the training room and I noted the softness of the carpet, my shoes, the greenery of plant life scattered about the lobby, inspiring artwork on the walls, coffee, hot water, running water, warmth, mirrors, escalators, electricity, music, being recognised by someone, a friendly smile, laughter, speech, hearing, sight, mobility, the sunshine, concrete, tables, chairs, umbrellas, children and their innocence, play, caring parents, dogs, my wristwatch and the ability to sit in peace and enjoy the moment.
It was no wonder then, that later in the training, a silent auction had been suggested - one of the guest trainers was a famous musician and had autographed a waste paper bin following an impromptu jamming session using it as a drum (you had to be there I guess…!). However, it was further suggested that we should just “get in the game” and hold an auction and see what happened. Proceeds from the auction were being given to Suzannah Crowder’s Chicken Soup Kitchens (feed the homeless) project (check out Suzannah and her fantastic work at www.myspace.com/suzannahcrowder).
The auction started at $30 I think and wasn’t long before it was up to $100, $200, $300, $850, $950, $1000!! And then the most amazing thing…the winner said put it back and everyone went again. Started at $750, $850, $950 and $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! Again - $750, $1000…put it back! By this time people were crying, laughing, and hugging each other. The auctioneer brought the “winners” up on the stage and the numbers just grew and grew. The emotion and energy in the room was simply so powerful, you could feel the love and joy, the passion and the sheer abundance mentality. It sent shivers up my spine. It was such a privilege to be there.
I lost count of how many people got involved. It may have been sixteen, it may have been seventeen and when it was all done, everyone else just threw what money they had in the bin. Someone said later they would match whatever had been raised – WOW! In a space of 20 minutes, what had started as a great idea to raise a few dollars for Suzannah’s Chicken Soup, turned into $34,000+!!!
We have so much to be grateful for and we take so much for granted. It is moments like this that allow us to truly appreciate what we have, that we all have so much to give, and I don’t mean just money. What I really learnt this past few days is that if we live our lives from a place of joy, passion, integrity, love and abundance, miracles can really occur. Furthermore, when we truly take responsibility, we can change the world!
Take a few moments in silence with me today to just appreciate those things around us that are so easily taken for granted and then perhaps also look at those people in our lives that we may also not appreciate fully. Take some time to have an “Attitude of Gratitude”.
‘Til next time.