Sunday, February 23, 2014

World's Most Valuable Gem

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, February 23, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure this idea came from the movie The Secret.

The Stone
(By me)

Such a simple non imposing piece of glass
To most not worthy of a first look let along a second
Most would ignore it as it rests upon the ground
Even if it were observed as it lay in the grass

It is the world's most valuable gem, at least to me
Because buried within lies a power to recall
People, memories and thoughts most precious
Easily recalled whenever the gem I see.

In the movie The Secret the narrator referred to the use of a Gratitude Stone.  Actually the stone could be anything, a stone, a jewel, or even a photo but the stone seems to work best because of its size and the fact it is in places that would seem to be out of place.

How does it work?  The principle is so simple.  If someone is constantly giving gratitude/thanks for all that is important to them it is extremely difficult to be depressed at the same time.  We all have choices such as:

Your spouse, family member or best friend has done something that you do not like.  You can choose to be angry and hold a grudge or you can choose to be grateful that this person has been and continues to be a very important part of your life.

Your car suddenly has a scratch or dent where there was no scratch or dent.  You can choose to be upset and angry or you can choose to be grateful that you have a car when others do not.

At work something goes wrong.  You can do as most people do and with a knee-jerk reaction become angry and even choose to look for ways to get even.  Or you can decide that one of your main purposes in life is to respond rather than react to situations and fix them and be grateful for the opportunity. 

You have failed at something.  Do you dwell in what went wrong or do you use the occasion as an opportunity to learn and develop from the experience?  In this regard read Dr. John Maxwell's Failing Forward.

There are a lot of similarities between playing golf and life.  In both you get the opportunity to do well and you also get the opportunity to experience difficulties.  When you hit your golf ball into a spot that at first appears impossible to recover from do you get upset and throw your club or do you use the opportunity to literally show off your skills and amaze your playing partners?  In life when things go wrong do you get angry and react (throw your club) or do you take a deep breath and then respond and like in golf use the opportunity to show off your patience and skills to fix a problem rather than making it worse?

So here's the deal.  Go to a hobby store and buy a glass stone, the type you put in the bottom of a fish tank.  Buy a colorful stone; buy several.  Then I strongly recommend you do the following:

  • Carry the stone (World's Most Valuable Gem) with you everywhere you go
  • Carry it in your pocket or your purse.
  • Whenever you see or touch it, pause for just a second and give thanks (gratitude) for something in your life like your spouse, children, friends, pets, home, car, job, food, you name it, give thanks for the mere fact that you have them or it in your life. 

No matter what your situation is, good or bad, others have less while others have more but few if any have exactly what you have.  And remember, there are many in this world that would consider having what you have as having won the lottery.  Be grateful for what you have in your life even the less than desirable situations or relationships because it is from those situations and relationships where learning really occurs.

Gary Keller in his book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent suggests that the only time a real estate agent/company can grow their business is during the times when the market is down.   When all is well in the world and business is great, it is great for everyone and you do not work as hard to develop it; business just seems to happen.  Then when business tails off the best in the industry really get to work and that is how the cream rises to the top within the real estate industry and they work harder not less to insure their business grows.  Then when the business turns around these people are light years ahead of their competition because they responded to the situation in a positive way rather than reacting by complaining about a bad market.

The same is true, at least in my opinion, in life.  Adverse situations may not be the ONLY time you can shine but you have to admit, these situations give you the opportunity to be positive and creative where you literally become the person who rises to the top, responds rather than reacts and gets things done.  Think about that for just a moment.  When a less than desirable situation arises in your life, who do you turn to?  You know you immediately go to someone in your life either for the answers you need or to complain about what happened.  Why is that person not you?  Why not turn to yourself to resolve the issue(s)?

Use the Gratitude Stone as a constant reminder of the value of being grateful for all that you have in your life.  As I write this Nugget the stone sits next to my keyboard.  When I first began writing Nuggets For The Noggin over 12 years ago I was fearful that no one would want to read them or that they would not like them.  As a result I wrote them more for myself more than for others.  Then the Nuggets began to spread and some people responded telling me how much they appreciated the thoughts I had put on paper.  When I write a Nugget such as this I need only look and/or touch the Gratitude Stone, stop and give thanks that (1) I am able to write the Nugget good or bad; (2) that I have a computer on which to write it; (3) that I have a means to distribute it via the blog; (4) that the Internet enables me to alert people via sites such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Plaxo and others that a new Nugget has been written and posted; (5) that others will read the Nugget and hopefully that at least one person will find value in the words; (6) that I have a roof over my head; (7) that I have a supporting family and the list goes on and on and on. 

I am also grateful that in the future the words that I put to paper (computer file) may be of value to my children and their children.  My father passed away decades ago and there are many times I wish I could ask him questions but obviously can't.  The Nuggets I write may offer my children and their children an insight to the way I think and my beliefs and that in turn may help them in their lives.

What are you grateful for?  When was the last time you expressed your thanks for these things?  Learn to use the Gratitude Stone; make it a habit that you carry it with you everywhere you go and give thanks every time you see or touch it for something in your life at that very moment. 

If you really want to make a difference, give one of the extra glass stones you purchased to family members or friends and explain what it is for.  Never forget:  One action you take, one word you use, may be the action or word that can literally change the world!  If you want to see a demonstration of how that works, watch Andy Andrews on Joshua Chamberlain in this YouTube Video, you won't soon forget the lesson you will learn:  If you watch this video and if you enjoy the American way of life, you may want to pause and give thanks to Joshua Chamberlain and Andy Andrews.