Practicing Gratitude for the people in your life
We can often get so wrapped up in our own busy-ness that we forget to appreciate others in our lives. As social beings, we need others to survive and thrive and need to be careful not to take people in our lives for granted. Luckily, an accident made me re-realise the importance of the people – and horses – in my life and the importance of connection.
If you’ve been following me for the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been writing a series looking at the lessons I’ve learnt since breaking my back in an accident a couple of months ago.
This week, in the third instalment, I’m going to talk about how something like this reminds you to be grateful for the people in your life.
I received so much support during my time in hospital and rehab. My husband, Stefan, and our kids not only helped me recover but made sure all our horses were cared for in my absence. My business partner, Alice, and the rest of the team took over running the business, seamlessly adjusting schedules so our leadership and team development courses could still be run in my absence.
Of course, I already know how lucky I am to have such wonderful family, friends and colleagues. However, the accident was a welcome reminder, which really cemented for me how important these networks really are.
What it means when someone reaches out
I’ll admit that at times when I was recovering, I was tempted to fall victim to my own pity party. But in those moments, I’d remember all the wonderful messages I received from friends – old and new, near and far – from clients and business peers, all wishing me well.
When I shared my story in a video, I was humbled at the response I had. As the old expression goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. People I don’t even know that well, contacted me offering support or to share with me their own story. I was overwhelmed.
It made me realise that we should be conscious of looking for people who may need support, as people may be suffering in a way that’s not as obvious as someone who’s just had an accident. According to this report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, most Australians suffer from loneliness at one point or another. About 1 in 4 people reported they are currently experiencing loneliness, and one in two report they feel lonely for at least one day a week. Also, one in 10 say they lack social support. We should all be aware of these numbers and consider how we can help others.
This is particularly true as cities around Australia settle into yet more lockdowns. As I’ve written before, horses survive in herds, and humans also have that same social instinct. We need connection, even if we’re not physically together.
Reconnecting with our network
We get through our lives with the help of our network. It’s not only an important asset in your career, but in many life events. For example, groups which helps us with parenting. Or support groups for illness, which research has shown help provide numerous benefits.
However, we often get so busy that we neglect to look after these networks. A call, a text, a card is really not that hard to do but sometimes we unintentionally fall out of touch with great people.
So, let’s appreciate the people in our lives, keep up our connections and reach out to each other. It’s the only way to get through life, really.