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How An Attitude of Gratitude Builds Resilience.

November 22, 2021

I had a recent lesson and reminder of how an attitude of gratitude builds resilience.

The other day I was traveling back from the US into Canada.

To get into the US I had a Covid test, to come back to Canada I had a Covid test and when I arrived at the airport I got randomly selected for a Covid test.

So in 72 hours I had 3 Covid tests.

I could feel myself become annoyed when I got selected for the random test – my mind went to ‘reaction’.

I had thoughts like ‘this is overkill’ and ‘I just had 2 negative tests’ and I could feel my stress level rise.

Then I remembered my own mindset model, the ‘me to we’ mindset model.

In the model the levels are:





Being irritated about the ‘inconvenience’ of the random Covid test was squarely in the ‘personal’ level of the model.

In the personal level we feel affronted by other people’s behaviors, we feel ‘better than’ and we can feel that no one gets us or understands us.

The challenge with the personal level is that it always creates stress and long term focus on ‘personal’ leads to depression.

Then I noted that I was in ‘blame’ when I had the thoughts of ‘why is this process so hard?’ or ‘why is the government making this so difficult?’.

The challenge with the blame level is that its based on ‘reaction’ and anger and long term efffects of blaming is that it creates long term stress.

As the creator of the mindset model, I had to hold myself accountable and recognize that my mindset was not going to help the situation. By taking it personally and blaming a system I had no control over, I was squarely in a victim mentality.

It was time to elevate my thinking or suffer the consequences of my ‘me’ thinking.

I took some deep breaths, I looked at the situation through the lens of the ‘learn’ level of the me to we model.

Some of the thoughts I had in the learn level were:

“What makes you think you couldn’t be randomly selected for testing?”

“Why aren’t you appreciative of the extra steps taken to protect travelers from Covid?”

“Who do you think you are?”

Once I asked myself the above questions I could feel the natural progession of thought to an attitude of gratitude.

My next thoughts were:

“I am so glad that Canada takes extra precautions to keep travelers AND their families AND their communities safe..”

“How fortunate am I that I have the privilege to travel for work?”

“What a small inconvenience factor to have a random test, knowing I will be safe to return to my family”.

The benefits of a learning mindset is that it automatically shifts into gratitude.

This is how an attitude of gratitude builds resilence.

In my work as a consultant, coach, and speaker for over 20+ years I have seen a pattern of behavior where people get stuck.

We all get stuck when we are focused on ‘me’ thinking which includes personal and blame.

When we elevate to ‘we’ thinking which includes a focus on learn and share we are able to adapt and innovate rapidly.

When we elevate to ‘we’ thinking as a consistent way of thinking we live with gratitude as a constant resource.

Think about a recent stressful situation or interaction you have had recently.

Were you focused on how the other person ‘should’ have said or done something?

Did you think that the other person or the situation didn’t consider ‘your’ feelings or perspective?

These thoughts are perfectly human, we all have them. It’s when we allow ourselves to stay stuck in those ‘me’ thoughts that we struggle.

And I want to be clear here that I am not saying that we let other people behave badly or treat us badly.

The ‘me to we’ model is a tool for personal accountability AND a tool for mutual accountability.

Now, thinking about that same stressful situation let me ask you:

What did you learn from the situation or the interaction?

How could you have approached the situation or interaction differently?

What is the good that has come out of the situation or interaction?

What am I grateful for, as a result of the situation or interaction?

I realize that by asking these questions, I am asking you to elevate your perspective.

It is not easy to shift from feeling powerless and stuck to elevated and empowered.

Research has shown that people who practice gratitude regularly have less stress and more happiness.

To get to gratitude you have to be able to work through the levels of personal/blame/learn.

To LIVE with gratitude as a baseline is the ‘share’ level of the me to we model.

At the ‘share’ level of the model we are at mastery levels of resilience.

Being resilient means having the ability to shift from failures/setbacks/personal affronts rapidly and with success.

It’s important to know that we can’t just be grateful as a concept.

There is a thinking and a questioning process that helps us land in gratitude naturally.

This US Thanksgiving, I am grateful for so much including:


Family Health

Business growth

Personal growth



A daily habit that we can all build into our life is to end each day before falling asleep and to list three things we are grateful for.

If you already consistently do this, then you are likely fairly resilient.

I am grateful for you!

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