Give Thanks Without Giving Up

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

In my house this past week, Turkeys (plural) were smoked and stuffed. Rivers of gravy flowed down mountains of potato casserole. And pumpkin pies were devoured.

It was epic.

And during the festivities, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude.

It filled me with joy to celebrate this iconic American holiday by sharing four different feasts—on Saturday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (again)—with friends, family, and even a few strangers.

There was just one problem…

The experience was a painful reminder of the conflict most entrepreneurs face during times like these:

Gratitude vs Ambition

On the surface, these traits seem mutually exclusive.

Gratitude often leads to satisfaction, which can kill ambition.

But without gratitude, achievements rarely bring happiness.

So how do you stay thankful for everything you have—without losing your hunger to achieve more?

Well, after years of trial and error, I found that a simple perspective shift is all you need to balance these two forces.

Here’s how it works…

If I’m super distressed about the success of a marketing campaign or product launch, then I probably need to step back, take a couple hundred deep breaths, and practice more gratitude.

It’s time to remind myself that I love my job. I love my family. I’m financially secure.

And even in a worst-case-scenario where Rich gets hit by a bus (God forbid) and this business goes belly up, I know I have the skills and network to land on my feet.

In other words:

I’ve realized that being grateful doesn’t mean I’m “content.”

It doesn’t mean settling for the status quo.

Instead, gratitude assures me that the blessings in my life will always outweigh the hardships.

It eases my fear of failure.

But it’s not an excuse to slack off.

That’s the difference.

That’s how I give thanks without giving up.

And I recommend you do the same.

Your pen pal,

Matt Rizvi