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As I sit in my hotel room in New Orleans, sipping complimentary merlot from what appears to be a juice glass, I am suddenly struck with a huge wave of gratitude.This week I met a ton of new people. I extensively interviewed five of them, and it took me until after dark tonight to finish. And you know what? I loved it. I loved the whole experience.Not that interviewing strangers is always (or even often) interesting, but it puts a lot of things in perspective. I met five people who sincerely wanted to better themselves, improve their lives, and help others.And the small part I played in the process will give one of them the opportunity to do just that. What an amazing honor. I mean that. 

Gratitude: What You Do Matters

Banker, cop, dry cleaner, bartender, garbage collector, or doctor…you make someone’s life better. And reciprocally, those who you serve make your life better.Each and every one of you who regularly reads whatever rant happens to spill out of my brain and onto my keyboard makes my life better. The fact that you get something valuable out of what I do here makes me happier than you could imagine. Your presence matters.

Mark:You’re a risk-taker, an awesome Dad, a great leader, and a model man in general. I am lucky to have re-connected with you.

Kaylee:You have an energy that I love and admire. It jumps out of your typed words and hits me like a fun, happy, positive brick. You make me smile consistently. 🙂 See?

Brandon:Dude, you’re amazing. You know more about money at 21 than I aspire to know by 50. You’re a polite, brilliant, articulate young guy who I am proud to know.

Randy:You, my friend, were among the first to embrace this blog. Honest as the day is long, sincere, and hard working. You are a solid, capable human being – and I appreciate you.

Mike:You’re salt-of-the-earth tough, resilient, enterprising, and kind. Thank you for your service to our country – and for your support of me and what I do here.

Who Props You Up?

Those are just a few of my regular readers who I have had the privilege to get to know because of this blog. Not one cent has ever exchanged hands between any of us, and yet they have all in some way had a valuable and profound influence on me.In your professional or personal life you are blessed with people like this, too. They’re always there, so they’re easy to overlook.Stop overlooking them.Look around you. Who is it that adds that little sumthin’-sumthin’ extra to your day?And who might you be giving a boost to without knowing?How about you identify those people and intentionally make their life a little better today? 

Something You Didn’t Know About Me

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. My father played football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and so did I. Truth be told, I mostly practiced for them…but you get the point. I’m a Husker to the core.On the outside of Memorial Stadium above the southwest entrance, there is a phrase inscribed in concrete that has stuck with me since I was old enough to look up and sound out the words. This week, it has come to the forefront of my mind several times.“Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.”gratitudeIn other words, it’s the activity – the action that matters. The day-to-day. The fight. Each and every interaction you have with others, and every little battle you have with yourself.Appreciate those. The wins, the accolades, the grandeur – it’s all a byproduct of the action of living.Do what you do and do it for the right reasons.And enjoy the ride.