Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Most Important Ingredient for Making Your Dish of Success Delicious

As you may remember, in the last article we discussed the five ingredients a makeup artist could embody to enrich their positioning the industry. If you missed it, check it out here.  Hopefully it opened up some awareness for you on how you present yourself to others, where you stand with your client relationships, how much attention you give to your education, and how creative you are allowing yourself to be while building your portfolio.....

However the most important ingredient sets the base for all the rest of the flavors.  Without it, the rest of the ingredients though spicy and sweet have no sustenance. It's like leaving crust out of pizza, or the macaroni out of macaroni and cheese (apparently the food choices are coming from one of those cravings I get as gluten challenged person).  Even if you could manage the other ingredients without this main ingredient, I find the others will not sustain or hold weight.  Its a simple one, yet you would be surprised how many of us in a given moment stop and realize we do not practice it…. This key ingredient is Gratitude.

So what is gratitude to you?

The official definition: Grat·i·tude - noun -the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Before I set forth on writing about it, I knew it was a huge part of my success but I actually had to think, what is gratitude for me, and how does it play a role in my life’s prosperity?  I even researched it a little bit by reading other articles and watching some You Tube Videos…. and what became very clear to me is its a choice in how I feel, which dictates the way I behave, and it gets mirrored back to me in all I receive in my life. Gratitude is not just a thing that we should have as human beings so we can be happy; gratitude is a way of living that elevates every experience for you and everyone around you. It has been scientifically proven that if you can embody gratitude and share it, by default your level of happiness goes up exponentially.

Don't believe me? Check out this video " The Science of Happiness" to see what I mean:

So what the hell does this have anything to do with being a makeup artist? Let me illustrate by applying it to the other 4 ingredients from the past article:

Ingredient #1 was about presenting yourself confidently. If you lived in a conscious state of gratitude, being confident about what you have to offer would not only be way easier, but you would be perceived as someone who doesn't "need' something because you are grateful for what you have. Being grateful to have the opportunity to serve someone has your potential client trust you, rather than someone who is coming from a place of desperation. 

Ingredient #2 was about expanding your education. I find that when I live in gratitude, I am really present to all the knowledge there is available to me to learn and grow, even if I'm considered to be an "expert".  You can find more opportunities to take on a new skills and new ideas, because when you are grateful for the amazing creative career you have chosen, you are always on the search and in practice to take it to another level.  This comes off to others as being excited about your trade and humble.  Who doesn't  appreciate working with someone who is humble?

Creating your own projects (not waiting for them) was Ingredient #3. Expanding on #2, being grateful for the work you GET to do (versus HAVE TO do) creates the space for you to play.  Ever hear of the expression When you do what you love you never work a day in your life?  When you are grateful for the job you have and the work you do, you have more joy doing it, as do the people who get to work with you. Sure, there's a job to be done, but people remember the creativity, fun and excitement in putting it together, not how much money they made off the project. Unfortunately people also remember those who bitch, gripe, and seemingly are miserable about their job too.  
Finally, applying it to Ingredient #4, cultivating your relationships... well, the very definition of cultivating your relationships is having gratitude for everyone in your life.  Yes, I said everyone. There are great clients (relatives, friends, colleagues) which are easy to be grateful for, and there is the seemingly crappy client experience where it may not be so obvious as to why gratitude is important.  With both types of clients, gratitude sets the context for them to be received.  Imagine if every service you received you experience that you are welcomed with gratitude for you choosing their business.  It helps create connection and trust.  The clients who bring YOU work that you love, and pay you what you want to be paid, it is natural to feel grateful, but how often do you share that gratitude with them?  And with the clients that seem to be difficult or challenging, these are the clients that help to form you as an expert.  The best lessons we have that teach us what to do and what not to do, usually come from not so pleasant experiences.  Imagine instead of staying sour, bitter, and bitchy about that experience or that person, you thanked those people, and were grateful to them for making you smarter.  How much more peace could that give you?

  If you haven't figured out by now, gratitude is allowing yourself to experience love for the things in your life, whether its a positive experience, or a seeming negative experience.  But of course we are human, and in our dark moments to automatically turn to gratitude sounds unrealistic. But truth be told, with practice, if you consciously stop, look, and choose in a moment, you not only realize that choosing gratitude brings you peace, but when you share it, it elevates the energy and euphoria around you.  If that's the experience you are bringing to the table, people will want to be around you more and more...for work, at home, and among friends, by default bringing abundance in your life.

So how can you start practicing gratitude?  If you could make a list of the things you were grateful for, how would you start taking actionable steps to sharing that? Here is a great TED Talk by Jane Ransom who shares the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock the Happiest Life. Use her tips to start not only being grateful, but living gratitude.

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