I have a book called Combinations, it is by Ed Gerety. Ed is a pretty spectacular guy and he made an impression upon me many years ago that is so deep that I am always drawn to find out what is going on with him. That draw to get back in touch with Ed came up months ago when I was cleaning my desk at work and I came across my copy of Combinations.
I had been in student leadership all through high school and college and then after college. It was during college that a friend of mine asked me to help out with a HOBY Community Leadership Workshops (CLeW) Event. I had been a part of HOBY in high school and said sure. I was to be a group leader for the day and that was a pretty amazing day. That was the day I first heard of Ed Gerety and his message of Gratitude, Attitude, Goal, Respect, Kindness and Believe first resonated with me.
Reconnecting with Ed
Through the years I was able to be in a position where I could suggest a speaker for a student leadership program. I immediately thought of Ed and his message. We were able to get Ed to come to Sacred Heart University for our STAR II Program. STAR stood for Students Taking Active Roles. STAR II was for student leaders who had already gone through STAR. I loved working on that program. This was back in 1997. After that I hadn’t heard much about Ed and I think it was in 2002 or 2003 I did a web search for him and found he had written the book Combinations. I saw that Ed was doing well and becoming more well known and successful. I ordered a copy from Ed and put a message in the notes section and asked him to please sign the book. He signed it “Andrew, Wishing you continued success! Never give up (and he drew a star) Your friend Ed Gerety.
So that is the history and once again I went along with my life and it wasn’t until a few months ago that Ed came back into my mind. I looked him up again and found that Ed was now blogging (and on twitter) in addition to his many speaking engagements. Ed also was offering Combinations for $4 a copy. He has a great post about how our lives are lived in 4s sometimes. This prompted me to buy 4 copies of the book to give to my High School. The reason is that I beleive my High School was what helped to prepare me to become a Student Leader to take on more leadership roles in my life. So this coming Monday I will be giving these four (signed) copies of Combinations to the High School President and my former English teacher, Chris Servant, another person who motivated me in my life.
Sharing my thoughts on Combinations
So, I am reading Combinations a little each day and will talk about what I’ve read. I read about Combination 1, Gratitude. There are a few key factors to gratitude. Being present in the moment is one of those factors in gratitude because if you are not dwelling on the past or pining for the future you can enjoy the moment that you are in right now.
I find this as one of the toughest things for me because I’m usually stuck between looking back or looking ahead. What if I had done this differently, if so maybe I’d be happy? Or I can’t wait for this event or that event, then I will be happy. However, that is not going to make me happy because once I get to that moment ahead I will look ahead to the next one or back at the one I was in.
So, being present in the moment and grateful for what you have right now is a very important way have gratitude. I remember a tape I had from Zig Ziglar about a woman who said that she hated her job and Zig and the woman came up with 30 things that she liked about her job. That transformed the woman’s frame of mind to one of gratitude.
Showing Gratitude as Bloggers
So what does a book on student leadership mean to bloggers? It means a lot because each of the core principles of the book, Combinations, is as important to Student Leaders, Bloggers, Parents all the way up to our leaders in government. You might be a blogger who is struggling to find a voice and you see other bloggers who have tons of followers and are making tons of money so you figure to yourself that if you had a ton of followers and a ton of money then your blog would be successful. On some level you would be successful but are you grateful to the people who take the time to read your blog. Do you respond to their comments? Do you visit their blogs and read what they are writing? To you mention their posts when they have written something really inspiring?
Cultivating your gratitude.
Try this today, read through your last four posts including the comments. Did you respond to what your readers have said? If not do so in the comments or maybe in a new post. Did you read the blogs of those people who came to comment? If not pick a few and check them out, find a blog post or two read them. If you like them then thank your reader by linking to those posts, tell all of your readers about the post you read. That is how you can show gratitude as a blogger. Do that and success will come to you because people don’t care what you know till they know that you care.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the next combination, attitude.
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