Office building on fire with employees outside talkingI depart from my typical customer service articles to write something that falls into the motivational category.

I was on a Zoom meeting with some of my colleagues in the speaking profession. All of these people are brilliant and hearing how they have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic has been fascinating. In our group, we have a TV celebrity, the president of a major university, one of the top futurists in the world, a digital marketing expert, a retired, high-ranking military officer and more. Some of these people run large businesses and organizations.

One of the questions we were asked was, “What are you grateful for?” This is an amazing question at an amazing time in our lives. Plenty of answers were shared, and by the way, I agree with all of them. Some of them were:

  • Our families, our health, our faith and our friends.
  • Deeper friendships from spending more time and going through a crisis together.
  • Our employees and colleagues—the people we work with who have stepped up and shown how good they really are.
  • The business we currently have, even if it is dramatically down.
  • Opportunities that have been created as a result of being forced to pivot.
  • People we don’t know who have stepped up to give back, help, protect and serve our communities.
  • The challenges that are presented to us at this time. I love that this particular person said, “I thrive and build on challenges like this.”
  • The lessons our parents and teachers taught us that we never realized until now.
  • The extra time we get spend with our families.
  • Time to spend giving back to our communities and helping those less fortunate.
  • The time to explore our cities. This person commented, “I’m amazed at what there is to do that I never knew was right in front of me.”
  • Using Zoom to easily connect with clients, friends and family.

Darn! They took all of my answers. But then I thought of an answer and asked the group to be understanding of what I was about to say. I said, “I’m thankful for COVID-19.” I paused for effect, then added, “Not because of the sickness, death and economic destruction. The pain and suffering many people are going through sadden me. But it’s a reminder of how fortunate I am. I don’t think I take my good fortune in life for granted, but if there was ever a time to be grateful for how good I have it—including the hardships some jokingly say are first-world problems, like not getting a free upgrade on that cross-country flight—now is the time.” While I make my own luck through hard work and recognizing opportunities that are around me, I live in a country that gives me the freedom to have my own business. I am married to a woman who is my partner and supporter in life. My family, including myself, is pretty darn healthy. Does it get better than that?!

Take a moment and write down something you are grateful for. Then share it with others and ask them for their answers. I bet you’ll have some meaningful conversations. In a time when life is somewhat chaotic—and that may be an understatement—it’s nice to remember what counts.