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Welcome to Day 1 of the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge! Today, we spark inspiration, meaning and joy by cultivating GRATITUDE:

Market downturns. Disease spreading. Increasing anxiety. Loss of hope. These are some of the realities many of us are dealing with today. And so it is important to pause and remember, whatever we choose to focus on tends to grow.

We are all familiar with the idea that those who focus daily on what they’re grateful for (through journaling, reflection, prayer) have a deeper sense of meaning and joy in their life. Today, let’s take it a step further.

CHALLENGE: Identify your greatest struggle or adversity today. Then, list five things that you are grateful for because of that adversity.

INSPIRATION: Need more time to reflect? Read my essay The 5 Surprising Gifts of Struggle here.

ACTION: Share your list in the comments below or on social media, tagging me + using #inawe. 

My friend, today is your day!  Live IN AWE.
John O’Leary





Did you know? The 21-Day IN AWE Challenge is inspired by John’s book IN AWE. Order your copy + see all the fun behind the scenes at ReadInAwe.com.

113 replies on “In Awe 21-Day Challenge – Day 1”

I joined the In Awe Challenge, and my greatest struggle today is not having empathy with family and neighbors with differing points of view to mine. 1. I am grateful that this struggle opens my mind to others 2. humbles me out of being miss know-it-all 3. walk a mile in their shoes 4. be more authentic in my communication with them 5. hopeful we can find a middle ground

Greatest struggle: divorce and co-parenting. 1) Finding myself again and learning to take care of the things that were taken away from my whole self. 2) My son gets to enjoy a deep relationship with both parents. 3) My 1:1 time with my son means the world to me. I am healthy, happy, and give him undivided attention. 4) Having personal space, freedom, the ability to do something at all is freeing. 5) I am healing and growing so much closer to the Lord day by day.

My biggest challenge has been adjusting to working from home.
1. My husband and I get along really well 24 X 7.
2. I’ve started jogging at lunch 3 times a week.
3. I’m pursuing hobbies, like reading and jigsaw puzzles, that I never had time for.
4. I’ve grown closer to my neighbors.
5. All of the above makes me more prepared for my upcoming retirement.

A more recent one is finishing my PhD – actually beginning, going through it and finishing it almost four years ago. It was a struggle at times and it was a big mountain to climb and at times I was unsure why I was completing this feat. Ironically, I was listening to the Seth Godin conversation this week and it got me thinking about yes what I am grateful for because of this adversity which also aligns with “what I learned/what was I seeking in accomplishing a PhD” during this process. I was seeking additional career opportunities and continued job security in the higher education sector.
I am grateful for learning about the below during this process which was not the same as what I was seeking to learn:
• How to collaborate with fellow students and professionals to reach ST and LT goals.
• Meaningful, impactful work is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight
• I can explain and teach about a topic that can move others into action
• I was resilient during this time, I kept getting back up despite the barriers and challenges in my way, while working at a FT job, being a mom and spouse and doing consultant work – I can stay focused and determined when there is a goal in mind – the goal was completing all requirements for the program in order to graduate with this terminal degree
• However, with the above…the greatest lesson I learned was when I don’t know what the goal is it is hard to stay focused and clear on what the next step is on a given day. In thinking about this, it is ok to stay focused on one thing at a time not many things at time, which was always my default.

My greatest adversity is to maintain my goal weight and not feel like I am being deprived.
1) I am grateful I have the mindset to lose the weight.
2) I am grategul we have the money to make it happen.
3) I am grateful my spouse is walking this journey with me to have our best life together.
4) I am grateful my body has held me up through the ups/downs of my weight journey.
5) I am grateful “nothing taste as good as healthy feels”.

We applaud your continued diligence in this challenge, and have seen wonderful results for you and H! We also relate to this struggle and are inspired by your commitment to healthy eating! Keep it up!

The biggest adversity we have been challenged with is my son Jacks addiction. I am so grateful for a recent program we have discovered:
• Discovering Pathway: all the amazing counselors and support network to aide in recovery for young people
• The Parent Program: meeting Carol, having Janelle as my sponsor; the steering committee and meeting Ida
• Working the 12 steps and learning about myself; the concept of the higher power and the love and support of other parents; trusting in the process and having hope
• Being a Sponsor to Leanna
• Having more knowledge and understanding for others in this position and the courage to talk to people about it

My greatest challenge is coping with change in my practice, including the loss of people I love or watching others I love suffer and struggle. I’m overcome with being not in control; spend way too much time worrying . I’m discouraged beyond belief.
1. I’m more in touch with putting myself in the other person’s shoes.
2. I’m welcoming new team members and their energy into my business and life.
3. I’m looking and listening for inspiration; I share quotes and words of inspiration to my team and organization on a daily basis.
4.I’m looking for opportunities to be creative and take some risks.
5. I keep a mantra in my head and share it: Breakdowns create breakthroughs.”

My greatest struggle today is having to make life changes during the pandemic and having to adjust to those changes very quickly In my home and work life. The first few months of quarantine was very rough but I got through it! 5 things I’m grateful for that got me through it:
1. My friends and my family – learned how to get creative and had and still have weekly zoom calls with my closest friends. My Mom and Dad have also been my support structure and we have had more family time and help each other. My mom is also now a survivor of bi-lateral breast cancer and is now 8 years cancer free!
2. Loving my work knowing I’m making a difference – I’m a nurse recruiter and my job is placing Nurses across the country for travel assignments and covid-19 hot spot locations.
3. My work family – we all adjusted together virtually and got closer with zoom meetings, FaceTime calls, and just a phone call to say hello and checking in. Means a lot.
4. My relationship with God – I pray to our spiritual father every day asking him for the strength and courage to get me through the day. I leave it up to him and let him take a the wheel in my life sometimes when I need it most and he will guide me.
5. Learning to slow down and stop and smell the roses – I’m used to my life always being on the go and the pandemic has taught me to slow down and enjoy the smalls things in life that you usually miss, like more family meals and conversation at dinner time, taking a walk to get fresh air and enjoying the outdoors, watching vlogs you wouldn’t have considered otherwise, I also picked up my love for cooking by joining a weekly fresh meal delivery system. Finding way to destress and meditate and finding more time for myself in reflection and reflecting on what has past what I can do better in the days/weeks to come.

My greatest struggle right now is trying to continue to run a small business in the midst of the Corona Virus and the challenges that it provides.
5 things that I am grateful for:
1. My loving wife and children
2. My health
3. The opportunity to treat patients for their physical therapy needs
4. The opportunity to serve my staff and provide them a place for personal and professional growth
5. The ability to learn and be inspired through your podcast, your books and your blog!

My greatest struggle today is preparing for teaching 3rd graders remotely. I am grateful for the following:
1) I’m learning to lean on colleagues and have become humble enough to ask for help.
2) I’m learning a lot about technology and new programs.
3) I’m becoming more creative in how to prepare and deliver lessons.
4) I have a lot of flexibility.
5) Teaching remotely will allow me to better meet student’s individual needs.

Today my biggest challenge is depression, which has been made worse by the isolation of the COVID crisis. Because of this, I am grateful for:

1. Celebrate Recovery at my church, and the relationships with the ladies in my step study
2. Family that I can call any time of the day or night
3. People who pray for me
4. Medication, and insurance so that I can pay for it
5. The realization that my mental health matters

My biggest challenge is the team I work with for the last year and 4 months. I tried to teach and show them the skills I have learned over the years to make them a better team, but it is an ongoing struggle. I am grateful for this opportunity as I continue to do what I love and this keeps me going in order to support my family, my children, myself and I know that with my God I will prevail.

My biggest challenge is faith that my marriage will survive. I have been separated for 10 months but we have not filed the paperwork. I have worked on myself to improve my attitude and overall awareness of my behavior and done a lot of prayers. The hardest thing is being away from the kids every week. I feel that I have so much love to give but it is just not open for me to give it. I am still praying for reconcilliation and rekindling the relationship.

My greatest struggle/adversity today is the wish that my husband didn’t drink so much. The 5 things I am grateful for because of that:
1. I have stopped drinking
2. I have grown closer with our daughter
3. I have developed independence
4. I have shifted my focus to leading by example
5. I feel stronger and empowered

I am grateful for: the support of my family; the deepening of my faith in God’s provision; the ability to be in a state of humility; the opportunity to love unconditionally; the strength that comes from community.

Slowed me down to remeet me, allow me to luxuriate in the arms of my Savior, gave me space and time to learn to trust myself, gave me training wheels to gain confidence in me, allowed me to surround myself with beauty. Divorce, while horribly hard, I guess is not all bad.

My greatest challenge today is trying to support my husband who is in a ‘learning/growing’ phase right now. God needs him to grow in an area before moving on to the next and he is a little frustrated and it hurts me to see him that way and I have to avoid my tendency to ‘fix’ things. So the positives that I will focus on today are:
1) I just need to be still and let God fight the battles
2) God is in control of this crazy world and time
3) I have the power of pray to pray over/for my husband
4) Support of Godly family and friends
5) Peaceful home to return to at night

My adversity today is not being able to walk due to a broken leg that resulted in surgery and a 12 week non-weight baring recovery. And I have also not been able to work.

Five things I’m thankful for during this time.

1. Time to rest
2. Time with my twin daughters
3. Time to reorganize my house and de-clutter many aspects of my life
4. My change of perspective on life, where I am actively present and actively seeking to better myself everyday
5. Motivation to finally take the leap towards following my dreams of becoming an author

Greatest Challenge is worrying about things I cannot control and getting caught up in “What If” scenarios. As a means of trying to ease that challenge, I focus on how thankful I am for my job and not struggling financially, for the health of my family, for the fact that I am able to work from home and be safe, that my parents are home and safe, and that given all that my kids need to deal with, they are happy and resilient.

In this period of time, I’m struggling to find a job, which has lead to these five things that I’m grateful for:
1) I now have a lot of spare time to spend on my relationship, my dad and the long list of stuff I wanted to do for months, but never had time for.
2) I’m a forced to just ‘take a break’. I mainly just have to wait for companies to answer and to open up again, so for now I don’t have to keep planning and organising stuff and just have to sit tight and see what will come.
3) It gives me time to talk to many friends and figure out what I actually want, as a job and as future life.
4) Due to all of the aspects mentioned above, I have a feeling I can regain a bit of control and lose stress. Normally I mostly feel like I am just running from this thing to the next, losing control, but now I can regain that control and start feeling relaxed and ready to start a new challenge.
5) Chances are, that I have to move if I find a job. By not getting a new job, I have some extra time here in this city, which I love and where a lot of my friends live. Although I’m ready to move on, it is great not having to, for now.

Greatest struggle – to become super healthy and fit, and to minimize/cure my asthma and sinus issues. I am a 10-year vegan but want to become fitter and healthier.
– Grateful for this time to become what I aspire to – the best I’ve ever been
– Grateful for this time to participate in programs from Inspire Nation which helps my body/mind/spirit; my entire being (and to have watched the show with John and join this challenge)
– Grateful to have found “The Healthy Life” YouTube channel and website which is guiding me to become healthier
– Grateful for this time to take care of myself and have the time to reflect and relax more
– Grateful for this time to become more connected to my body and the world around me

My biggest challenge is negative thoughts- thinking about the bad things that might happen to my family or friends. The five things I’m grateful for because of that:
1. It helps me to remember to pray
2. I tend to try to learn more about life because of it.
3. I’m more compassionate towards others who struggle here as well.
4. I can relate to hurting people better.
5. It helps me to depend on God more.

Started Day 1 today… Having to be nice to my ex so that he doesn’t stop paying back the money he owes me.
1) Made me realise all the reasons we shouldn’t be together
2) Brought me closer to my best friend
3) Made me realise I’m stronger than I think I am
4) I am resourceful and put a smile on even when I’m screaming inside
5) I am a decent, kind person.

My biggest challenge today is the uncertainty of the my future career due to being furloughed as a result of coved 19. I am grateful for-
1- having more time to spend with my family
2- discovering and really embracing self development. I am lovingly listening to inspiring podcasts, developing my skills and have recently discovered the miracle morning.
3- to be ble to get healthier by exercising daily and discovering my love of yoga as well as building on my running.
4- to be surrounded by amazing people who bring joy to my life and support me from my family, friends and colleagues.
5- to be able to help my partner renovate our house building on our home together.

My struggle today is Depression. But everyday this is my struggle and I want to let it go. Today is my first day of this 21-Day Challenge but I’m not going to let this struggle affect me from participating.

On the flipside of my struggle, I am GRATEFUL for…

…My family and friends.
…I got a commission check today!
…God waking me up and encouraging me to keep going.
…For Jesus Christ who saved me and took my place in death so I wouldn’t go through it.
…I am not sick, I am healthy in my body so I shouldn’t make my struggle to stop but to continue on for what God has in store for me.

Greatest Challenge or Adversity today:
Overwhelmed with the amount of work to complete today:
1. Grateful to have a job!
2. Grateful I can work from home!
3. Grateful this will encourage me to plan better
4. Grateful I can take a break and walk outside in the terrific weather
5. Grateful I am doing additional work out of my comfort zone which will build additional skills.

I am struggling with how best to support my husband through adversity – both from a violent assault he suffered several months ago and the impact on his business from the pandemic. Five things I am grateful for in all of this:
1. I am grateful he was not hurt worse than he was.
2. I am grateful that he reached out to a friend in law enforcement who helped him – logistically and emotionally – with bringing charges against his assailant.
3. I am grateful that my employer has mental health services available to us and that I found a kind therapist to talk to.
4. I am grateful that I have a secure job where I can work from home and not be exposed, which gives me more time at home with my husband.
5. I am grateful that we have the financial resources to help us through both health issues and loss of income.

Hello! It’s my first day of challenge.
Today I struggled with my attitude to very small problems I had. I was anxious about how my boyfriend said “ILU” to me or why he burned my snack. I was upset many times without important reasons. Anyway, I am grateful for this.
1) It made me and my bf to have a conversation. It is very essential to talk and discuss any problem.
2) I understood how dumb it is to blame, to cry without a big reason. I’ll control myself next time.
3) I spent time thinking about how much I value my bf. I love him. I always remember that, but it also useful to refresh memory.
4) My self- love doubled ‘cause when I stoped crying I noticed how wonderful is to feel love, peace and calm within.
5) In the end of the day I have amazing mood and I value this state more. It is because of the contrast.

I also grateful for this Challenge and John O’Leary because of the opportunity to write this list of gratitude and see lists of others.

Separation from my husband

1. Grateful for the emotional advise/concern from others, to gain perspective.
2. Grateful for the logical advise from others, to gain other perspectives.
3. Grateful for the opportunity to face up to and own my flaws and have the courage to work on them.
4. Grateful for the opportunity to practice my strengths and discover that I am good enough.
5. Grateful for all the support and resources I have to get me through this journey

Time to:
1. Write letters to grandchildren to help them feel connect and add variety to their day.
2. Time to do projects that have been waiting. Going through boxes of pictures
3. Pray for and then write postcards to friends and family using cards received from Christmas.
4. Attend Virtual Workshops being offered from all over on different topics and watching Skit Guys Bedtime Bible Stories
5 Relaxing more with husband, making meals together, going to pool and walking and listening to podcasts

Challenged by a return to my heaviest weight after having lost 4 stone in 2017. 5 things learnt and benefits, which will equip me for succeeding, again:

1. Meal plan discipline
2. Decent, dapper Medium/slim clothes
3. The knowledge that Sugar is the Enemy
4. 800 calories a day for 8 weeks works
5. Daily exercise routine is achievable

Greatest challenge:Insurance and retirement issues while being sheltered. I am grateful to stay focused and see it through, appreciate people and the help they provide, grateful to live in this country and have opportunities to move into other challenges and retirement, grateful to enjoy an amazing career to retire from, grateful for avenues of technology to solve some of these issues.

21 Day Challenge
Greatest struggle – What is on my side during this pandemic?
1. My faith and prayers
2. Extremely grateful for the patience I have learned with difficult life situations.
3. My age – Am 74 and in good healthy and can be physically active.
4. Life long meditation practice.
5. Slowing down.

My greatest struggle is, that I am still recovering from an accident I had in the fall of 2017, that has left me disabled.
Five pieces of gratitude I have, now in regards to this struggle are:
1. After a lot of work, I can walk again.
2. I have a job that I am good at and I love
3. I have a wonderful husband, who is my constant supporter and cheerleader.
4. I have three children who are amazing
5. I am a better educator, because of my disability. I understand my student’s struggles through a different lens because of it, making me a better advocate for them.

My adversity has been chronic pain. 5 gifts from that:
1. It’s prepared me well for Coronavirus isolation!
2. New interests
3. New ways of doing things
4. Given me a mission and purpose in life
5. Became a public speaker and patient advocate

As a bonus – led to meeting new people, making new friends and experiences I otherwise would not have

Today’s greatest struggle today is to stay motivated and keep focus, to get things done with the time I have during this furlough period
Grateful for: 1.The Days’ Sparkling Sunshine
2. the knowledge that I will get through this because
we have been through a lot of tough times and in the end I am stronger for having survived ,
3.For having the money to fix the water heater that went out,
4. For having a roof over my head
5. For being able to keep a sense of humor in my life through this

Greatest Challenge Today: my greatest struggle adversity today is feeling stretched thin or pulled between competing priorities. I struggle for focus/clarity and maintaining my attention.

I am grateful for the following things related to our caused by the struggle:

I am grateful for the following things related to or cost by a struggle:

1. I stumbled on this 21-day challenge in my emails as I pinged along this morning and was reminded that I wanted to commit to this.
2. I have a job. There is a lot to accomplish here.
3. I have a chance to refresh the business approach and influence the business plan for the better.
4. I have the freedom to pick and choose where I focus my attention.
5. I enjoy research and exploration of possible solutions.

My greatest struggle or adversity today, is that I’ve been going through a divorce for 2-1/2 years. Five things that I am grateful for because of that adversity:
1. Started volunteering at a food bank.
2. It has made me a better dad. My kids have 100% of me when we are together. I’m the kind of father they deserve.
3. Started a really good morning routine based on “The Miracle Morning,” and noticed how much journaling and meditating have helped me.
4. Meditation has helped realizing that negative emotions that come along with divorce, are fleeting. They are here one moment, and gone the next. Focusing breathing, and not getting too attached to the emotions have really helped me let go of negativity a lot quicker.
5. My depression has subsided.

Today, I must give a speech on Zoom, get thru many tasks and stay positive.

1) I get to share my passion for my industry
2) I have such knowledgeable ans smart entrepreneurs around me
3) I am elevating other
4) my friend is coming over to work out outside to keep me motivated
5)my god and family loves and supports my highest good.

My greatest struggle today, on National Teacher Day, is my deep sadness for my kids (and kids around the country) not being allowed to go to school. Also, knowing how much teachers love their kids, I am sad for them too. Because of this adversity I am grateful:
1) I get to be home with my kids all-day
2) I get to teach my kids and be a bigger part of their education
3) A deep appreciation for educators and school districts is happening around the country
4) Our school district is providing free lunch and breakfast to anyone who wants and is extending this through the summer. The first time this has happened. Such a great thing for families in need.
5) Since my husband is a teacher, a great many projects has happened around my house that has been put off for years 🙂

My greatest struggle today is controlling my diabetes and my weight.

5 things I am grateful for because of this:

1. Medicine that helps me take control.
2. Doctors who really care about me.
3. An employer who offers me ways to improve my health.
4. My husband who loves me just the way I am, but supports me in making changes.
5. Water – available at my home that’s not nasty to the taste!

Keep calm and carry on! Learning gratitude and the strength of faith.

Day 1 ‘In Awe’ challenge

Overcoming the sadness of loneliness again. (I was widowed 4 1/2 years ago). I find myself searching my heart again of what makes me happy and fulfilled, this time is isolation.
Silver lining: getting to know myself! Digging up passions that fulfill me: maintaining connections virtually, helping others, focused financial support of those in need.
I did, and got reacquainted with my heart!

I was fearing illness…living alone, how could I care for myself if contracted COVID. Then I got I’ll and endured some symptoms aligning with COVID. Without needing medical assistance, I closely monitored my symptoms and leaned on prayer to God, conquering my fear…
I remained calm, ‘let go and let God!’ Warded off depression.

-Sense of Worth:
Daily routine / schedule:
I reach out to someone daily; exercise, get outside in sunshine, do projects In home that I never made time for.
I re-engaged with myself…what makes me tick; what fills my heart; what things have I’ve wanted to do?
I supported community financially and with prayer.

-Stepping up!
If I am feeling all these emotions, facing these obstacles…most likely, everyone is. I pondered what would help me? Then did that by reaching out and establishing ongoing communication with others. I hope this blessed others’ loneliness in Isolation; It gave me such a lifted, happy heart being connected and building dear relationships and growing others I had desired to become closer.

Faced with some thing of this magnitude across the world and realizing it is out of our hands (except for staying home and taking precautions with wearing masks and being smart to help flatten the curve); It strengthened my faith to new levels, finding ultimate peace comes by giving fears to God.
I have endured a peace throughout this … if I start to fear, I stop, be still and let go and let God!

My greatest struggle today is performing daily exercise. Five things I’m grateful for because of this adversity are:
1) It’s an opportunity for me to be a stronger leader (by example) to my family
2) I can include my family
3) I can easily find the time with my schedule and being home all the time
4) Improving my health will help me feel better and perform better in all aspects of my life
5) Strengthening my body requires strengthening my will, which is far more important.

My greatest struggle today: Stay focused on work and increase productivity.
I’m grateful for:
1. Being able to work from home
2. I am blessed with incredibly special clients
3. I love my home in Augusta, MO
4. The Plancorp leadership team
5. My co-workers

I’m late to the challenge but I feel called to still participate. My greatest struggle is depression. I know God has given me so many blessings throughout my life but sometimes joy feels sucked out of me. I tend to listen to that negative voice in my head about myself that says you’re not good enough, you didn’t do enough, you’re not loved etc. Lately I’ve felt God trying to pull me out of the darkness. I’m grateful for
1) Knowing that God loves me with a passion unlike any other.
2) My family, who has stood by each other through our many struggles in life.
3) A beautiful phone call with a beautiful friend who led me to the John O’ Leary page.
4) This moment of peace.
5) Knowing that this struggle is God’s invitation to healing.

After reading all of these struggles, I realize that I don’t really have any challenge today. I have a home and food and pets, electricity, internet, electronics and the knowledge to work the devices. I can call my mom and hear about her day, I may or may not correctly interpret her words (she has aphasia from a stroke 5-years ago). I can connect with my students and hear about their day and help them with their math. Day 1, I learned that I am actually very, very fortunate.

My struggle is with finances which also leads to what I’m grateful for. I’m divorced and remarried and we have a blended family of 6 kids ages 14-26. We struggle check to check but we both have great jobs, we just seem to have one expense after another and we don’t make extravagant purchases. It baffles me and leads to many arguments.. but I’m grateful for my job and my wife as well as our blended family.

My greatest challenge is trying to figure out best way to help my parent, who is struggling with dementia, while I live away and work in senior living. I am grateful for the way this situation and brought me closer to my sister. I am grateful to caregivers who are doing their best in a challenging time.I am grateful to work somewhere that allows me to learn about dementia on a daily basis, so I can be informed, empathetic and a teacher when I need to. I am grateful for the enduring love of my family at home. I am grateful that my day ends with the excited and exuberant greeting from my beloved and a god class of wine. #inawe

My biggest struggle today would be not being able to get out of the house, feeling stuck inside. I am grateful for this struggle because 1)My grandson’s birthday celebration will be a small family gathering, 2)I have a nice, dry, and warm house to stay in, 3)I am blessed to be able to continue to work from home, 4)I work for a company that is supporting us through this time, and 5)I don’t have to leave my house, I can stay safe by staying in. Thank you for this 21 day challenge. I am looking forward to the next challenge.

My greatest challenge is that I sprained my ankle yesterday and cannot walk.
The 5 reasons this is a blessing:
1. As a mother of 4, I am constantly going and doing for others and don’t often take time for me. Now I am forced to sit.
2. My mother has metastatic breast cancer which has spread to her lungs. Until January, she lived in my master bedroom for 5 years and I was her caretaker. Now, she lives in a senior, housing apartment. She is safe away from all of us. And, I have my bedroom back to use as my quiet place of escape-for when I am taking time for me that I now have to do.
3. I thoroughly read my emails yesterday and found this challenge and read the first 2 chapters of John’s book In Awe which was so timely I cannot even begin to explain.
4. I will really sit and be present with my kids because I am unable to move and multitask.
5. I am going to use this time to learn to meditate and find something that I can enjoy and find awe in like I did as a child.
Thank you, John. I was fortunate to see you speak and meet you in TUCSON, AZ a few years back when you spoke to Vistage. I have admired you and found strength in your positivity ever since.

This is my Day 1 . . . and my greatest challenge is figuring out how to make wise and right decisions for our business, people, customers and partners. Five things I’m grateful for, because of this struggle are:

1. We can seek His wisdom and the ability to make changes we wouldn’t have otherwise made.
2. We are thinking differently about ways to make these decisions.
3. We have opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise had, ie relief packages, Zoom, working from home full time, being with family, etc.
4. We have the empathy, support and trust of our volunteer leaders, because we are all in this together.
5. We can see now, and will be able to look back in a year to see more of, how God is with us in it all!

John, thank you so much for doing this! I have seen you speak several times and always leave, In Awe.

This is my Day One . . . and my greatest challenge is figuring out how to make wise and right decisions for our business, people, customers and partners. Five things I’m grateful for, because of this struggle are:

1. We can seek His wisdom and the ability to make changes we wouldn’t have otherwise made.
2. We are thinking differently about ways to make these decisions.
3. We have opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise had, ie relief packages, Zoom, working from home full time, being with family, etc.
4. We have the empathy, support and trust of our volunteer leaders, because we are all in this together.
5. We can see now, and will be able to look back in a year to see more of, how God is with us in it all!

John, thank you so much for doing this! I have seen you speak several times and always leave, In Awe.

As an extrovert, the social isolation of our current situation is really beginning to weigh on me. I get energy from being physically around people and all the nuances that go along with face to face conversations. I will not lie and say that I am always coping well during this time of quarantine. Yet some valuable things have happened because I must face this adversity with the rest of the world. My husband and I have found the time to reconnect and break some unhealthy patterns that were developing in the “busyness” of life. I have been able to pause long enough to reflect on my core values and on the inconsistencies between my stated values and the way in which I was living my life—I’m getting back to the heart of the matter. I am learning more about leading others through chaos and what it really means to help empower others. I am building deeper connections with people in my network that likely would not have occurred without this event. I am gaining a deeper understanding of how to be dependent on God instead of my own strength. For these things I am tremendously grateful.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It will most certainly tear away from us everything that can be torn. Yet, it will also leave the things that matter most…reminding us who we really are.” John O’Leary
#inawe (posted on my social media but I could not figure out how to tag you)

My greatest adversity/struggle today is not being able to be at the Church I grew up in and have lived for the past 62 years to be a part of and enter into the Sacred Triduum Liturgy.

Simply put, I am grateful for:

1) My loving Father, God Almighty, His Son,Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
2) My Catholic faith
3) My wife who supports me in this struggle
4) A small group of men who I journey with
5) My children who know how much it hurts for me and support me too.

Hello 🙂
I’m on day one! The biggest challenge lately has been not being busy and out an about with work. I am a Realtor. What this has led to is more time for me to work on my business. I have been putting some really important things off. I have done so much and am learning so much as a result of watching webinars and taking the time to implement these new skills into my business. I am very thankful for that. I also am thankful for all the time I get to spend with my children now. I again due to being so busy showing houses and doing open houses that I had put somethings off with my family too. I am loving the time to reconnect and do some projects around the house together. Something I want to take away from this time when things pick back up to speed is to prioritize my time and don’t procrastinate.

Today my biggest challenge is honoring a friends request or going to the grocery store; I understand his fear with the COVID fear but I am in need of groceries. I shop just once a week and only buy what I need for the next week. I am grateful for the care/concern of my friend, being healthy and able to grocery shop for myself, God’s love, mercy, kindness as he lovingly guides me through life’s challenges, that I am still working and can afford groceries.

I was married for 33 years. I got brave enough to leave 4 years ago. My top 5 things I’m grateful for are the following.
1. I found that all I needed to do was literally cross over the threshold of the home I believed I’d live in for my life. That’s all God needed me to do. From that moment on HE placed people in my path to guide this new journey. Literally it was raining people! A modern day miracle for sure.
2. The 5 years prior to leaving were very rough. In the midst of that time, I’d decided to get a pet. Never had one before. I rescued my precious Bella – she had lived in a puppy mill for 7.5 years. She was the BEST thing I could’ve done for Me! I thought I was saving her- other way around!
3. Modern day miracle- my Brownstone. You see, I’d lived in my beautiful 2 story colonial, white with black shutters and red door for 27 years. Beautiful yard I tended to, hundreds of flowers and I could name each one. And yet, when I decided what would it look like if I chose to leave- I remembered when my town had built this street of beautiful brownstones. How it came about and I bought it is still a story of Wow! Only God could have orchestrated how it came to be! And it is interesting to me- in my past, my home was wide yet not very deep. Now my home is narrow and very deep! A perfect metaphor of how I choose to live.
4. Coming out on the other side. The Joy that comes from enduring something, walking through the pain, dealing with the journey, knowing it wasn’t easy yet having a focused goal- to walk through it showing others they too can choose not to stay a puddle on the floor and to come through it with as much grace and ease as possible. To thrive not simply survive.
5. My newest pet Beatrice. Bella lived her life with me for 6.5 years. She had done her work and it was time for me to let her go. I held her and told her how much I loved her as she went to sleep. I asked her to check with God and the 2 of them send me a buddy sometime soon. 6 weeks later an incredible story- I mean really, how does a dog get from being found outside of a city in Texas to a shelter in Kansas- when just 3 days before I had decided to put my name on Petfinders -so I received an email that the breed I was looking for had just arrived that morning. I was the first to see her and home we went.
None of these things and experiences would I have if I hadn’t had the literal 5 seconds of courage to crises the threshold.
Grateful- yes, I’d say so!

My greatest struggle today is letting go of the little things that get in the way of what really matters in that moment or in the long term. Because of this adversity, I am grateful for these five things:
1. Having a supportive husband who sheds light on the “real” goal and is my partner through it all
2. My two dynamic healthy children that make me smile and laugh everyday in spite of the “little things”…I also see things through their eyes and get a new perspective .
3. Having the ability to change how I use my energy – Every day is a new day!
5. Reminders all around me of what is TRUYLY good – what matters

Greatest challenge today was grocery shopping. I now have to be conscious of how far I am away from other shoppers. There are marks on the floor indicating how far away I can stand from the next shopper while waiting in line. Plexiglass separates me from the cashier. These are all new in the last couple of weeks. I am wondering how many of these will remain when this is over.

Things I’m grateful for due to the current circumstances (1) more time with family (2) helping my grandkids with distance learning (3) more time for reading (4) spending more time enjoying the outdoors (5) since I’m shopping less I’m spending less $$$

My greatest challenge today is not being able to treat/see the kiddos I work with in physical therapy because of the current pandemic. What I have realized out of this challenge is: 1. How grateful I am to be spending more time with my 4 boys at home. 2. Being able to get things done that I never have a chance to. 3. The fact that I STILL have a job as PT, even though it looks completely different for the time being, knowing how many are struggling right now without jobs. 4. How much I value the relationships I have with the children I work with and their families. 5. The fact that I have the privilege of being able to work with such remarkable children!

My biggest struggle is fear, anxiety and sadness. How are people going to be able to get through this crazy time? How are people going to be able to put food on their table, if they have run out of money due to losing their job? Are my loved ones going to be OK? My husbands father is currently in the hospital and we can’t even visit him right now. My heart breaks for those who have lost their loved ones to this virus. So many people did not have a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones due to risk of exposure.

Amid all of this fear, anxiety and sadness, I have a new perspective on life. I see things through a new lens, life is so precious. I am so grateful for today. I am grateful to live in the United States and appreciate that we have wonderful hospitals, medical staff and doctors. I am grateful for the ability to unplug from media, take a deep breath and just be. I am grateful to have the free time (and ability) to go outside, go hiking, go to the park with my sweet puppy. I am grateful for family and friends, whom I stay in contact with over the phone. It is so important to remember that everyone is going through this and staying connected, reaching out and just talking to someone is so helpful! And lastly I am grateful for humor and inspirational articles, like yours John! I make it a point to share uplifting and funny things with my friends and family to keep our spirits up.
I appreciate all of these posts. It is so good to reflect on gratitude, even when it is difficult to do so. I hope you all stay safe and healthy!

Hello…my struggle today seems so small in comparison to others, but it is my struggle to work through. I am struggling with the indefinite separation from my very small family. My parents and sibling are all in the high-risk category and I have only been able to speak to them for the past six weeks. We have been very thoughtful of the social distancing as my father recently received a kidney transplant and has been dealing with health issues as a result. At home I have my husband and one of my daughters who was sent home from college. The other daughter remains at school to finish out the semester. In thinking about my struggle, I am finding comfort and gratitude in the following: (1) I am forever grateful for the gift my father received last August. This generous gift gave my father life and we will never be able to say thank you enough. (2) I am grateful and appreciate my mother and her strong love and devotion to caring for my father even when she needs a spiritual lift. She is the rock of our family. (3) My beautiful daughters are healthy, safe and becoming wonderful young ladies. They are independent and fiercely unique and beautiful! (4) I love my husband of twenty-three years beyond words. He is a gentle, genuine and kind individual that loves his family. (5) I am grateful for today and this opportunity to fill my bucket by not focusing on my struggles but on my blessings. Thank you for the reminder to live inspired.

My biggest struggle:

I can’t help everyone that I’d like to help during these times and I miss the daily face to face interactions with my family, friends, and clients.

Five things I’m grateful for.

1. I’m considered essential, so my life has not been as disrupted as others.
2. I have more time with my family during these times.
3. I have a great staff of people to work with that are dedicated to helping others.
4. I have great clients that are understanding of the current situation and take time to listen and understand how we are adjusting our approach during these times.
5. My wife is an awesome cook and together we make great meals for our family.

I feel so incredibly blessed right now that it was actually a little challenging to think of my greatest struggle or adversity. God has provided answers to the biggest worries in my life and I am so grateful. That said my biggest struggle right now is figuring out how to provide positive encouragement and leadership to the most important people in my life; my wife and three daughters. Briefly:
*My wife is a teacher and really struggling with trying to teach 11th and 12th graders that really don’t want to do any work, and yet she is responsible for getting them to work.
*My youngest daughter is a senior in high school and really sad about likely not having a graduation, grad night party, and all of the other celebrations that come as a result of 4 years of hard work.
*My middle daughter suffers from anxiety and depression, so needless to say this is really tough for her.
*My oldest daughter has a very serious auto-immune disease that is respiratory in nature, making it critically important that she not be exposed to the coronavirus.

Because of this struggle, however, I am extremely thankful for:
*My wife having a job, when so many don’t
*My getting a great job last week in the midst of a very difficult employment time, which helps improve my attitude and demeanor
*My girls all being healthy and virus free
*Despite being teen or post-teens, they all understand and respect the need to stay home, making that much less of a battle
*We have a large house where everyone can find their own space when needed (which is frequent).
*They want to have game night every night (sorry, that was six)

My greatest challenge has been loving someone with mental health issues who struggles to stop self medicating. Things I am grateful for because of this struggle are:
1. My 2 boys who are my world and I strive everyday to make sure their future is better than their dads past by nurturing and loving and teaching them problem solving and life skills and giving them experiences.
2.My relationship with God and my faith has grown tremendously due to this. I no longer am trapped thinking I have to ‘fix’ him. We live separate lives and I have God in mine everyday.
3.From dealing with that for years I have researched and attended workshops about mental health, substance abuse, trauma and brain development and am able to help other people and families. As a teacher knowing these things and about truama and how it affects everyone and what I can do to help them has been amazing.
4. I never used to care for myself so the last few years I have been setting personal goals and meeting them and forcing myself to do something for me at least once a month.
5. Watching someone struggle with mental health and taking in all the stress of it for yourself weighs heavy and changes you a bit. I have read many Bible studies and personal growth books to get me back to me. The first one was On Fire and I have found a new love of reading.

Sorry for joining this a tad late. My greatest struggle is that I find myself getting a little bit more down than normal due to everything going on. I’m a high school business / computer / Leadership teacher & word is coming down here in Michigan that we will probably be done for the rest of the school year. We closed shop on Thursday, March 12. Also, the girls basketball team I’m an assistant coach with were getting ready to play for a Regional Title in the MHSAA playoffs that night & it got nixed too. I’ve always loved and been grateful for my profession of being a teacher (31 years) and Basketball coach (got started in 1981)… it’s hitting me how much I miss the students / coworkers / players.

5 things I’m grateful for? 1) I’m home with my wife and kids. We’ve had meals together just about every night since. 2) I’m catching myself being down a bit and I’m turning to things like this challenge from John, listening & following John O’Leary more than normal. 3) I’m getting some more reading done. 4) I’m actually getting more sleep, which is a very good thing for me 5) I’m still in contact with my students and coworkers, with our online course setup & virtual staff meetings.

So many more things too – realizing so many people have it worse off than I do. 🙂

My biggest struggle is just trying to feel productive and make the most of time off/away from students and just dealing with the virus crisis. 5 things I am grateful for : 1. more time to spend with my son 2. been able to catch up with family and friends who don’t live close. 3. time to cook for my family. 4. gaining more appreciation for colleagues and students. 5. Grateful for US healthcare workers, military and others doing amazing things to help sick people.

My greatest adversity today is trying to stay positive when bombarded with such negative news and views. What has saved me thus far is my gratitude for being safe with loved ones where my needs are met (maybe too much in the hunger department), and I don’t have to “do” anything-my “shoulds” are all tabled due to the quarantine. And finally, I am grateful because I have the power to turn it all off-no FB, no TV, no texting- and just be whenever I want.

My greatest challenge is that I drink too much. I am grateful that no matter how miserable I feel when I get in bed after a drinking binge, that God gives me another day. That I wake up in the morning to spend another day with my beautiful daughters and husband. I am grateful that I have a struggle to share with my younger daughter who is very overweight and struggles with food, exercise and dieting. I am grateful that my father who was a horrible alcoholic has stopped drinking., it gives me hope that I can too. I am grateful for the days that I can have just 1 glass of wine and leave the rest for another day. I am grateful that I realize that I have a problem. I know that is the first step toward recovery.

My biggest challenge: fighting off despair and hopelessness in this pandemic. I fight those dark feelings by praying and trusting God. Five things I am grateful for:
1. All of my loved ones and friends are HEALTHY
2. I am healthy, I can go out for a walk or a run
3. Time to reflect on being grateful
4. Friendliness of strangers-we are all in this pandemic together, we can all relate and the spirit of love is tangible
5. Being out of a job gives me time to help care for my elderly mom

God Bless!

Sue, your willingness to be vulnerable has inspired me to do the same. My greatest challenge in the past has been drinking as well. I did bring in the New Year with one too many but the year 2020 has been different. God has granted me the beautiful fruit of self-control and has broken the chains so that I no longer feel the need to drink, so I am eternally grateful for that. However, it does not mean that I still do not struggle with this socially when around other people who drink, this will be my struggle post-Covid-19. It has been a blessing in disguise to be socially isolated as I have not been tempted to drink despite the large amounts of alcohol my husband has been purchasing (Lol! I can’t control his actions, only my own) so in a way, I am thankful for this isolation which has supported my sobriety. I am thankful for this time of reflection so that I can trim away the unneeded things in my life and emerge a transformed, better version of myself. I am thankful that I can choose a different legacy for my family. I don’t have to continue on the legacy of alcohol abuse and the consequences it ensues, I can break the chain of brokenness and blaze a new trail for my children and for generations to come.

I’m a day behind by my biggest struggle is not seeing all the students and staff everyday. This has been harder than anyone could imagine as we all worry about each and every student. Here are my 5 things I’m grateful for: 1. My job – I may not always be extremely happy on those really tough days but I am so grateful I do what I do. 2. Awesome parents – I work in a community where they truly support the school and do enjoy the small towns I work with. 3. I get to take my kids to work each day as they are in the district I work in. What’s better than that!! 4. I work with amazing staff who are doing extraordinary things during this time of uncertainty. 5. I get to celebrate everyday with students and staff who meet their WIGS!! What a great job!

My biggest struggle is learning to cope with this new “normal” of staying home and being more isolated (physically) from others. Learning how to make today different from yesterday! But here are 5 things I can be grateful for because of it:
Time to spend with family and friends I wouldn’t normally

Time to be vulnerable and scared with others all at the same time

Bonding with my neighbors and community

Greater appreciation for my home, finances and my health

Opportunity to really put my trust in God and our country

My biggest challenge as one of the high risk people in the news is staying hunkered down safely during the corona crisis. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease (NAM) a little over a year ago and spent many months of 2019 fighting a body that was aggressively attacking my muscles. Thenkfully due to God’s grace, fabulous doctors and therapists, I am now much improved and learning how to manage with this ongoing disease for the rest of my life.
My list of gifts is more than 5. Here are a few. My family has learned alongside me how to protect health of the autoimmune and vulnerable. I have met so many others with challenging autoimmune diseases and am grateful to interact with them on Facebook groups. Daily I am reminded of the blessings I have and choose positivity over feeling defeated. Many priorities have been challenged and reordered.
btw John”s books,and others were by my bed during my lengthy recovery. Great inspiration and encouragement. Michelle Cushatt episode 132 podcast is still my favorite. #INAWE

My greatest struggle today, and for the last 15 years, has been watching my mother die…slowly, ever so slowly. She was diagnosed just before she turned 50 with a probably diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Simply stated, they think she has the trifecta of dementia-related diseases.

Today, she sits in bed or is transferred to a large wheelchair using a crane-like device for a few hours each day. Her weight is somewhere near 80 pounds and while she looks exactly like my mother, the woman I spent my entire life emulating is gone. She cannot speak, she cannot move, she cannot hold herself up or follow directions to open her mouth. She can mostly chew and swallow and struggles with this most days.

If she was my cat, this would be an easy choice to make. But, she’s my mom. So, I continue to talk to her, tell her jokes she loves, play music for her, brush her hair, color her hair with help from my dad, and tell her I love her a million times or more. We don’t know how long she has. Ten years in Hospice care!!! Ten freaking years! She lives at home with Dad, just a mile from me and I see her nearly every day. Every day, it breaks my heart to leave her. Every day, I cry for what might have been, should have been.

My challenge is not balancing my work life with her care of caring for my husband who isn’t in great health. My challenge is not hating my sisters that live out of town that only visit once each year or less and are zero help when they are home. My challenge is not calling them screaming when I’m spending another Sunday cleaning up poop and trimming nostril hair and cleaning out her ears while they’re posting pictures of “family day” at the zoo or pool.

But, I am grateful.

I am grateful that I look EXACTLY like my mother when she was my age. Same eyes, hair, face, skin tone, absolutely identical hands. So much so that it sometimes scares her friends because they look at me, see her and are confused.

I am grateful for every day I see her and can tell her in person that she’s my hero and I’m so lucky to be her (favorite) daughter.

I’m grateful for 16 years of Catholic school (Go Billikens) that instilled in me a strong sense of faith, knowing that God’s plan and timeline are perfect and that only in His timing, will He call her Home.

I’m grateful that after 54 years of marriage, my father remains as in love with her today as the day they married as teenagers.

I am grateful that the one sister that lives near by, but whom I have the least in coming with, gets it. When others are judging, criticizing and going on about a situation they know nothing about on a family call, she’ll privately text me, saying “F them. They’re not in the weeds with us.” And she’s right- unless you’re doing the work, you can’t possibly understand the toll it takes.

Eventually, mom will die and they’ll all come home wailing about how they wished they had more time. I don’t wish for that….ive used every second God gave me with her to make sure she knows I’m there to help. When all is said and done, I only want that my mother can tell God that she is proud of me…that I’m her kid.

My greatest struggle is not knowing when or if we get to go back to school this year. As a teacher it makes me sad, as I’ve made connections with each of my students. I’m grateful that I actually taught them to share 5 things they are grateful for each week (hopeful they keep this up), I’m grateful we have technology to communicate, I’m grateful the isolation means that more people will stay healthy, I’m grateful this time away means more time with my family, & I’m grateful that all of this has seemed to bring our community together even if we are apart.

Five things in am grateful for because of this crazy quarantine situation: 1) My college daughter is home, for the rest of the semester, distance learning, so we are together spending time we wouldn’t have otherwise had. 2) I am able to ride it out in warm and sunny Florida. 3) My Alabama house is able to be on the market sooner and is getting showings. 4) I am in the same house as my husband when that wasn’t planned 5) I’m able to spend more time helping my mom move into her new FL home.

The greatest challenge I’ve experienced is the loss of my parents – my dad 22 years ago who if he was still alive would be turning 91 today and my dear mother who has been gone for almost 16 years. They were truly a gift from God and I am truly blessed with wonderful memories, lifelong lessons and a love they had for me and my sisters that I can feel ever so strongly to this day.

As devastating and heartbreaking as the loss of my parents has been, there have been blessings and gifts that have come from it and from just having them in my life.

Although, at first I found myself angry with God for having taken them away from me, the faith they instilled in me also made me realize that it was God who had so generously and in all His mercy given them to me in the first place.
Overall, my faith has been strengthened.

There are very few times that I become overwhelmed or extremely stressed as long as I know that my loved ones are safe and healthy. I really don’t sweat the small stuff.

My relationship with my family and my sisters especially has grown and is extremely important. I hope to pass that on to my children.

I understand more fully what a gift life is.

I hear my parents voices, see their expressions and feel their love in my interactions with my own children.

March 20, 2020
My greatest challenge is the unknown of this time of social distancing. When will it be safe for us to see our loved ones again?
I am still grateful for my FAITH, that I still have a job to go back to when schools open again, I have a warm home, food in my fridge/ cupboard and that I have two furry kids to keep me company.
Thank you for your inspiration John.

Being a wife, mother, co-worker I try to be the “glass is half full”,
“silver lining”, “it’s going to be ok” lady; the trouble with that is that I try so hard to take care of everyone else’s well-being that I tend to forget my own.. so my greatest struggle is remembering to put on my own oxygen mask before helping others. However, because of this “attribute”, though my family doesn’t always see it that way.. (mom, you aren’t going to change the way I feel, so just let me feel it) the blessings I receive from it is:
Empathy – being able to feel what others are going through.
Humility – I can’t always fix things – sometimes they just need to go through it
Silence – don’t speak – just listen
Well-being – when we encourage others that “it is going to be ok”, we inadvertently help ourselves. Our mood can brighten and sometimes we actually believe what we are saying!
Community – though at times it can be overwhelming, I truly appreciate when my family, friends and co-workers feel that they can come to me for words of encouragement, that shoulder to cry/lean on and ultimately the feeling of love you receive from them.

My biggest challenge is fighting a health issue that often limits my ability to do things I’d like to do and has forced me to socially isolate when I don’t want to. It can be difficult when you outwardly look fine but being around others can be dangerous to your system or your body is in extreme pain and you don’t show it. So, I’ve been dealing with this for several years but in the past 4 years we moved and two of my 3 children are growing up and starting to move out. All big changes for someone who has been a stay at home mom and can’t really resume a career because of health stuff. It gets kind of lonely. But I have found during this time a much greater appreciation for the time I do get to spend with friends and family. I really try to listen to what they are saying and their concerns are and if I can help out in some way I do, if I can do nothing else I pray for them. I’ve found a few hobbies I really enjoy. I’ve gotten to spend really great quality time with my immediate family and know they are well grounded in their faith and to each other. It has allowed me time to strengthen my relationship with my spouse. I think I have a strong faith although I know my prayers are better at some times than others. I have been able to spend invaluable time helping to care for my beautiful mother who is struggling with the horrible disease of dementia. I’ve learned a great deal of patience, understanding and acceptance. I’ve been blessed far more than I deserve with my children and husband and if this is my cross I am asked to carry every day it is fine by me. Every day is a gift and there is joy in it, sometimes in big things and sometimes in the littlest of things, you just have to slow down and be aware.

My challenges:
1. Living in an ever changing and frightening world when all I crave is sameness and predictability.

Why I’m grateful:
1. Challenge brings about change.
2. Allows me to see a new perspective and appreciate what I have even more.
3. Prompts me to discuss the situation with my three teens about what is important and why.
4. Forces me to look at our global connectedness and world economy.
5. Allows me to feel grateful that my family will be able to manage this financially.

I am struggling most with fear/uncertainty right now. My mom is at higher risk because of her age; my husband works in the medical field and travels for his job. I have found myself worrying (“What if one of them gets COVID-19? What if they need help and I can’t do anything because I’m not there?”) even when I don’t want to, and when I know we are told not to in Matthew 6:25-34. So, five things I am grateful for because of this are: (1) My mom is OK. We have family who live close to her and will be there if she needs something before I could get there. (2) My husband is OK. His circumstances are challenging, but he is not new at this and he will navigate safely. (3) I have friends and family who will pray with me and for me about my fears. (4) We serve a MIGHTY God who will ALWAYS watch over us and work all things for good (Romans 8:28). (5) When I feel anxiety about this, I am trying to redirect it in positive ways; in particular, I am trying to make a point of letting people know that I appreciate them. Everyone is scared as we watch this unfold – hopefully sharing some kindness and gratitude will help us all want to be there for each other. (John – thanks for this challenge as a way to focus on the positive and stand in awe!)

My struggle, today, is transitioning to a new job. I am grateful that

1) I am able to re-focus on my daily time with God
2) I was laid off in early December so was home while my mom spent 10 days in the hospital
3) I have been able to connect or re-connect with awesome people
4) We were shown that we can comfortably live on one salary. The second one is not a requirement. This means that we can proceed with my husband’s retirement once I am re-employed.
5) I have the time to participate in this kind of forum


My biggest struggle is working through a life change in separating from my husband not knowing how financially I will make it on my own. I’m grateful that I have a good job and a steady income, for support from my friends and family, for support to grow myself as an individual and move myself forward and for access to resources that will help me heal.

My greatest challenge right now is to be as patient with a family member with mental health issues as I am with everyone else. I put less effort into listening to her than I do with complete strangers or acquaintances. Because of this adversity, I appreciate my imperfectly perfect life not impacted by manic depression. I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned in becoming a better listener. I treasure the good days and try to focus on the positives. I forgive more easily and realize it’s not the person but the illness. I look forward to the next good day.

I’m concentrating on the very immediate and small today. My biggest struggle *today* is with focusing on what needs to be done. I’m on day 1 of eLearning from home for my two teenage girls and staring down the barrel of an unknown amount of time being with them while my own business suffers. I’m a single mom and the challenge is *a big one* So today I am grateful that 1. even as distracting as they are, I love that my kids WANT to hang out with me, *want* to share funny memes and TikToks and all of that with me. Most teenage girls want as much distance from their mom as possible and I’m grateful thats not who I am raising. 2. I’m grateful that my business IS busy enough that I have work to do. 3. I’m grateful for my job time flexibility. 4. I’m grateful that I live in a community that provides resources so that my girls CAN eLearn and not just lay around. Them laying around is easier for me, less distracting but doesn’t serve them well and 5. And really, I’m grateful that the energy in my house is so delicious that it is distracting. We have funny pets and a fun environment and I think that as distracting as it is? its pretty cool that we like one another.

During a recent struggle…one might describe it as shedding a layer of skin and regrowth of new skin. But I like to describe it as the universe releasing one star and allowing a new one to be born. Although the old star continues to burn (past)…it’s the new one that gives its fuel to the universe.

My faith is ever so strong, right now. It’s my new star and I feel it’s one I hope will never burn out. In the eyes of those who have known me for years, I sense they notice I am different from who I once was. Today’s struggle is overcoming acceptance in the eyes of others. I have incorporated the litany of humility in my daily prayer to aid me through this journey.

So five things that I am grateful for overcoming acceptance:
1. Grateful for the prayer of the litany of humility because it reminds me to not desire the need to be accepted.
2. Grateful for time because it allows healing to take place.
3. Grateful for surrendering because it allows me to lean in and give it to grace.
4. Grateful for reflection because it reminds me I am worthy of love.
5. Grateful for the ones who stood by me because their light brightens my path.

My biggest challenge right now is with the messaging in my keynote speech.
I feel very strongly, and God-led to anchor my keynote on three main pillars. I’ve used them as guideposts in earlier speeches and have even had them fed back to me.
The struggle is that I’ve heard from many people that the 3 keys that I like to talk about the most are not economically viable. In other words, that it will be hard to get people to pay for what I Know and felt led to speak on.
I’ve seen some success as a platform speaker and am grateful for that, I just know that I could be so much better if I followed what is true to me and burns in my heart.
The blessing in all of it is that I get to pray and lean more on God and the Holy Spirit, to help me find the best solution and direction for my biz moving forward.
Another blessing is that I get to spend more time understanding myself, my gifts, and the impact that I want to have in the world.
Thank you for reading…

The last 7 years have brought SO MANY challenges: cancer of a parent and loss of that parent/friend/business partner all in one, loss of a marriage, financial turmoil, raising a child, starting new business directions, feeling I should be farther along in my dreams at my age… I frequently felt like a boxer who has gone down against a stronger opponent for the 4th time, and the crowd is shouting, “Stay down!”, but I struggle to get back up anyway. Today, I would say that my main challenge is feeling alone and isolated at a time when I need to reach people to build my business and personal dreams, as well as to know how to help and inspire my now teenaged son, who ALSO frequently feels he has no friends(even though he does have some.)
– I have learned much and found ways to be grateful over time. One of the major moments for which I am EXTREMELY grateful, was getting to share with my mom, the experience and gift of hearing you, John, speak at the MGM, on what was to be our final outing together. For the weeks that followed she would ask me, “What is your baseball?”
– I am grateful for your book, On Fire, as I have found it to be a great tool that I am using right now with my teenager; he is captivated! We have been listening (2nd time for me) to it together this past week.
– I am grateful that in the midst of so much loss, I still have my dad; he is a great role model for my son, and a pillar of strength for both of us.
– I am actually grateful that in a time of such turbulence in the world where large gatherings have had some scary uncertainties associated with them, we HAVE had a smaller circle of contacts! Bright side, right?
– And finally, I am grateful that I have learned much from my mom on how to protect our health, and we are doing that. If not now, then when?

Thank you so much for offering your podcasts, emails, this challenge, your books… they are so appreciated! All of my love and blessings to you and your family.

My biggest challenge is watching my kids struggle with challenges and often be excluded or incorrectly judged because of them. While I wish they didn’t have to endure these challenges, I am grateful to be reminded that God loves all of us and we all belong to him. I am grateful for the empathy I have developed because of this challenge. I am grateful for the reminder not to judge as the world judges. I am grateful that these challenges reminds me to reach out and try to befriend and include others, despite my shy nature.I am grateful for the knowledge that one day they will be made whole.

Oh boy – I’m going to say today my biggest struggle – meaning maybe most in the foreground of my thinking these days – would be my finances. I just looked at my bills and realized my current income just covers the expenses and minimum payments on the debt. YUK!

In this, i’m grateful for…
1. My need to absolutely lean on and trust in my Lord who cares for me and takes care of my needs from day to day, often surprising me with little income surprises, and Who also takes care of many of my wants too.
2. My double and triple thinking habit i’ve gotten used to before I buy frivolous things.
3. My gratitude for things in my life not affected directly by my finances…like how I can enjoy good health, solid friendships, valuable mentors, a day job I love and 2 side businesses I actually have time to do.
4. My desire to continue to give to those less fortunate, whether $, or time, or serving, or relationship. This doesn’t go down, only increases.
5. My hope for a better day financially. I believe. I trust. I have the means to make a difference in this. I can. I will.

My biggest struggle today is the disruption the Coronavirus is causing for so many people who are impacted. I’m grateful for all of the service workers who continue to work including grocery store checkers, butchers, bakers, shelf stockers and drive- through pickup runners. I’m grateful for the “thank you’s” given to them that bring a smile to their faces. I’m grateful for the chance to help older shoppers get what they need. I’m grateful for the beautiful weather today that will make outdoor activities possible. I’m thankful for the grace and patience I see all around.

My greatest struggle today is to find a new job, closer to home, so I canha e more time to make things that bring me joy, or to work on my personal projects.
I also want to evolve in my career. As a marketing coordinator for nearly 20 years, i need to go to a higher level now to achieve more, to fulfill my full potential.
I am grateful for this struggling in my life because :
– I actually HAVE a job while I look for a better one
– It gives me the opportunity to work on myself, to know my forces and strenghts better
– It gives me the occasion to create a larger professional network
– It makes me clarify my goal for my actual Dream Job
– It points me the areas of improvement,what I need to know (knowledge) and what I need to gain (qualities)

Being slow to anger with my 6-year-old daughter.
1. I am grateful that I have recognized my quickness to anger because now I can change it.
2. I’m grateful for my daughter because she forgives.
3. I’m grateful for my daughter because she’s helping me grow.
4.I’m grateful for the gift of motherhood because it is truly an honor.
5. I’m grateful for the ability to imagine a more beautiful way of communicating with my daughter because now I can get myself ready to make it happen.

My greatest challenge now is being a month past divorce. The five things I am grateful for are: 1) For the most part the legal stuff is over. 2) Having a house for myself and my kids. 3) Being able to control household expenses. 4) Fixing meals for my kids. 5) Greater reliance on God.

My greatest struggle today is overcoming the downside (for lack of better words). I get to go on this amazing ski trip to Juneau with my sister and niece. My husband was going with until last night, his dad is very sick (either coronavirus or influenza A/B) and cannot take care of our dog who has anxiety problems and seizures. He is really only okay with one of us, my parents or my husbands parents. We had a family outing last weekend overnight and the neighbors helped us out with him. The following night he had the worst seizure he’s had so far so husband decided to stay home instead of go on ski trip. No way I could argue that! Husband is pilot and so any trips he’s excited to go on is like winning the lottery since he just wants to be home. I will be spending day alone in Juneau On last day because he cannot go.
I’m so grateful to have my beautiful dog and husband. I’m so grateful he’s able and willing to stay with our dog. I’m so grateful I get to go on these trips because he is a pilot. I’m so grateful to spend time with my sis and niece – they live so far! When I spend my day alone I’ll have no one to answer to so I get to do everything I want! I get to upgrade my seat on Alaska airlines and enjoy my bourbon! I get to sleep in. I have so many wonder opportunities in my life because of my husband, sister and husbands parents. I really believe I have the absolute best life, sometimes I need an attitude adjustment. Without the bad the good wouldn’t be so sweet. Cheers to the next best day!

My greatest challenge today is trying to overcome my depression, weight gain and feeling of dread that I wake up with everyday and trying to be a positive caregiver to my love ones. I have family spread out all over and trying to be there for each one of them and myself is very overwhelming along with all the negativity that I deal with at work and home. I am grateful for the all the little things in my life that brings me joy. I am grateful for your Live Inspired emails and the 21 day challenge. I am grateful for my family and friends that support me. I am grateful for our loving God that I can talk to through prayer. And I am grateful for music and books. I know I have a lot of things to be grateful for.

Beverly, there is good in all situations. You are loved, that is wonderful!
Try to see what happens for what it is, and accept the situatiin as it is.
You give what you can to others, at that particular time in your life. That situation is temporary, it will pass. Love yourself for what you are doing today. You are doing great! Xx

Today my physical struggle is small. I tore my ACL a month ago and have surgery scheduled 3/31. However, I injured my “good” knee so finding it difficult to walk. I didn’t want to post because it pales in comparison to real battles other face. Grateful to God that the accident could have been worse -He is my protector. Thankful for access to medical access. Blessed that I am healthy. Love that I have a wonderful family to support me. Grateful for this challeng John, it provides me great PERSPECTIVE. #inawe

When I was little I was treated at a pediatric orthopedic hospital for orthopedic issues I had/have. At one point I told my mother I didn’t think I should go to the hospital for treatment any longer because there were so many kids who had much bigger challenges than I did and I felt I shouldn’t take up the doctor’s time. She explained that my challenges were no less important to me than their challenges were to them.

We don’t have to compare our struggles to one another, there are no bonus points to be won. We all win when we meet each other with compassion and empathy.

My greatest challenge is change. Daily we have change in the workplace, change that may be perceived as hard, unnecessary. Its hard to stay positive. I am grateful for my co workers that talk and calm me down, I am grateful that there is a pause, I am grateful for my friends that are optimist, I am grateful for good reads that inspire and motivate me. I am grateful I have learned to identify the good and to focus on that.

My breast cancer came back after almost 10 years in remission. Although this has devastated and surprised us because scientifically this is so rare given my surgical history I’ve grown in my faith, become so grateful for our rock solid marriage and vastly improved my social connections leaning into others for support. My kids and I are growing closer and my anxiety over what I think I can control has lessened. I have a cam and a peace that can’t be explained except for God.

Alcohol is my addiction and what I thought was an abyss I would never find my way out of. Today, 18 months sober! 1)found you and your podcasts 2)Laura Mckowen’s words, book, and she led me to this place and others, 3) Trusting in a God who shows me miracle after miracle 4) More openness, willingness, honesty, and intimacy with myself and relationships—beautiful light instead of only shadows and dark 5) AA 12 steps and an incredible love shown to me when I couldn’t love myself. I look forward to mornings now and am not terrified of the night—there’s life and value and beginnings and experiences I get to have as I practice loving myself and loving others.

My struggle today is worry…my granddaughter is studying abroad in Finland, her college told students abroad to return home and her Dad (my Son) is trying, without any luck (due to airlines saturation and overwhelm), to bring her home. I’m grateful that my son has stamina and he will stay with this until he gets her home. My granddaughter is solid and strong and will maneuver this chaos as needed. My granddaughter got to experience Finland for 1/2 of the time and has had a beautiful experience. I’m grateful for my family’s health and all the prays that have been said for my granddaughter and all those traveling that they may be safe, healthy and return home with ease.

I a struggling with morbid obesity and really trying to fight it right now. I am thankful for those who support and encourage me in the journey, tools that help me, healthy food, running a 5K and a God who loves me and fights for me and with me.

Lori —. So glad you are fighting forward. Please know you are not alone and the best is yet to come. God bless. J

My greatest challenge is severe PTSD. It’s increased my faith. God showing up for me when I could not get help for myself,
Your podcast with Shawn anchor and realistic optimism.
Friends who have cheered me on and brought me community
Running, running my first full marathon and 6 half marathons inspite of all the struggles, working 2 jobs and raising kids
John O’Leary 7 questions. I ask them to everyone that gathers around my kitchen table. It is so insightful
Thank you for that

Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing and for living #inawe. You, my friend, are a gift. I love your list and so appreciate your encouragement. Shawn Achor’s realistic optimism and practical application ROCKED (make practicing gratitude like brushing your teeth!!! That is good stuff.) Congrats on the journey and to all that is yet to come. Enjoy Challenge Day 2 tomorrow! Hope to hear form you then. J

Greatest challenge – worry. I worry too much about what I cannot control or influence. BUT! I have so much to be grateful for that I focus on daily – freedom of faith, health, family, friends, employment… so many more – the positives really give me a place to redirect my mental energy and try to keep that reality check in place.

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