6 Reasons I’m Grateful to Be Alive

6 Reasons I’m Grateful to Be Alive

Last Monday was rough. I woke up feeling stressed enough that I went into the living room and laid down on the couch, hoping that a little meditation would help me find some perspective.

It wasn’t long before I heard the padding of small bare feet. I opened my eyes and saw my youngest daughter, Violet, gazing at me. Her look was so tender, her smile so sweet, that my worries disappeared.

All I could think of was how cute she was, and that she loved me. She didn’t care what was going on outside the home; she just loved me. She hugged me and talked to me, a kind of radiance surrounding us both, and nothing else mattered.

This simple exchange got me through a couple of difficult days. Remembering it now—on Thanksgiving Eve—I’m flooded with gratitude. In the spirit of the holiday, here are six reasons I’m the luckiest man on earth:

  1. My wife. I can’t imagine where I’d be without Rachel. Marrying her was without a doubt the most pivotal event of my existence. If I didn’t have this beautiful woman at my side, constantly supportive, constantly strong, I’d probably still be digging ditches in Idaho.
  2. My daughters. I have six of them, including a surprise set of twins. They’re an insanely smart, insanely energetic, insanely talented, insanely funny bunch. I’d follow them to the end of the world, and they’d do the same for me.
  3. My parents. My mom and dad taught me how to work. They taught me resilience in the face of incredible obstacles. They put clothes on my back and food on the table and showed by example how to live a principled life.
  4. My colleagues. The quality of the men and women I labor with on a daily basis is astounding. I think of my business partner and co-founder, Caton Hanson, a model of calm, forgiving patience. I think of Greg Ott, Nav’s president, a man for whom the term “consummate professional” was invented. I think of Amanda Sanderville, Nav’s manager of executive support, who manages the hectic and ever-changing schedules of the executive team with consummate skill and grace. I think of all my employees, past and present, who’ve overlooked my flaws and put their careers on the line because they believe in what we’re trying to accomplish. I’m humbled by their friendship and trust.  
  5. Nav’s investors and partners. These are the people who put their money where their mouth is; the folks who turn dreams into reality. Without their courage, wisdom, generosity, and sheer entrepreneurial prowess, Nav wouldn’t exist. They’ve bought into our mission and vision, literally. And to have titans like Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, TransUnion, and Equifax in our corner—words can’t express how inspiring it is that they’ve seen something in us worth taking a risk over.   
  6. Nav’s customers. Last but not least, I’m grateful for the hundreds of thousands of small business owners whose faith in our product gets us up in the morning. They’re the beating heart of the U.S. economy, and our ultimate aim is to keep that heart beating loud and long. To every single person who’s signed up for our services, thank you.  

Reading this list, what stands out most to me is that it isn’t about stuff. It isn’t about possessions or status or economic security. It’s about relationships with human beings.

Today’s a day for appreciating each other—for cherishing those moments when we’re afraid we can’t manage another step, and then someone pads up on quiet feet, and loves us, and we’re suddenly moving again.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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