The Power of Gratitude: A Journey of Appreciation and Recovery

Jonathan Doyle International Motivational Speaker

Welcome to today’s episode where Jonathan Doyle shares his profound experience of gratitude amidst adversity. Following a recent accident resulting in severe injuries, Jonathan reflects on the transformative power of gratitude during his hospital stay. Join him as he delves into the layers of appreciation for healthcare, kindness, and life’s simplest pleasures, offering insights into cultivating gratitude in everyday life. Tune in as Jonathan invites you to embrace gratitude beyond hardships and discover its profound impact on well-being.

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    Welcome Aboard

    Well, hello there. My friend, Jonathan Doyle, is with you, and I’m really excited to hear. I’m glad you’re listening in today. Whatever you’re facing in your life, whatever’s going well, Whatever’s not going well. I hope I can offer you something useful today.

    Facing Trauma: Emergency Room Gratitude

    Jonathan Doyle while recuperating in the hospital after an accident

    Friends, if you heard yesterday’s episode, of course I had a major accident a week ago. I broke 12 ribs, fractured my collarbone, broke my shoulder, and got a bunch of metal plates and screws. So yesterday, I brought you up to speed on that. I’m not going to go into that too much anymore.

    I’m going to touch on today because today we’re going to talk about gratitude. And I have said, I sit in the email that went out with this episode. Gratitude is one of those things that has launched a thousand Instagram pages, and it’s on way too many coffee mugs. Like gratitude has become platitudinal. We will know who is supposed to be grateful and if we practice more gratitude, that life will just be unicorns and rainbows.

    Cynicism and Gratitude: A Personal Shift

    Choosing gratitude over cynicism: a journey of personal growth

    I’ve probably had a slightly cynical attitude toward the gratitude piece. We are all different in personality. Some people are really childlike in their interactions with reality. They’re just optimistic and hopeful and some of us are less. Some of us come to gratitude with a little more difficulty. But I wanted to talk to you about it today because it was a profound experience for me in the hospital last week.

    I had the accident about six fifteen in the morning, and they operated about four o’clock in the afternoon. And then I was up on the ward, and I was in there for days, doing everything that goes with being poked and prodded—never getting a needle stuck in every few minutes and everything that goes with that. When you hear these big breaths, that’s because my ribs are broken. I have to take these big breaths.

    Unexpected Gratitude Towards Healthcare System

    Appreciate the unsung heroes, find gratitude in unexpected places

    I had this extraordinary experience over those few days in the hospital around gratitude. It really had a lot of layers for me. The first thing is that I’m a little cynical when it comes to the role and scope of government. But I was genuinely grateful if you maim yourself on the road. The one thing the health system tends to do pretty well is deal with trauma-related injuries.

    So if you get flattened by your own bike or whatever else, then the system works really well. I was amazed, I got to the emergency department and there was basically no one there. I was grateful for that. Then I’m in this room, and within probably 30 minutes or less, I had x-rays.  And just really good nurses. There were these two guys that were there, and there was a lot of fun. It was just that people were really nice.

    Appreciation for Medical Staff and Treatment

    Gratitude for compassionate care: Every gesture counts

    I just deployed it, not really that consciously, as an attitude of appreciation. I just had great appreciation for what everybody was doing. Karen would say it was the opium. I just had this appreciation for what everybody was doing.  And I had appreciation for the fact that if this had happened a hundred years ago, it would have been a terribly different story.

    Here I am, having x-rays, then dye contrasting CT scans to see if any of the ribs fracture affected internal organs and in an MRI machine. Then they gave me a PCA. They plug this thing into my hand, where I can just dose myself with fentanyl every five minutes. They said, press it as much as you need. I said, My friend. I don’t think you needed to tell me that.

    It’s cool because he didn’t mean to do this, but they said you didn’t make sure no one else pressed the button, but sometimes I was in too much pain to reach out for it. So friends would visit, and I’d say, Hey, can you just hit that red button for me. And some of my friends were able to give me fentanyl. And I was grateful for that incredible medication. I am also very aware of the tragic consequences of having another context.

    Finding Positivity Amidst Pain and Medical Procedures

    Then I got into the ward, and I just had this real, great gratitude for the nursing staff. I was just really appreciative and very positive. And I really was struck by having that attitude that tended to just return the same attitude. It really struck me. I was not running an experiment up there, I was not trying to do this, I was just genuinely operating in gratitude and appreciation. And it just seemed to come back at me over and over again.

    People were really nice and very friendly, and the staff were just really willing and open to consistently helping me. Then I was walking around the wards, and some of this story about, Have you got them a Striver account? You’ll actually see me logging laps on ward five and the hospital here in Canberra. I’m just pulling up my Striver profile here. I think, in case you’re on Striver, come and say hi; I guess it should just be a standard. Mom dad was Jonathan Doyle in Texas, Australia, figure that out, but you can actually see my laps.

    I was doing these labs, but I have one of those things: a cannula, not a catheter, the cannula stuck in my arm with the PCA device. And so I’m walking around doing these laps. I just kept smiling at people, and I just kept being very warm, and I felt really grateful to be able to walk. There was a man in the bed next to me who’s in his seventies and had a bad accident. He’s dealing with some terrible injuries, really can’t get up, and has been in that bed for five weeks. I remember when I was there.

    Gratitude for Support and Kindness

    Strength in community: Grateful for the kindness of loved ones

    So I felt this gratitude for just the ability to be able to walk around the ward. And then small things like, I have a really good coffee machine in my downstairs office. I come down every day at 4:00 a.m. and have a coffee. When you go without that and you’re in the hospital for a few days, you notice it. My best friend, Adam, came into the hospital, texted me the night before, and he goes, Man, can I come and bring your coffee? It was just literally the nectar of the gods, it was like unicorn tears collected on the slopes of Mount Olympus at midnight on the summer solstice. And it was just incredible to enjoy really good coffee. This gratitude kept welling up in me.

    So when I left the hospital, it was just the experience of walking outside and feeling the sun on my face. I really had this awareness that there are so many things that we’re doing in our lives every day that we just genuinely take for granted. And I get it. I totally understand why we would; it makes a heap of sense. You can’t spend your entire life being grateful for walking until you can’t walk.

    Reflecting on Moments of Gratitude

    Imagine if we had a disposition of gratitude just more regularly for the things that we do take for granted, the people. I said yesterday that I just had this incredible gratitude for just the kindness of people and old friends reaching out from all over the world.

    One of my friends, Matt, is his wife, Mel. If you guys are listening, thank you so much. Mel just turned up and brought this phenomenal lasagna after I got home from the hospital. This is the massive lasagna that she brought. I think it lasted about five seconds.Before my entire family destroyed it. But it’s just that, just a small action. I actually pictured her in her kitchen. Or I’ve been, many times, and just the effort that she would have put in and that she went to that trouble for us, then drove it all the way. They live out on a farm and drive that in for us. These things just really started to impact upon me.

    "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."

    Gratitude for Small Pleasures: Finding Joy in the Little Things

    Savor life's little treasures: Gratitude for moments of simple joy

    So really, the purpose of today’s message is to simply do a little bit of what I did yesterday, which is to say that we shouldn’t really have to wait for these moments of trauma, injury, setback, and loss to try and operate in an experience of gratitude.

    Yesterday I was dealing with a lot of pain, injuries, and I worked a fair bit and stayed in the house. And just today I went out when we left; we’re on the back of a little mountain range and just walking outside in the air and the sun, and just kangaroos running around everywhere. It’s just beautiful. And just taking a moment to go, gosh, the feeling of that air on your face.

    I think we often think that to be happy, we need this whole bucket list of things to fall into place. I’ve spoken about this before. We often feel that if we just have all of these particular things lined up, if you get this house, if we marry this person, if we get this job, or if we deal with this problem, then we’ll be happy. It took me to another bad crash to realize that walking is a pretty cool thing. And coffee is a pretty cool thing.

    The Power of a Grateful Disposition: Reflection on Gratitude's Impact

    Embrace gratitude as a way of life: Find meaning in every moment

    I am going to try, and I’m sure I will need to remind myself of this very regularly, but I’m going to try and hold on to some of this and just keep this disposition going forward. Keep this disposition in mind. Gratitude for all of the incredible things that are happening for us every single day. Even just having the gift of waking up. It’s a crazy thing to say, but there’s nothing we can do when we fall asleep at night to guarantee that we’re going to wake up the next day; nothing. Every single day is literally a gift.

    I remember many years ago, I had this prayer with this priest friend, who’s a fantastic guy. He’d been a medical doctor and became a Catholic priest late in his life. He was just on a spiritual retreat and just died in his sleep. He just literally died in his sleep. It was still very young. Even the gift of waking up today, the fact that you are even listening to me. Is something to be grateful for in itself. The gift of life itself.

    Conclusion and Call to Action

    I’m going to try and hold on to it. I’m going to try and remind myself to just hold onto this and operate in it a little bit more every single day. I think we’re living in a culture at the moment that convinces us that to be happy, to experience joy, we need a whole bunch of criteria. We need a whole bunch of material criteria to be fulfilled. I’m not quite sure that’s the case. I’m not quite sure at all.

    All right, my friends. God bless you. Please make sure you’ve subscribed. If you liked the content, please hit the subscribe button. You can find me on YouTube @JDoyleSpeaks, and on Instagram: @jdoylespeaks. Everything else is on the website. Come over to find out more about me. Booking me to speak about all the different things that I do is on my website.

    God bless you my friend. This has been the Daily Podcast, and you and I are going to talk again tomorrow.

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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