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I had the pleasure of interviewing Joel Neeb. Not only has he escorted the president of the United States around in Air Force One, but he has also done a lot of incredible work in the business world. From working as a fighter pilot to becoming a CEO of a consultancy, and now working with the third-largest software company in the world, he has a breadth of experience and I’m excited to chat with him.
Mo prompted Joel about the three Gs: Growth, Giving, and Gratitude, but focusing on how gratitude plays into his journey.
“There’s a great quote from Teddy Rosevelt in which he says, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” We are only unhappy when we compare ourselves to others. And I believe that’s true. I believe that sadly, it’s never been easier to compare yourself against the highlight reel of everyone else in the world. When I say highlight reel I mean what I want you to see of my life. When you go on Instagram and look at my life, you’re not going to see me sitting in the middle seat in the back of the plane, fighting over the armrest… You’re going to see me on Ninja Warrior and in these business roles and onstage doing a Keynote. We curate that version of ourselves that we put forth. So once again, it’s really daunting comparing yourself. On the other hand, you can look at it at a macrolevel.”
“All this talk about privilege that we have going on right now. Who’s privileged and who’s not. Well the truth is folks, this generation, you, me, all of us, are the most privileged generation to be on the planet. In other words, access to healthcare, poverty levels, median wealth, median income, all of these things. They are the highest they’ve ever been in human history. Of course we are the happiest we’ve ever been too right? We’re not! The strangest part is that even with all this privilege, we're unhappy. I’m still looking left and right, and seeing what someone else has that I don’t. And it still never quite brings me that happiness. I’m wanting more and there’s never enough. It doesn’t matter that we are more privileged than the 99 thousand generations that came before us, we are still going to argue about something that somebody has that I don’t. At the end of the day, it’s a frivolous pursuit that will never end. So what we have to realize is, instead of focusing on what we want, we need to realize what we have. Gratitude is an absolute superpower. Being grateful for what you have and writing it down, talking about it, saying it out loud, and giving voice to the things that you’re grateful for.”
Hear all of Joel Neeb’s story and his viewpoint on the three Gs here.
As mentioned above, stopping the comparison game and being grateful for the life that we already have is a big takeaway that Joel shared with us. When going about your week, make sure to reflect on what you have and less on what you don’t.
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