When I recently released my new book, 10 Rules for Resilience: Mental Toughness for Families, my team set aside one day for radio interviews. For nine hours straight, I stood at my desk answering questions from hosts about the book. There was barely time to go to the bathroom, and definitely no time to eat.
As you all know, standing still for nine hours is not my cup of tea. I’d much rather be checking in with my team, taking burpee breaks, and planning our next killer initiative. So what kept me smiling for all nine hours? Gratitude.
I told myself over and over, “I get to do this.” Maintaining this perspective helped me enjoy the interviews more, and reminded me of the opportunity that I have to impact others. This is what gratitude does. It keeps you present and allows you to shift your mind in a more positive direction. So, here are the five things that I’m grateful for.
What Spartan CEO Joe De Sena Is Grateful for Right Now
1. My Family
On the back cover of the new book is a picture of my family. The publishers and I went back and forth over the book jacket, and I was adamant about including my family. My family is everything to me. I ask a lot of them. I travel more days out of the year than not and when I’m home, it’s not exactly a cake walk with my 5 a.m. wake-up calls. My wife is a total rockstar and somehow manages to get a million things done every single day.
When trying to manage a global business and getting pulled in a thousand different directions, it’s the stable and secure things that will keep you grounded. For me, that’s my family. They are where most of my gratitude lies, hands down. If they weren’t supportive and adaptive, there’s no way I could do what I do.
2. My Health
I work hard to keep myself physically fit and to maintain a champion mindset, but we all know that shit can hit the fan at any time. Some of the most healthy and fit people I know have found themselves in precarious situations that they didn’t see coming: Anyone can get cancer. Anyone can get in a car accident. Anyone can die. It may sound harsh to say, but it’s the truth.
Every single day I am grateful for my health. If I didn’t have my health, I wouldn’t have anything. And I’m proud that I’m walking the walk of the things that I talk about consistently. It’s not always easy to pick the eggs and avocado when the pancakes smell delicious. And I’m typically the only one ordering water at the end of a long day when everyone else has a glass of wine. But if I’m going to travel all over the world, be at the top of my game, and stay clear in the process, I need my health. And I’m thankful I’ve got it.
3. Spartans Everywhere
I know it sounds cliché, but I do this work because of Spartans everywhere that show up at the start line. When it comes to where you want to invest your energy, you have a thousand companies to choose from. The fact that you show up for us and remain loyal through both the good times and the bad is incredible. We know that we don’t get it right all of the time, and your feedback pushes us to be better — even under the toughest conditions.
Every day I get an email from someone who shares how Spartan has changed their life, but the truth is that you all have changed mine. There were times at the beginning of the pandemic when I wasn’t sure we would pull through. And then I’d get one of those emails and I’d push onward. I see more resilience, grit, and commitment at races than anywhere else on this planet. I have so much gratitude for each and every one of you because you elevate me to be better and do more. Thank you.
4. The Team at Spartan
As I mentioned above, I put my family through a lot, but I probably put my team through even more. After furloughing nearly 400 employees in 2020, I would have understood if no one wanted to stick around and ride the wave. But the most incredible thing happened. Tons of team members said, “Joe, we’re not going anywhere.” They chose to stay, worked for nearly nothing, and completely crushed it. It’s something I will never, ever forget.
I’ve been called a maniac by many, and my ideas are sometimes insane. My team always figures out a way to execute with passion and complete their commitments. We zig, we zag, we go left, and then we go right. We are always moving and I’m constantly raising the bar so that they can achieve even more. This company wouldn’t be what it is today without everyone on board. I’ve got the best team on the planet, without a doubt.
5. That I GET to Do This
Sometimes the daily grind wears on you. The long airplane flights and hotel gyms aren’t all the glitz and glam that you think they might be. But in those moments when I find my mind complaining about the small things, I say, “Joe, shut up. You get to do this.” And it’s the truth.
It’s awesome that I live the life that I live. I get to meet incredible people, go to wild places, and do insane things. It’s the small, mundane, and boring things in between that often make those bigger things possible. I would never wish for another life, so I try to be grateful for each and every moment.