Appreciate Everything

Almost everyone in a leadership role spends some time looking for quotes and stories that will help his or her team. A few years ago, I was in a forum of leaders and a question came up to which we were all asked to reply: “What is the pillar or foundation phrase by which you guide your life or that helps you handle the stress of leadership and life?”

As someone who loves quotes and stories, this was an easy one for me. But many of the people struggled with this question. I could see the struggle they were going through. Rather than feel relieved by how easy this was for me, I simply felt grateful that I had a foundation phrase from the time I was a young, touring tennis player: I was told to live my life by always appreciating whatever comes my way and never expecting anything.

Even if I lost a tennis match, I was able to appreciate that I learned a lot and had more to practice. Whether it’s a glass of pure water, a nice meal, a good connection with another person or winning a contract in business, appreciation is forever in the forefront of my mind. And that way, there is no sadness for not getting what I may have expected.

The Leadership Coach is Peter Burwash, president of Peter Burwash International, which manages tennis instruction programs worldwide. His books are available through the Media Zone. He can be reached at