How being thankful for your relationships and accomplishments can help you spread happiness.
Barry Lall, CEO of Pinnacle Hotels USA, has already talked us through his life lessons and explained how he’s made his mark on the demanding hospitality industry. Then, he shared his tips on how grit and resilience can help up-and-coming entrepreneurs thrive in this sector. Now, in this third article, he shares his ideas on how to practice gratitude in both work and personal endeavors to bring joy to those around you.
Practicing gratitude is key to success in Barry’s eyes, both in terms of business achievements and personal happiness. Barry explains that when we find reasons to feel grateful, we have a much better chance of reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. This can be especially important for entrepreneurs who are balancing the tough demands that come with managing a business in the hospitality space – much like Barry has done for the past three decades.
Here’s how Barry has consistently found gratitude and joy in his career, especially now he’s reducing his business hours to make the most of valuable time with family.
Growing as a Business Leader
Barry’s varied career has led him down several paths that have helped him grow as a business leader. Looking back, he reflects on the gratitude he has for his start in life. He found his entrepreneurial spirit at just age 13, selling men’s clothes in his father’s shop in Chingola, Zambia. Having absorbed his father’s business mindset at a young age, Barry then threw himself into medical studies, relocating to Scotland to take on a challenging five-year degree.
50 years on, Barry has now lived, studied, and worked in multiple countries, dedicating himself to various sectors, including medicine, real estate, and hospitality. Now, as the president of Pinnacle Hotels, Barry is thankful for the people he has worked with to develop the business from a run-down motor lodge into a thriving multi-hotel enterprise.
Barry’s extensive career has pushed him to consistently challenge himself and grow, which is why he’s always enjoyed both his work life and personal life. While some business leaders find that corporate work becomes a burden – an ever-growing to-do list they feel they must endure to finance their family – Barry has often found that his work life and personal life inspire each other.
“What is work and what is life? How can have one without the other?” Barry encourages entrepreneurs to consider these questions. “We have to be responsible and understand that, to be happy in life, we cannot ignore one over the other.”
Taking Care of Those Around You
Over the years, Barry has come to realize that he can find gratitude and joy in any situation if he commits himself to his enterprises and takes care of those around him. Despite his huge commitment to Pinnacle Hotels as the company’s founder, he’s always been careful not to let business matters disrupt valuable time with his wife and son. Now in his sixties, Barry is dedicating fewer hours to work, especially as he has built the Pinnacle empire to run seamlessly without his continuous input. Besides enjoying his new role as a grandfather, Barry enjoys travelling and outdoor activities like hiking, swimming and playing golf.
Family time aside, paring back work hours has given Barry more time to spend on exercise and personal development. He enjoys working with personal trainers on Pilates and strength training, exercising on his Peloton bicycle, and taking long beach walks with Hema. Barry and Hema also recently undertook a three-month wilderness training course together. They’re now practicing spirituality with the Isha Foundation and Sadhguru, alongside various meditation and mindfulness practices.
“At the beginning of this decade, I came to the realization that I had accomplished what I wanted to achieve in the business world and so began to spend more time on our personal lives,” Barry says. “More travelling, travelling to England to watch cricket, going to wellness resorts, spending more time with my son and his family (two absolutely adorable grandsons). Also, with the nudging of my son, I’ve started paying attention to everything I eat and have begun practicing intermittent fasting.”
The Connection Between Success and Gratitude
Barry emphasizes that, for him, success isn’t about reaching specific goals or milestones. Instead, he considers success a state of mind that’s closely tied to gratitude. Barry explains that if you’re committed to your responsibilities and can find joy in these, you should always feel successful. He measures success by measuring how happy his family, associates, and customers are.
“I measure success in the following ways,” Barry explains. “Am I and my family happy with life? Are we comfortable? Am I proud of how we raised our son, and how he and his family are doing? Are my associates happy to work with me and my company? Are my business partners happy with me? Am I the best I could be to everyone I encounter? Am I spreading pleasantness?”
Instead of focusing on happiness and success as “things” to attain, Barry suggests we should find happiness in the relationships and accomplishments we already have. When we feel grateful for our current situations, what we have becomes enough. And while it’s healthy to strive for further achievements and growth, one of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs feel unhappy is because they see themselves as lacking in one way or another. When we value our current successes and assets, we can become more thankful. And the more thankful we become, the more joyful we can be.
There are lots of ways to find gratitude in all aspects of life. When we consciously relish each good moment, celebrate our little wins, and introduce others to the things that make us happiest, we can not only raise our own spirits, but raise the spirits of those around us.
About Barry Lall
Dr. Barry Lall is the CEO and President of leading hotel enterprise Pinnacle Hotels USA, which owns property holdings worth over $250 million across California and Texas. Pinnacle Hotels combines several established brands, including Hyatt Regency, Doubletree by Hilton, Sheraton, and Marriott.
Having transitioned from his role as a family physician to the CEO of a major enterprise, Barry now helps new entrepreneurs make the most of the hospitality industry. Aside from overseeing Pinnacle Hotels’ 650 employees, he also manages the Lall Family Endowed Scholarship with his wife. Together, they award this scholarship to underprivileged students at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (San Diego University). Students use this scholarship to fund educational experiences, including national lodging conferences in New York, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Barry also offers a Pinnacle Hotels internship program for those looking to learn the foundations of hotel management on the job.