News & Media: Spotlight
Gratitude is a Key to Building Relationships.

By Hamed Babai
Posted on March 22, 2022

Gratitude opening image

When thinking of what makes a modern business successful, ideas such as vision, leadership, resources, knowledge, and drive usually come to mind first. However, far too many businesses, including those that are successful and not, tend to neglect the key role that building relationships plays in the long-term strength of a company, and the gratitude that underlays those relationships.

I consider the gratitude the parent of all powers. It is a building block of all accomplishments and an empowering feeling we can tap into at any moment. With gratitude, one is able to let go of their fears and connect more deeply with the core elements of life, including the people around us.

As 2021 faded from view, I had a revelation in gratitude on a hiking trip taking on the Huemul Circuit in Argentina.

When not working at the office, I am an avid hiker who enjoys pushing the limit and testing the boundaries of my comfort zone in the vastness of the outdoors. Thankfully, I find I can usually pull it off in such difficult situations, but the Huemul Circuit stood to be a monumental test. This 42-mile-long hike is typically completed over 4 days, with 3 nights of backpacking and 2 zipline crossings over canyons. The route goes through some of the largest and most remote glaciers in South America’s Patagonia region.

Hiking the Huemul Circuit in El Chaltén, Argentina

Hiking the Huemul Circuit in El Chaltén, Argentina

I set out on the morning of December 28th. The first 10 miles went smoothly, and I reached the first campsite by mid-afternoon. However, while many hikers choose to camp at that location for the night, I decided to continue my momentum and press ahead to consolidate my 4 days of hiking into 3.

Ominously, the wind had begun to pick up as I started the second half of my day’s hike, which led me to a river crossing. I found the currents too strong and deep to cross on foot after several attempts, so eventually I came across a zipline crossing spot in some nearby mountains. At this point, I should admit that I had no prior experience with crossing a canyon on a zipline.

Undeterred, I donned my harness, connected it to the zipline cable, and began to pull myself across the canyon with my hand. It was a grueling journey with a defective cable and no gloves to protect my hands, and 2/3 of the way across I found myself stuck, hanging upside down and uncertain of what to do next. I eventually made the last third through much effort, injuring my hands in the process.

The glacier at Huemul Circuit in El Chaltén, Argentina

The glacier at Huemul Circuit in El Chaltén, Argentina

With the weather getting worse, I hiked across a massive glacier called Cerro Nato, through some incredibly slippery terrain. It felt as if I lost two steps for every three taken, but I finally made it to a campsite far after dark. After quickly erecting my tent, I found the portable stove I rented to be broken, which meant I couldn’t make any kind of warm food. I settled for some healthy snacks I brought and tried to sleep, but even that became a challenge, as the wind blew the cover off my tent in the middle of the night, soaking me fully in water and snow.

I had recovered and fixed that cover, but still lost what little warmth I had. Laying in the cold, two thoughts raced through my mind. The first was a real concern I might not make it past this terrible night, which scared me to no end. The second was to see how precious the simple state of warmth was, and how I had taken it for granted all these years. It is crazy how blind we become toward small, but priceless things like that.

After finally getting some much-needed rest, I was alive, and celebrated by dragging my bruised and tired body back to the trail. I eventually came across another hiker in this desolate land. His name was Julio, and he hailed from Buenos Aires. He barley spoke any English, but we hit it off instantly, and he became my companion through the rest of this journey.

Julio and I battled 24 total hours of brutal ascents and descents. My feet were hurting so much it felt as if needles were pressing on the bottom with every step. Finally, just a few hours before New Year’s Eve, we reached a hostel, where the staff helped us arrange a taxi that returned us to our hotel.

Hami and Julio

Hami and Julio at the Huemul Circuit in El Chaltén, Argentina

It took a few weeks for my body to heal itself after this journey, but despite the lingering physical pain, my mind was in a state of absolute peace. I found gratitude in anything and everything around me that I usually took for granted, such as warm food, a shower, safety, and especially the people in my life.

Even with Julio, I was incredibly grateful to have someone else with me, and he felt the same toward me. This near-death experience had brushed off the layers of dust that had been hiding a gem inside.

As a leader, I have realized that I am wired to look for the big picture and the external achievements that our business forward, but, in the meantime, it is easy for me to forget about my internal superpower – gratitude – which is the fuel for my day-to-day progress. Gratitude connects the grid of business and life and allows me to lead with inspiration, empathy, love, and care for those around me, including our customers and employees.

From the standpoint of anthropology, as an intensely social species, humans have always put great importance on establishing beneficial relationships with others, whether close friends, romantic partners, or work acquaintances. Consequently, gratitude plays a central role in how strangers develop bonding relationships.

At Power Kiosk, building relationships is one of our five core values. We are grateful for having each other as team members. We extend this attitude toward our customers and do our best to hear and help them out. Our customers and employees are our pulses on the market, allowing us to quickly crowdsource a vast amount of intelligence. Without them, we will not be where we are, and I feel my obligation to do what Is necessary to create a happy place that supports every one of their growths.