Gratitude - Turn Each Day Into Thanksgiving
This morning I went to a meeting where we discussed the kind of impact having an attitude of gratitude can have not only your personal life, but on your professional life as well.
There are times in life where it just seems simpler to talk about how things have gone wrong. To get the sympathy of others when we don’t get enough sleep, or when we're feeling down. Now, I do believe that you don’t have to be all sunshine and roses all the time. It’s okay to talk to close friends or family when you are feeling low. The struggle is with making those conversations count for something. Venting without change is venting for venting’s sake. Why not make something good of it?
I was watching “Modern Love” on Amazon the other day (not an ad). While I highly recommend every episode, it was the finale that really hit me. *Possible spoiler alert* In the last episode, a man, Rob, is sitting at a café waiting for his date. After a while, it becomes clear that he has been stood up, and he gets his coat to leave – only to walk out to a downpour. At the same moment, a woman, Yasmine, runs under the awning Rob is standing under to avoid the storm. She starts to talk to him, and he not so politely tells her he isn’t interested in talking – he’s had a bad day. This is where the show got me. After he goes on complaining about being stood up, she talks about a lesson her mother had taught her. That whenever something bad happens, you must try to recalibrate the universe, or whatever you want to call it, with its opposite. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you must be extra generous with the next person that wants to get out. Or if someone steals your wallet, you go to the poor box and make a donation. She tells him “what if life gives you another date, right now?” You’ll have to watch to find out the rest (I promise, this isn’t an ad).
We aren’t able to control what people do in their day to day lives, but we CAN control how we let them affect us. The whole idea of taking something negative and spinning it to create a positive outcome is a superpower we all possess. How would it change us if we took a bad moment, like being stuck in traffic, and decided to use that time to breathe, self-reflect, jam to some music?
There have been studies done on how being grateful impacts our lives. It promotes physical health, enhances sleep, strengthens relationships, and creates a “pay-it-forward” mentality. Attitudes and moods are contagious. It is our responsibility to make sure we are spreading the positive, minimizing the negative.
A while back, I was at a literacy seminar learning how to best encourage Esther in her reading and writing. One of the exercises that was recommended was creating a family journal in which each family member writes one sentence each day. I loved that idea, but never executed it. After the presentation this morning, I’m feeling inspired to get it started. To have each of us write one good thing in it each day and keep them to go through for years to come. Imagine the kind of impact that could have on our children? Teaching them from a young age to, at least once a day, look for the good. Isn’t that how we’ll eventually change the world? By teaching our children to be just a little bit better than we were.
Cultivating an environment of gratitude at work can result in improved leaders, better teamwork, and more productivity. Being acknowledged for the work that has been done is extremely motivating. Showing gratitude means that you acknowledge that the success was due to the team’s effort, not yours alone. Many of us spend more time at our jobs than we do with our families. It’s crucial to our well-being, both mentally and physically, that we make it a space where we feel comfortable and valued.
We have the opportunity to make every single day GREAT. Every single part may not be great, but if we focus on the best parts our lives WILL change. We will be happier, which will in turn make people around us happier, which will eventually make the world happier. So, today I am grateful that I had the opportunity to go to a meeting that inspired me to reach out to you to say Thank You. Thank You for reading this and Thank You for taking action to help create a more grateful world.
Have a GRATEFUL day!