“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Ward
Discontentment Kills Gratitude
I believe discontentment is a growing disease in our world today. I’ll admit some of my greatest frustrations and likely yours too, often occur when we focus on what we don’t have. Our list of wants keep us future-focused and robs us of the wonderful gifts of enjoying the present. We are bombarded with 24/7 messages telling us we must have the latest gadget, the luxury car, the perfect body, a big promotion, the ideal marriage and more.
When we’re caught up with all these wants it’s so easy to forget all the blessings in our daily lives. Instead of feeling grateful we may feel entitled or envious. Before you know it we’re whining and complaining. Because we don’t feel thankful we can have a hard time giving praise to our family, friends and colleagues at work.
A Simple Way to Start Developing Gratitude
I remember hearing a wonderful message years ago suggesting I give thanks daily for even the simplest things in my life. We’ve all heard that before but like most of us, I never did it. This time, however, I decided to give it a try.
I touched my soft, comfy comforter and said out loud, “I am so thankful I have warm bedding and there are so many people in the world without a bed. As I jumped out of bed”. I said, “I’m so grateful for this lovely carpet”. I made it a point of telling restaurant servers, my husband, our staff and friends, how much I appreciated them.
Little by little, as days and weeks went by, this constant daily expression of gratitude filled me with an overwhelming sense of peace and contentment. It truly was amazing and yet so simple.
When we withhold gratitude and words of thankfulness for ourselves and others, we become stingy with our time, our gifts and most of all, we block blessings coming into our life.
Benefits of Having An Attitude of Gratitude
By now I’m sure you‘ve heard of all the studies touting the many benefits of gratitude. Here are a few to prompt you into action!
- Gratitude makes us feel happier, healthier and more optimistic– When you’re in the habit of acknowledging all the good things you have and the people in your life, it’s easy to feel good about your life and hopeful for the future. It’s easier to take care of ourselves and bounce back from adversity.
- Gratitude reduces materialism – When your desire to acquire gets out of control you tend to put energy in things that really don’t matter. Instead, enjoy spending time making memories with those you love and building meaningful and healthy relationships.
- Gratitude can help your career – You’ll be valued as a leader when you praise and encourage your co-workers and employees. Business relationships are easier to develop as people enjoy your great attitude and want to do business with you.
- Gratitude builds a strong marriage, family and relationships – Admit it—don’t you enjoy hearing words of praise from your children, a loving thank you from your spouse or appreciation from a friend? On a personal note, I can vouch for this one. From the day we met until now my husband enjoys hiding little notes of appreciation which gives me endless joy. Plus he excels at verbal praise as well. As a result, I too enjoy expressing my gratitude for the wonderful hubby and man he is in my life.
High Definition People™ Actions to Take
- How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1–10 with 10 meaning you consistently express gratefulness daily and 1 is extremely rare?
- On a sheet of paper or in your computer start a gratitude log for all the things, people, events and beauty around you.
- Make it a habit to verbally express gratitude for specific things or people each morning or before you fall asleep.
- Each day, find someone to thank – the postman, the server, your children, spouse, etc.
High Definition Leader™ Actions to Take
- How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 meaning you consistently express specific praise to your staff and 1 is extremely rare?
- Identify a few folks that work for you or individuals in your company that tend to get overlooked such as the receptionist, the janitor or the bookkeeper. Make it a point to go out of your way to give them a compliment with specific reasons why you appreciate them. Even better also give them a written note!
How do you stay in gratitude? I would love to hear your comments!
Thanks for reading,
Barbara Sanfilippo, CPA, CPAE
An Expert at Moving People to Take Action!
High Definition People®
P.S. If you’re planning an employee meeting, kickoff event, leadership retreat, etc., read six factors Barb delivers on and watch my demo video to see how I’ll engage and inspire your employees to achieve your 2018 strategic objectives. Let’s plan an exciting and informative motivational presentation or workshop at your leadership, sales or all-employee meeting!
P.P.S. Watch for the debut of my new book in 2018, a business parable written to equip leaders and their staff with a fun and easy tool to build awareness of the need to improve their self-management skills and relational ability.
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