Interestingly enough the true meaning of this holiday can be a wonderful boost to you both personally and professionally. Yet instead of being truly thankful, it seems more time is spent with negative thoughts like wondering if Aunt Sally and her family can ever be on time?!? Or why you still find yourself sitting at the kids table in your 30‘s? If you think I’m nuts, just observe your thoughts on Thanksgiving. I’m going on a limb here and guessing you’ll have far more negative than positive.
But newsflash…once the leftovers are stored in the fridge, your experiment isn't over. In fact it‘s just beginning. You see thankfulness (aka gratitude) isn’t like that ugly Christmas sweater you pull out once a year for the office party. Instead, living each day with gratitude is a mind-set with unbelievable impacts. Once you commit to this new way of thinking you’ll notice how it affects your success at work; relationships with friends and family; your health and even the perception others have about you.
I recently taught an Assertiveness and Self Confidence session. As pre-work, I asked the attendees to read an article entitled, “13 Ways to Teach Yourself to be more Confident.” But in addition to reading the article, I asked the training group to do the unthinkable and pick two of the thirteen tips and actually try them for a couple of weeks before we met for the session. A funny thing happened when we met for that class. One of the participants shared that he chose the concept of living each day with gratitude. His testimonial of how in that short window it had positively affected him both on the clock and off was so moving that several others in the session made a personal commitment to give it a try.
I know it seems like such a simple concept but it is incredibly powerful. How often do you wake up in the morning with a chip on your shoulder because your day is too packed to get it all done? Or you've got a tough meeting that you‘re nervous about? Or your car won’t start or your kids miss the buss? The list goes on forever right? Well what if instead when you woke up in the morning you spent a few minutes thinking of everything that has gone right in your life instead of everything you wish were different?
In fairness the adjustment won’t be a walk in the park but it won‘t be as hard as you image either. In fact, once you truly adopt this mindset, I promise you’ll begin a transformation and before long you’ll see that there is always…yes ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
Case in Point: Just a year ago today we almost lost my mother very unexpectedly. Thankfully she made a full recovery but even as my siblings and I sat in the hospital facing the decision to pull her from life-support, I was grateful for so many things. I was incredibly grateful to the talented medical professionals that were working around the clock. Thankful that while my siblings and I haven’t always seen eye to eye we were a united team in this case. You see at one of my absolute darkest hours, a grateful heart helped me not only survive the unthinkable but be the leader my family so desperately needed.
Look I get it…the holidays can be a busy and often stressful time of year. Perhaps you’re thinking this concept of living with “Gratitude” would be a better New Year’s Resolution. And that works. But the reality is that if you are truly inspired to accomplish great things in 2017, what have you got to lose by starting to live your life with gratitude TODAY? Besides think of all that last minute stress you’ll avoid on New Years Eve?!?
Happy Thanksgiving all!