In the Spirit of Gratitude…

This is the season to be thankful….it is (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend afterall. But is gratitude really meant to be seasonal?

(courtesy of Mary on Flickr)

Personally, I think gratitude is in style all year round. And it’s not just the right way to be in terms of good manners. It’s downright good for you! Your ability for gratefulness is deeply connected to how you experience your life…your work….your personal wellbeing. Your ‘mojo’ – your heart and soul! The whole kaboodle. And yes, verrrrrry connected to your ability to experience a TGIM worklife:)

I am blessed. Gratitude happens to be one of my top Signature Strengths, according to Martin Seligman’s assessment on the Positive Psychology website.  Even before taking this assessment I always knew I had (at least) two sets of gifts: one set represents all the good stuff I have in my life (my wellbeing, family, friends, my skills/aptitudes/talents/abilities, work opportunities, etc, etc, etc…..loong list).

The second set of gifts is the ability to recognize all of this – and appreciate it all….and express thanks, internally and to others. That is indeed a gift. That is what puts the wind in my sails.

Afterall, if you can’t appreciate what you have and who you are — how can you want more?  How can you become more?

The Via Signature Strengths assessment says about gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express thanks.

The thing about gratitude is you don’t have to be in ‘a good place’ to exercise your gratefulness. In fact, it doesn’t even have anything to do with your ‘luck’, circumstances, wealth or any other measure of ‘the good life’. Research has revealed that many people who are dirt poor are still able to be grateful…..and they are happier than many of their wealthier counterparts.

And the good news about gratitude is that even if it doesn’t come naturally to you (yet) — it is an aptitude that can be developed. It is simply about creating the habit of gratitude. And I say it’s a habit well worth exercising each and every day!

So how about you? What are you thankful for this season and for today? In your work life? In your personal life? About your own unique gifts, qualities and circumstances? No item is too small to mention!

Here are a few ways to exercise gratitude and develop that ‘grateful habit’:

  1. Daily (or at least a few times weekly): write down or at least express in some way at least 3 things that you are grateful for….in your work-life (and personally too). Nothing is too small for this list. Nothing is too ‘corny’. Acknowledge anything and everything. Don’t stop at 3 items….if you like, acknowledge anything that comes to mind. And don’t be shy to repeat things on your list…..it’s okay to be grateful for all the things that are part of your life each and every day:)

  2. Express your gratefulness to others: Sometimes I think “thank you” are the most under-rated words.  Pay attention to  how often you say thank you — or don’t. Are there opportunities to express appreciation to those you work with and/for? For work well done; for one’s effort and attitude; for anything…… Small opportunities and larger ones…they all count.

  3. Notice how you feel when  you do take the time to say thank you — and how you feel when receive a ‘thank you’ from someone else. Again, this isn’t just about good manners. It’s about making a difference to your own ‘joie de coeur”…not sure if I spelled that right…but your own ‘heart and soul’ — and that of others.

  4. Remember to acknowedge not just the good things outside of yourself…..but also your own inner being qualities. Do you have special ability to laugh and to make others laugh? That’s a gift. Acknowledge it! Do you know what your talents, gifts, abilities are? Perhaps some….but I bet if you spent a bit of time reflecting you’d realize there’s much more to be grateful for. We tend to get so busy we sometimes lose sight of who we are…..reconnect, remember and give thanks.

  5. OTHER IDEAS? I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of other ideas….I would love to hear them and I’m sure others too. Please email and/or post a comment.

Now as I get ready for my Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to spend some time making my ‘list’ of gratitude. Specifically, I am going to focus on all that I am grateful for as it relates to my ‘tgim worklife’. I know it’s going to be a very loooooooooong list so I better get started.

Till next time – have a happy, healthy, wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving!

Yours in gratitude!

Eileen

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One Response to “In the Spirit of Gratitude…”

  1. James Says:

    Please click here to hear/view my reply:
    My Gratitude Images

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