A teacher once took two students out into the hall. To one, she put a pebble in the student’s shoe. To the other she put a piece of candy in the student’s mouth. She then asked both to go back into the classroom and walk around.
How do you think their walk was? Did you think of the sweet candy or only on the painful rock?
Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for the blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude we are more likely to be happy and influence those around us.
When you think of a great leader in your life, chances are that they demonstrated gratitude for you and your work. Gratitude is a characteristic of a great leader.
As I became a parent, I watched our children open presents. When they were one, getting the wrapping paper off the gift was all they cared about. When they were two, opening the present was all they cared about. Later in life, they looked forward to what was inside. I am now starting to see a shift, albeit a small one as they are teenagers. They are starting to care more about the giver than the gift itself.
To feel gratitude is the first step. Are we able to think about how we would feel if someone or something were taken away from us?
The second step is to show gratitude. Tell someone. Thank someone. Write a note to someone. While eulogies are always about someone, expressing gratitude is always to someone.
I had a neighbor who each year selected individuals in her life that meant something to her. She would carefully draft a letter of gratitude to those individuals being specific in what and why she was grateful for them. My wife and I once received one of those letters. Reading it brought tears to our eyes for the very generous expression of gratitude for the piece of her life we shared with her. There was joy in the expression of gratitude for the giver and joy in receiving it.
I would challenge you to express your gratitude frequently. Start with a conversation or a note to a family member. Then a friend. Then a customer. Then a neighbor. Then a teacher. Then…you get the picture. Send it to them and make their day. Grow your relationship. Make gratitude a habit.
I am extremely grateful for supportive family, wonderful clients and good friends.
This blog allows you to experience the raw, gut wrenching drama of human conflict through accounting in each of its three stages: preparing to do battle, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.