The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude is a change maker. It’s powerful and contagious. Practicing gratitude can shift you from stressed to smiling or from floundering to grounded in the blink of an eye. What does gratitude have to do with your business and its’ prosperity? Everything. Let me explain.
Most of us come and go through our days, weeks, months and seasons with a lot on our plates. Whether in high speed multi-tasking mode, or in high effectiveness hyper-focused mode or anywhere in between, we can easily skim over the ‘’obvious’ small incremental successes and swat them aside as ‘expected’ results – charging on ahead focused on the bigger goals.
Where the rubber starts to hit the road in the gratitude value department is when your multi tasking mode seems to never be enough to reach the end of your to do list, and the hyper focused mode just seems to put you farther behind on everything else. Sooner or later each year, most of us quietly wonder if its’ all worth the long days, drive thru diet and exhaustion.
I have many wonderful long-time colleagues whom have mentored me on the power of gratitude over the years. Some through sharing their self fulfillment and joy from Church activities, some through their strong religious faith, and others from stories of cherished family memories and business triumphs.
Gratitude: An Attitude of Choice
2018 for me was a full stop in the gratitude value lesson department. In 9 short months, l lost my beloved four-legged labradoodle ‘daughter’, both of my parents, and our chocolate labrador retriever. I had an important and tough choices to make. Either be consumed by deep deep grief, or be lifted up and comforted with huge gratitude for having had each of them in my life, until the last living breath of each of theirs. A tough choice. I chose gratitude. (I think that I’ve said ‘thank you’ more times in the past year than in the last 50) And it’s not yet let me down as a grounding force through really tough times.
When I reflect back on 25 years of highs and lows as a contractor business owner and the challenges that come with seasonal peaks, 20+ staff and a highly demanding wealthy clientele – I see the parallels of navigating crises – whether business or grief, no matter what the cause. My business for many years was ‘my child’. Sometimes making me laugh, shake my head in disbelief, curse in frustration and yes, it even brought me to tears on more than one occasion. The one thing that has always pulled me back to my feet was a good dusting of gratitude.
When you’re grateful, truly deeply grateful, you FEEL better. Giving thanks and expressing gratitude, whether silently to yourself, to a Deity, to a friend, child, parent, neighbour or co-worker – it’s powerful. When you tell someone that you’re truly grateful for the impact or contribution they’ve made toward you, they’ll feel better. They’ll feel more grounded, appreciated. They’re then more likely to ‘Pass it on’.
A Culture of Gratitude
What if….. at every training session, every staff meeting, and at the start of YOUR day, there was an open invitation and routine to express gratitude? What if your staff had a weekly chance to thank someone on the team for something that happened the week before they’re grateful for? What if you paused each morning with family, or on the way to work, to tell someone (or the universe) what you’re grateful for? What if you and your team focused more on resonating from a place of gratitude? I think it would be powerful, and spill into the experience of your customers in measurable ways.
I’m truly grateful for many things, including the wonderful spirit of community for mutual improvement in my Peer Network. I’m grateful for their accolades as their Network leader and facilitator. I’m also grateful for the high return on investment my clients report that I bring to them through my business coaching work. I’m grateful for cherished memories, and to be the living legacy of my parents’ character and values.
As we look ahead to 2019, and each work hard to take ourselves to our own next level, I’d like to nudge each of my readers to take a moment this month to think about gratitude, what you’re grateful for, and how you could each leverage its’ power to be your foundation for a better, stronger you next year. With best wishes for many things to be grateful for in the year ahead.
As always, Jacki
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