(Originally Posted November 7, 2013)
Last Friday, on November 1, I was already thinking about when I was going to put up my Christmas lights. (Go on, groan if you must, however, it’s so much more fun putting them up before it drops to 20 degrees…but I digress!) I was thinking about how quickly Thanksgiving was approaching and how truly grateful I am for so many reasons.
I make it a practice to keep my gratitude at the forefront of my mind, but I want to push it even further. I also want to increase my use of what I believe to be two of the most important words…Thank You. I thought you’d might like to join me as I take a ride on the Gratitude Express.
In her popular book, The Secret, Rhonda Byrne writes, “With all that I have read and all that I have experienced in my own life using ‘The Secret,’ the power of gratitude stands above everything else.” For my more practical readers, the University of California Berkeley has a newsletter, Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, which featured Robert Emmons, the world’s leading expert on the science of gratitude. Yep, that’s what I said…the SCIENCE of gratitude. Check out this quick video clip of Emmons explaining how gratitude has the ability to heal, energize, and change our lives.
Being thankful and saying ‘thank you’ might have more power than you think. A career coach on the Today Show advised job seekers to put the words, ‘Thank You,‘ in their job search tool kits, distinguishing themselves from the masses by sending out a thank-you note. (Those of us who remember Miss Manners already knew this! But it is a lost art.) I find with my clients, working with teams, and even in my own life, taking the half-second to thank someone (and mean it, by the way!) can make a huge impact.
Let us be grateful to people who
make us happy – they are the
charming gardeners who make our
souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
I realize that it’s easy to be grateful when everything is going is our way. But how are we supposed to be grateful and say thank you when we are tired and crabby, when we believe the people around us are stupid, when we don’t get enough time with our kids, when we are dealing with a difficult boss, when we have health issues, or when we are grieving the loss of a loved one? Seriously…How? Isn’t it during these difficult times that we’re waiving our proverbial fist up to God, the Universe, or whomever or whatever we believe in, screaming out, ‘WHY????’
But it’s at these moments that gratitude can have its greatest power. Even in our darkest hour, we can change our perspective and have gratitude. And it doesn’t always have to be something grand. Showing gratitude for the simplest things in our lives can not only change our mood dramatically, but the mood of those around us as well.
Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.
– The Hausa of Nigeria
So, join me on the Gratitude Express. Each day, for the rest of the month, (see…you can be grateful that it’s Nov 7th already!) stop for a quick second and say out-loud at least one thing you are grateful for at that moment. ‘I am grateful for the spectacular fall colors.’ ‘I am grateful for my childs laughter.’ ‘I am grateful for my amazing team at work.’ ‘I am grateful for being able to bend over to put my shoes on.’ ‘I am grateful for my morning coffee.’ You get my drift here? For greater impact…write it down. Feel free to list more than one thing, if you want, (you’ll see how good it feels and each days list might get longer as the month passes…just wait and see!). But at the very least, proclaim one grateful statement a day. In addition, say “Thank You’ more often or others…the person holding the elevator door, your mail carrier, the IT Tech who fixes your computer, your mother! (Let’s see if my own mother reads this! Thanks mom for always believing in me). Even say thank you to those who you really don’t want to be thanking, like a call from a bill collector or a challenging member of your team or family. Go on, just try it. What have you got to lose?
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around in 3 weeks and someone suggests going around the table to have everyone say what they are grateful for…instead of rolling your eyes, you might share that you are grateful for being a little more grateful this whole month.
Me? I’m grateful you read this whole darn article! And THANK YOU for taking the time out of your busy day to do so!!
Now it’s your turn. For what are YOU grateful?
Here’s to GRATEFULLY discovering your bliss!
© Inspire Bliss Coaching and Consulting 2013
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