Gratitude at Work
Attitude is everything. Gratitude is the ultimate attitude
adjustment. John is a manager with a software firm, and although he
recalls being enthusiastic about his job during his first year in
the position, he now questions why he keeps coming to work each day.
John feels pressed and harried by his staff, and feels helpless to
motivate them. Every complaint and annoying personnel issue seems
to end up on his desk. He gets flustered when confronted with what
he perceives to be neediness on the part of others. John feels
stressed and unappreciated in his career, but is careful to “stuff”
his emotions in order to appear cool and objective.
Julie’s office is right across the hall from John’s, and as
he observes Julie’s contagious enthusiasm, he wonders how she’s kept
it recharged year after year. Julie is consistently upbeat and
creative. She seems to have a way of raising the spirits of
subordinates and associates alike. Her energy appears to be
boundless. Julie communicates openly, showing patience and empathy.
People leave her office looking uplifted. Julie always has a
positive take on any work-related issue, and her staff exude
confidence in meeting challenges and deadlines. John wishes he could
get his staff to apply themselves as well as Julie’s do, and wonders
what her secret is.
Julie’s secret is an attitude of gratitude. Since 2000,
psychologists have conducted numerous studies on the effect and
benefits of gratitude. Gratitude, it turns out, is a very powerful
and often overlooked emotion. In the words of Cicero, the ancient
Roman philosopher, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all
virtues but the parent of all others.” When we live in a state of
gratefulness for all that we have, all that we are, and all that
comes our way, then we constantly receive more things to be grateful
for. Gratitude is a powerful force which instantly begins propelling
us forward toward happiness, success, and health. Once established
as a force within us, our gratitude naturally begins radiating out
Here are three simple methods you can use to quickly become
grounded in gratefulness, and continue to increase and refresh your
inner gratitude force throughout the day:
Make a mental
gratitude list in the moment:
This can also be
done with pen and paper, but people don’t always have time to do a
physical list during a busy day, so try it now, inwardly. Start by
thinking the words, “Thank you,” and repeat as you visualize all the
things you’re grateful for. For example, take a deep breath, and
acknowledge gratitude for the air you’re breathing, the lung
capacity you have, and the oxygen to your brain and bloodstream.
Look around you, and experience gratitude for your eyesight, the
view you’re taking in, and your brain’s power to process the image.
As you acknowledge your gratitude, allow yourself to luxuriate in
the feeling of joy and peace that comes from living in the moment,
knowing that the future holds promise for you.
Create a written
gratitude list to read aloud to yourself daily:
Start by saying the words, “Thank you,” aloud a few times --
to prime the gratitude pump, so to speak. Begin by recording at
least ten things for which you are grateful. Read the list at least
once during your business day. Take time to celebrate each entry
with a feeling of exultation -- you are thrilled that you have
received, or will receive, this wonderful supervisor, business
opportunity, creative concept, material acquisition, inspiration,
talent, etc., in your life. Your list may contain items as simple
as a good cup of coffee or as wondrous as a spectacular sunset. Feel
the thrill and joy of gratitude that fills you each time you read
and contemplate your list, and notice how you begin to be inspired
to reciprocate by sharing with others.
Give of yourself
and express your gratitude to others:
This step is essential in completing the gratitude cycle. As you
begin to acknowledge all that you have, all that you are, and all
that comes your way, you come to recognize that everything in life,
particularly that which is challenging, is a gift -- a miracle.
Consciously celebrate each miracle, and out of your resulting joy
comes a desire to “pay it forward.”
For example, increase your expressions of gratitude. Instead
of simply saying the words, “Thank you,” to an associate or
subordinate, take time to give them a genuine, specific recognition
of their value to you in the workplace. Acknowledge someone of
lesser status with appropriate and sincere respect. Listening is a
powerful way of giving, and it boosts the self-esteem of the person
we are listening to, if we are fully attentive. Donate time or money
to a charity or a cause.
It is an enriching experience when you devote yourselves to
discovering how much appreciation and gratitude can be packed into
the stream of life in a given moment, hour, or day. Albert Einstein
said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if
nothing is a miracle, the other is as if everything is.” Try living
as if everything, even the tiniest thing, is a miracle, and watch
your gratitude bubble over.
Every moment experienced in life holds millions of things to
be grateful for, and acknowledging these things -- with passion --
will turbo-charge your ability to rejoice, appreciate, relax,
receive, and reciprocate! Start each day with a gratitude list and
see for yourself. Gratitude carries profound results, and it can
kick your attitude into positive gear -- instantaneously. It works
when we work it!
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