Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success Magazine, Times bestselling author, and mentor-to-many, tells the story about writing, a journal of gratitude daily for one year. The object of his gratitude was his wife. After the year was up, he gave the journal as a gift to his wife. I have a friend David that broadcasts messages twice a day, the first one is a positive message, insight or an accounting of his personal journey. The second one is always a message of gratitude for something that he is thankful for on that day. As Thanksgiving 2015 just past, it is worthwhile to highlight the importance of being thankful and letting the people around us know what we are grateful for. In the law of attraction, if we want to gather feedback on the impacts we have on other peoples’ lives, we have to be willing, unsolicited, to thank others for the benefits or acts of kindness received from them or seen given to someone else.
That leaves it pretty open ended, doesn’t it? We do not really want to be in the habit of handing out thank you’s, “Atta-boys”, and “Atta-girls” willy-nilly to everyone, especially if they are doing the things that they are supposed to be doing. To be honest, we all like to receive them, but if the thank you’s, “Atta-boys”, and “Atta-girls” are given for every action taken, it can water down the impact or, like Pavlov’s dog, make us only look for ways to receive them. There are cases where a letting someone know you are grateful for something shows that you paid attention or care. Here are a few categories and examples that I keep in mind throughout the day:
1. Spouses: Your spouse is the person that you have chosen to spend your life with. If you cannot find words of gratitude for this person, above all others, you need to evaluate who your life partner is. In my case, I am grateful each and every day that I have found Debbie as my life partner. Debbie added balance to my life, provides a wonderful home and helped raise two fantastic children. I just kissed my wife (yes, while writing this) and thanked her, for no other reason (at the moment) other than just being her.
2. Family – First, as a child, no matter what our relationship with our parents is, we should all have at least one thing to be grateful for and that is the precious gift of life. The more they provided for us, the more we have to be thankful. Second, as a sibling, I have great memories growing up and continue to be very close with my brothers. I am thankful to have grown up in such an amazing environment. And lastly, as parents, a choice that we make, we should feel blessed to have children. I am thankful for Gab and Bec being in our lives. I am grateful to see them grow into the mature young women that they are becoming. And, of course, I am thankful for the perfection that happens to be our rescue pet, Lucy Lou, which rounds out our little family (can you guess the guest editor this week?).
3. Project teams / Work associates – As a project manager, a team member or a fellow worker, it is important to let the people we work with know when they do a good job. While we expect every person we work with to carry their weight, when they step up, go an additional yard to complete something, it is important to let them know how well they did. If not, it could be a disincentive in the future. It can be as simple as an email thanking them (including management on the email), or, a dinner as a thank you for the extra time and effort spent.
4. Social groups – Many of us are involved in social groups or organizations. These tend to be voluntary in nature and as such, the time and effort that we provide, assist or help, comes from our free time. Volunteers are sometimes a forgotten group of people that do not receive a thank you. Being involved in a leadership role, I have heard people say they do not feel appreciated. An article in the group’s newsletter, a word of appreciation for the help during a presentation or even a personal thank you goes a long way to validate their time spent.
5. A Higher Power – For those that are faith-based, whether religiously or spiritually, gratitude is part of some liturgy. We read it out of practice, say it by rote or chant in a group. A moment out of the day where a heart-felt thought of gratitude helps us to tap into, for lack of a better, broader term, the Cosmos.
"Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie