Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
William Arthur Ward
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday if you live in the US. I did it was great to spend some time with friends and family, especially the third generation kids who are seldom in town at the same time.
I know I talked a lot about being grateful recently which I believe is thankfulness in action. Today I read the following written by Dr. Samantha Boardman where she shares her belief in the value of having a working gratitude attitude. The world would be a better place if everyone followed her advice.
GRATITUDE IS A VERB
Robotically saying “thank you” is not the same as practicing gratitude. According to research, people who count their blessings on a regular basis are happier and healthier than those who don’t. Taking five to ten minutes at the end of each day to write down three things that went well and why has a measurable and positive effect on wellbeing.
Researchers and wellness experts call this a gratitude journal, and for many people it does wonders. But, full disclosure, it didn’t work for me. Focusing on myself and how lucky I was made me feel good in the moment but it didn’t last. After a while it felt smug and a little self-centered. It’s not that I don’t appreciate being the beneficiary of good things. There was just something missing.
It turns out there is a lot more to gratitude than being thankful for what you have. In her article, “Stop Making Gratitude All About You,” Professor Heidi Grant Halvorson captures what so many of us get wrong about gratitude:
Recent research suggests that people often make a critical mistake when expressing gratitude: They focus on how they feel — how happy they are, how they have benefited from the help — rather than focusing on the benefactor.
Halvorson’s research found that those who expressed gratitude towards another person had stronger and more loving relationships than those who focused on the benefits to themselves. In other words, if your partner sends you flowers today, you can think to yourself about how receiving flowers makes you really happy or you can channel your gratitude towards your partner by actively saying or doing something that acknowledges how awesome your partner is.
Related studies by Adam Grant highlight how gratitude is not limited to passively counting one’s blessings. His research shows that reflecting on what one has contributed instead of reflecting on what one has received, is even more powerful in terms of promoting prosocial behavior. As Grant concludes:
According to a popular mantra, we should give without remembering and receive without forgetting. Our research suggests otherwise: we should take the time to remember both what we’ve given and what we’ve received.
So this Thanksgiving, don’t just count your blessings. Count your contributions too. Think of gratitude as an action. It’s a verb that works best when it is embodied, spoken aloud and when it connects you to someone else.
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.
Henri Frederic Amiel
A friend always seemed to lean slightly to the left. It bothered me, so I suggested that he see a doctor and have his legs checked out. For years, he refused, telling me I was crazy, but last week, he finally went.
Sure enough, the doctor discovered his left leg was a half -inch shorter than his right. A bit of orthopedic surgery later, both legs are exactly the same length now, and he no longer leans.
“So,” I said, “you didn’t believe me when I told you a doctor could fix your leg.”
He just looked at me and said, “I stand corrected.”
When you’re rich, it’s “eccentric”; when you’re poor, it’s just strange.
A frustrated father vented, “When I was a youngster, I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But in my son’s room, he has his own color TV, telephone, computer, and CD player.”
“So what do you do?” asked his friend.
“I send him to MY room!” exclaimed the father.
The coffee break, even for those who realize that caffeine may not be good for them, still beats staying at the desk and working.
The headwaiter of an elegant restaurant recoiled in disgust as a man in boots, torn jeans and a leather jacket approached him. “Hey, man,” he said, “where’s the bathroom?”
“Go down the hall and turn left,” replied the headwaiter, “When you see the sign marked ‘Gentlemen,’ pay no attention to it and go right inside.”
To err is human, to moo, bovine.
Mike meets Ed at the bar for a drink after work. Mike really looks down in the dumps.
Ed asks, “Why the long face? Bad day at work?”
“Yeah,” replies Mike. “You know sometimes I wish I worked for the Pope instead of my boss.”
“Why is that,” asks Ed.
Mike sighs and says, “Cause then I would only have to kiss his ring.”
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets.
You know you work in Corporate America if …
1) You’ve sat at the same desk for 4 years and worked for three different companies.
2) Your resume is on a disk in your pocket.
3) When someone asks about what you do for a living, you lie.
4) You get really excited about a 2% pay raise.
5) You learn about your layoff on CNN.
6) Your biggest loss from a system crash is that you lose your best jokes.
7) Your supervisor doesn’t have the ability to do your job.
8) You sit in a cubicle smaller than your bedroom closet.
9) Salaries of the members on the Executive Board are higher than all the Third World countries’ annual budgets combined.
10) It’s dark when you drive to and from work.
11) Fun is when issues are assigned to someone else.
12) “Communication” is something your group is having problems with.
13) You see a good looking person and know it is a visitor.
14) Free food left over from meetings is your main staple diet.
15) Weekends are those days your spouse makes you stay home.
16) Being sick is defined as can’t walk or you’re in the hospital.
17) You’re already late on the assignment you just got.
18) Dilbert cartoons hang outside every cube.
19) Your boss’ favorite lines are “When you get a few minutes”, “In your spare time”, “When you’re freed up”, and “I have an opportunity for you.”
20) Your relatives and family describe your job as “works with computers”.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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