Gratitude: Give Thanks in Business and in Life
What are you thankful for? At Thanksgiving, we take the time to recognize everything for which we’re grateful, including our family, friends, and businesses. We express gratitude for our health and the health of our loved ones as well as the ability to gather together once again, in many cases. And, we’re grateful for our businesses and the satisfaction and benefits that it provides in our daily lives.
Why gratitude is important
Gratitude is an important part of running a business. It’s being thankful for your network and the opportunity to serve them. It’s also being thankful for the opportunity to be your own boss and build a business on your own terms. You’re leading a business that allows you to be there for your family and gives you the freedom to live life on your own terms.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”-John F. Kennedy
However, at times it’s hard to feel thankful, especially after a challenging day. When your network won’t respond to your overtures of communication, it can be difficult to feel thankful for them. If you’re having a tough sales month, it can be difficult to appreciate the freedom your business gives you. When you feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions by your loved ones, your business, etc., it can be challenging to appreciate your business. And, if you’ve fallen behind on reaching your goals, it can be difficult to get and stay motivated to keep doing the work each day. That’s when it’s most important to have gratitude for every aspect of your life. Here’s how to cultivate a thankful attitude, every day.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”– G.K. Chesterton
How to cultivate an attitude of gratitude
An attitude of gratitude starts with a moment each day…
First, you’ll want to clear your mind and, to do so, you have to go somewhere quiet. Now, sometimes it’s tougher to find than others. Find a time when the kids are at school or when everyone is asleep toembrace some sense of quiet.
Then, you’ll want to pull out a piece of paper or your phone and make a list of everything you’re thankful for. It could be everything from the very big (like your health or a roof over your head) to the very small (coffee in the morning or hearing your favorite song on the radio). The important thing is to make a list of everything you are thankful for, even if it seems unimportant or too general or broad.
If you want to differentiate between what you’re thankful for in business and in life, make two lists. On one, list out everything you’re thankful for in your business. On the other, list out everything you’re thankful for in life. The most important part is to do the exercise.
Keep adding to the gratitude list
Once you start thinking about everything you’re thankful for, you may find yourself thinking of things later on. As soon as you think of it, write it down. That’s why it may help to keep the list on your phone or in a small notebook you carry with you. Carrying the list with you also makes it easier to read the list when you’re feeling frustrated or less than grateful.
“Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”– Charles Dickens
Make gratitude a habit
As you’re making your list, make it a point to add three things to it every day. Again, it could be something big like “I’m grateful that I didn’t have to deal with traffic today” or something smaller like “I’m grateful the sun is out today.”
It seems like such a small act, to write down three things you’re grateful for each day. However, it’ll help you keep the day in perspective. You’ll be able to keep the challenges and the victories of the day within perspective. Although you can’t control everything in life, you can control yourself and your attitude.
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”– Brené Brown
Revisit your gratitude list
Reviewing your list is an important step in the process that many people overlook. Often, people write their gratitude lists, but then never look at it again. However, reviewing is an important way to remember all of your blessings. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your business or you don’t feel your network isn’t showing you enough love, you can look through your blessings and read everything you’re thankful for. It’ll remind you that you have the tools and expertise to get through any challenge you’re facing. You’ve got this!
“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”– William Faulkner
Share your blessings
Want to give your team a great tool to help them overcome any challenges they’re facing? Encourage them to write down what they’re thankful for as well. Share that you write down three things every day and explain the impact it has had on your outlook and general perspective. When you check in with them, go through the exercise and give them examples to help them get started. This will help them build a habit that will carry them throughout life.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”– Voltaire
Share your appreciation
If you’re thankful for certain people in your life, tell them. We all love to feel loved and appreciated. However, we often don’t know that others love and appreciate us. Share it! Send an online message, an email, a text, or call them and let them know. Not only will they feel honored that you took the time to share your appreciation of them, but it’ll also help to improve your relationship with them.
“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
But, I don’t have time to think of three things everyday
If writing down three things you’re grateful for seems a bit too much for you time-wise, then aim for every other day or even once or twice a week. Perhaps your children have sports practice or play rehearsal on Wednesdays and that’s the only time you have a few moments to catch your breath. That’s the time to write down what you’re grateful for that week. You may surprise yourself with what you remember. Then, take a few moments to read your blessings for the previous week and reflect on all the great things you experienced.
Thanksgiving may be once a year, but there’s no reason not to be grateful every day.
“Be grateful in your own hearts. That suffices. Thanksgiving has wings, and flies to its right destination.”– Victor Hugo
We’re thankful for you and your business!
“I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, happy and I am loved.”– Reba McEntire
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