“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
― Harry A. Ironside
So often we take the little things in life for granted. Every morning when I go by the kitchen on my way to my home office, my wife Betsy has made sure the coffee is waiting for me – and every other day, a super healthy shake. I won’t tell you what’s in it…I don’t even want to know what’s in it. All natural. It’s green (a little scary). No preservatives. No additives. No fun. No animals were harmed in the making of this type of shake. But I digress. The other day I went into the kitchen to get my coffee and shake and said my typical “thank you” to her (I’m not heartless) but it hit me… Am I really, really appreciative? How much do I expect this because it’s our morning routine? Dare I say, I almost feel entitled to it instead of being grateful that my wife took to the time to care for me. Very different perspective. Later that day, I texted Betsy that I was grateful for her. Her response? She told ME how much that meant to her! I was overwhelmed with the impact of even being able to express my gratefulness; not only did it make her feel good to be told what she did mattered to me, but I was shocked with how good it made me feel to TELL her that! My mood was lifted immediately.
That led me to research gratefulness…and the impact on others as well as ourselves. So often we say “thank you,” but don’t dwell on the underlying meaning and blessings that are tucked in each day. The words have just become rote.
Through my research, I found that when people express gratitude they become happier – this is scientifically true. Likewise, when it comes to corporations, the more we express gratitude to those around us for a job well done in the workplace, the more the employees will feel a sense of gratitude and satisfaction in the job. That sounds a lot like a huge aspect of culture!
I also discovered this video from Soul Pancake called The Science of Happiness: An Experiment in Gratitude. It’s amazing. Take a second to watch it…promise you won’t regret it! (And don’t be embarrassed if you tear up – I sure did!)
Amazing, huh? Gratefulness comes back 10-fold. Apparently I wasn’t the first person to realize this about gratefulness. Not only should you encourage and build up those around you but, by being grateful, you can improve your own disposition, your own happiness! What would our lives look like if we stopped feeling entitled by taking things for granted and instead viewed life through a gratitude lens!
Grateful that there’s food on the table.
Grateful that we have a job to go to…or that we have the freedom to pursue a job that we desire.
Grateful to have access to good healthcare.
Grateful for friends and family.
Grateful for the freedom to worship God; or to choose not to.
Grateful for the shoes on our feet (and for the many others in the closet if you’re like my wife 😉 )
Grateful for that cup of coffee waiting for me in the morning.
We’re trying out a culture challenge for the month of November here at Cherwell. We’re putting up Grateful Boards in all of our break rooms where employees can write each other notes to express their gratefulness to another person. The trick is, to take down a note that is written to you, you must also write a grateful note to another employee. We’re hoping to create an atmosphere of thankfulness and take the time to remember what we are grateful for about each other!
How will you practice being grateful in your life?