The thaw of winter gives way to a blanket of colors and smells. It is such a joy to watch the landscape blossom and grow.
This birth may entice you to think about doing something different, something that helps others. Have you planted flowers or other plants? When was the last time you felt the brush of dirt against your hands? Have you played in the mud recently? There is a certain comfort in feeling the earth between your fingers.
What a perfect opportunity to express a new form of gratitude. Summer is a great time to share the gift of new life with others. You could share new planters of flowers, vegetables and more. Give a vase of fresh cut flowers or herbs – imagine the scents.
These are expressions that keep on giving. Will you be moved to share with others? Your options are limitless and full of potential – Enjoy! What are you grateful for? Reward these areas with summer flair.
I have a gratitude challenge for the day….could I do something new? Unique?
Yes. I am meeting a new person this morning to make a connection and to see if we have synergies that compliment. I am going to enter this meeting with a spirit of gratitude. What does this mean? It equates to being completely present in the meeting and focusing on what I can add to the situation of the person I am meeting with. This is a change from the perceived usual approach which is: what can you do for me?
If the people you came in to contact with today took this attitude, how would it change the course of the day?
I believe the changes would be dynamic and positive.
Do you have a meeting today?
How about a phone conversation?
Will you be grocery shopping?
When you come in to contact with another person try a different tact – what can you do to add to their life? To that moment?
Try this and see if it changes the course of your day.
May peace and positive energy illuminate this course in gratitude.
Management professionals are acutely aware of how proper leadership development can lead to greater team building success.
When we learn certain leadership traits we gain additional insight on what improves team building. We also learn what motivates others.
Two common traits that help achieve these goals are gratitude and appreciation. While these attributes are powerful it is also important to remain conscientious of the balance of these displays of appreciation.
Gratitude must be shown in a way that does not ignore employees or make them feel underappreciated, otherwise the result is counterproductive.
Of course, there will be those that will acknowledge the positive nature of such a statement but might believe it is a little too rosy. In other words, how can you provide positive encouragement to underperforming employees? And if an employee’s performance was merely average, why should the employee be patted on the back?
It is never a good idea to encourage a poor performer to continue to perform inadequately. However, it is equally unwise to not show appreciation towards an employee whose productivity might not be the best, but he/she is definitely giving it their all.
Keep the goals and expectations appropriate and well communicated with the intended recipients. This will ensure optimum gratitude, satisfaction and performance. Manage things – Lead people and by all means do not forget the Thank you!
As the school year winds down, I think about all of the educators who are getting ready for summer vacation. They have an awesome responsibility; raising our next group of leaders, doctors, astronauts and more.
What kind of school year did you have? Who do you remember from your school days? Who made an impact on you?
Educators have a tremendous calling. When a major event comes to an end it is not uncommon to express gratitude. Do we do this at the end of the school year? Would it be a nice surprise to show appreciation during a different time of year? How about marking a date on the calendar this summer and sending a nice note to a deserving teacher at this time? This doesn’t take a lot of time but it could make a great impact on the person receiving it.
What a terrific gift. If it is an actual gift that you would like to give as gratitude you could consider a couple of these:
Gift certificate to a bookstore
Gift card for a car wash
A Novel for summer reading
Baked goods made with care
Creativity is your only limitation. You will also reap the benefit of opening up your mind and heart to the needs of others. Take a moment – thank an educator.
Congratulations graduates – a wonderful life awaits your contribution.
Do you remember the gifts you received on your last birthday?
How about the last handwritten letter you received in the mail?
Both of these questions may stir up the same response of uncertainty. Which one will you remember first? Do you still have yearbooks from your school days? Are there nice notes in the yearbook?
When we think about ways to express gratitude, the written word can become the most memorable and useful tool you have. Remember one of the strongest legacies left behind by President Ronald Reagan are his famous letters to his wife, Nancy.
The depth of feeling and expression in the written word is powerful. When you are searching for the perfect expression of gratitude, I would like to recommend writing.
This could take the form of a thank you note, a letter, a poem, a short story, a haiku, the possibilities are endless. Add a special piece of paper and you have a truly unique gift.
Don’t wait for the perfect words to enter your mind. As long as the words come from you, they will be perfect.
This is an attention-grabbing headline for many reasons.
This may conjure up visions of being frazzled, time sensitive or stress.
I would like to encourage all of us to embrace this state more often. Yes, you read right….get out of your mind. My premise is that the more you can get out of your mind the greater your capacity to give and receive gratitude.
Have you ever noticed your energy when you are opening a greeting card?
Your energy when you are writing a card?
Often times our demeanor softens, our pace slows and we focus on a different area – someone or something else.
In essence we get out of our minds and think of someone or something else. Even if it is only lasts momentarily it is a nice respite.
Our energy will help attract more of what we want in our lives. Have you ever stopped to think about what you want more of in your life? Would it be worthwhile and interesting to attract more of it in to your life?
I realize the answers may sound obvious but this is an idea that is under-utilized.
If you make a conscious effort to get out of your mind and focus on others, the doors of possibility, contentment and gratitude swing wide-open.
So how can we get out of our minds? I have one sound and fool-proof idea for you. For the next couple of days, try waking up and grab 2 sheets of paper and a pen or pencil. My challenge to you is to wake up and write 2 full sheets of thoughts. Write down whatever comes to mind. These don’t need to be compete sentences, thoughts or even properly spelled. Just get the thoughts down and OUT. Don’t worry about how important the items on these sheets are, just start writing. If you have a hard time getting started, try just writing your name and the names of people in your family. If you are still stuck, write about what you have eaten in the last day. The act of writing (not typing) helps give life to your thoughts and get them out of your head.
After you complete your 2 pages tune in to your energy and feelings. How have they changed? I think you will notice a shift. Eventually you will start to notice others and they will be at the forefront of your thoughts. This shift in consciousness can have a profound impact on you and the people you come in contact with.
Now if you need an even greater challenge in your 2 pages of writing, use the subject “what am I grateful for” as your prompting thought for your writing. This can fuel an even greater shift in your consciousness. It encourages a proactive focus. When I think about the things I am thankful for I start writing about clean air, fresh food, wet noses and the pages take on a positive and refreshing view.
This activity helps clear my head of “static” which allows for greater focus. How would greater focus help you? So go ahead and go a little crazy; out of your mind crazy.
Do you remember the last time you were at the grocery store? It has probably been within the last week. When was the last time you actually stopped and watched the clerk and asked about their day? A clerk sees dozens of people day in and day out. They see the mom with young kids screaming to get out of the store. They see the couple who has been arguing through the store trying to determine what they can and can’t afford. They see the elderly come through so happy to be out and about.
They see it all.
Have you ever thought about the events that happen in their work day? A declined credit card, or worse yet a stolen one. A can of pop explodes in to a sticky and wet mess. The half eaten candy bars they are asked to ring up or the pile of coupons they are asked to scan. Some days it’s hard to believe that people sign up to do these things. Yet they greet you and ask how your day is. They ask you if you found everything.
They expect a canned response – “fine” or “yes.” That is if they get a response at all. We are all in such a hurry. We are usually racing to get our items on the belt, fiddling to find our wallets, sliding our cards through the machine, thinking about paper, plastic or did I bring my reusable bags with me? I have bought many of these bags and I would feel redemption if I could only remember to bring them back to the store with me.
Then success. You have completed the sale and are heading to the car with your rations for the week. Back in the store, the clerk has moved on to the next person waiting for the same “completion glow” that you now possess.
Let’s go back to the store. Could I make a small but meaningful difference in this situation? YES!!! If I pause and momentarily focus on the person and the situation. How about a sincere exchange of words with this person? How is their day going? If I am pleasant will they remember? Could it make things better? Can I make a contribution to the moment? Yes, yes and yes.
The spirit of gratitude can emerge in nearly every situation. By sharing it with others we continue to foster the feelings of good will, hope and many more. It doesn’t take a big effort but rather a desire to make a small and positive change.
Are you heading to the store today? Try a little gratitude on your way out. Leaving with a sense of gratitude for completing a task as well as adding some sunshine to another persons day - a nice change.