What Are You Grateful For?
Last week, we wrote about how, as a leader, you encourage those who you lead and inspire to think, grow, and act for themselves.
This week, we want to build off the theme of gratitude with all the various celebrations that are taking place around the world - Easter, Ramadan, or Passover. It is a time to reflect, give thanks and appreciation for what we have vs. what we don’t have, and as we wrote about in previous weeks, gratitude stems from having a positive mindset.
Practicing gratitude is a best practice that ensures you’re exhibiting a positive attitude and mindset in everything you do. Gratitude benefits us in many ways: mental health, personal and professional relationships with others, happiness, and overall well-being.
Attitude of Gratitude
Practicing an attitude of gratitude is a mental state that demonstrates thankfulness for the good things in our lives, and it can be contagious. Your thinking creates your reality, so why not be considerate of the thoughts you keep as they will define the outcome of your day-to-day interactions and ultimately your life? You might be asking yourself – why is this important as a leader?
As a leader, every word you speak and every action you take is observed by others. Most importantly, the people you lead will follow the example you set, so be mindful of the energy you exhibit. You set the tone and influence the type of culture your organization desires to create, so, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," as Mahatma Gandhi would say.
The benefit to you as a leader and human being is that you will feel happier, less stressed, and ultimately, will be more productive and successful. Those around you will feel appreciated and supported, and grateful people tend to be more supportive and helpful than those who aren’t.
Life is all about choices and choosing to be grateful is entirely up to you. Would you rather wake up and choose to be angry, frustrated, jealous or ambivalent towards others? How far will that get you personally and professionally?
Everyone has a choice to be grateful, and by modifying our perspectives towards life, we can change how we think and feel by developing an attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude Best Practices
#1. Daily Gratitude
Before I tackle my productive days ahead, I choose to take a moment where I practice gratitude every morning and reflect on 3 things that I am most grateful for in my life. It can be a quick realization, including big and small things that I am grateful for, and it may reflect things from the past days or days to come. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or significant the things you choose to be grateful for are, all that matters is that your heart is full of thanks and appreciation for what you have, and it changes the dynamics of everything in your life.
#2. Show and Be Appreciative
Appreciation is a leadership best practice as it brings out the best in others and us. When we appreciate what others do well, they will ultimately repeat it in the future. It is part of cultivating an attitude of gratitude and high-performance culture as it is hard to be grateful if you don’t appreciate what you have. When you take a moment to honestly recognize and relish what’s good around you, we see more goodness taking place.
#3. Express Your Gratitude
The key is to recognize what you’re grateful for and be specific when you are offering that gratitude or thanks towards others as that is what will help them grow and flourish. It is part of practicing the strength-based leadership philosophy. Of course, saying “thank you” is an excellent way to start, but there are also other ways to show your appreciation by being specific about what they have done well. An example is: “You facilitated that meeting with confidence. You were organized and engaged everyone in the meeting. Really well done.”
Practicing gratitude has been linked with many benefits, such as improved mental and physical health, increased happiness, and resilience when faced with challenging times and stress.
Embracing and cultivating gratitude increases energy, enthusiasm, determination, and optimism. Gratitude plays a role in deepening relationships and connections personally and professionally.
Grateful people tend to be more dialed in and empathetic towards others which will help prevent negative emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, or depression.
Choose Gratitude as Your Attitude
Gratitude is the ideal attitude because it makes you happier, healthier, and more creative. People who practice gratitude have greater longevity and can handle stress more effectively than those who don’t express feelings of appreciation for what they have in life.
Negativity is like a clogged drain; it prevents us from coming up with new ideas and thoughts that propel us forward. Research shows that gratitude makes you more creative, and when your mind is filled with negative thoughts, it’s challenging to be open to new ideas and creativity.
Grateful Times Ahead!
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can change our lives for the better and it can make us happier, healthier, and more successful. When we express gratitude, we send the message that we value others and by being grateful, we open ourselves to receive more goodness in our lives.
What are your thoughts on this topic? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me at 1.855.871.3374.