The Extraordinary Impact of Gratitude

This time of year, most Americans focus on thankfulness. (Canadians were thankful last month.) Social media abounds with posts touting gratitude, service, and reconciliation. Let’s all come together!

And then January happens…..

With a holiday hangover we hunker down into a season of cold, dark days lacking in big-spirited expectations. We go to the gym to beat up our bodies for excessive consumption of calories. (Or maybe you skip the gym and go straight to beating up your self-esteem.) This year, “things will change!” After setting aside the childlike wonder of the holiday season, we pull up our big kid pants and get to work. Then somewhere between ‘Happy New Year’ and the next ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ we end up stressed, exhausted, and impatient with the pace of progress. I don’t mean to depress you, but it’s a predictable cycle.

But what if we change the pattern? What if we start doing things differently right now, today?

Five months ago a dear friend of mine, struggling with overcoming huge obstacles, brilliantly and graciously asked if we could share “gratefuls” with each other. Almost every day since, we’ve exchanged simple texts of gratitude. What we share ranges from the tiny (grateful for getting a hair cut) to the tremendous (grateful for petting a whale). Through these brief exchanges we’ve deepened our friendship and stayed connected to the power of thankfulness. I can honestly say it has made an extraordinary impact in my life. I’m deeply thankful she suggested sharing our hearts through sharing our gratitude.

Can you exchange gratefuls with a friend? How about in your organization? Like going to the gym, gratitude works best with accountability. As the holiday season flies by in a blur (and you know it will) I invite you to commit now to professing gratitude every day of the year through an intentional process. Change the predictable pattern and you will experience extraordinary impact in unpredictable ways!

Today, I am thankful for the sound of my children howling with laughter as they play a video game together. I’m thankful for fuzzy blankets on my bed that tempt me away from my office. And I’m grateful for a day to lounge in sweatpants. Let the calorie consumption commence. Happy Thanksgiving…all year long!

I help organizations build whole-hearted communities through leadership that isn’t half-assed. We work together in three ways: speaking, consulting, and executive coaching. Step up from the ordinary…. Contact me today.

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