Thanksgiving is around the corner and I’m musing about gratitude.
Gratitude is a feeling in response to an act or gift. Be that act a warm ray of sunlight warming your back on a cold morning, the embrace of your beloved or getting your first big career break. Gratitude is a transcendent moment of grace, in which you know you have benefit from something.
But that is one half of gratitude the other half is expressing a deep sense of thankfulness. Offering sincere thanks doesn’t happen independently or automatically. You have to use your noggin to purposefully express your appreciation in concrete terms.
Which has more impact for you?
“Thanks, Amy for helping me practice my talk. I was able to weed out the extra words which improve it.”
Gratitude Leads to Success And Pleasure
Being actively grateful leads to being more open to experiences, ideas, being extroverted and agreeable. It opens the door to your ability to use other strengths and skills, like curiosity or perspective.
Research shows that grateful people:
- Enjoy their work more than others
- Are more likely to achieve goals
- Focus less on materials goods and more on what matters most to them
- Are more likely to feel connected to people and life
- Enjoy life- they are happy
- Have better moods, exercise habits, and sleep well
If you never learned the lesson of thankfulness, begin now. Sum up your mercies; see what provision God has made for your happiness, what opportunities for your usefulness, and what advantages for your success. – Ida S. Taylor
But Don’t Be Too Grateful
People say you can be too grateful. You can.
Overuse of gratitude is ingratiation. Yuck. Profusely saying thanks can make people uncomfortable and less likely to extend their help to you again. Paying to attention to the words you use you say thanks, when you say it and how you do, given the situation.
And not being grateful enough can be just as counterproductive.
At the extreme it’s a complete inward focus and “I don’t need anyone” attitude. You can overlook moment express thanks to your sibling, spouse or colleague. You can lose perspective of an event, a success, a relationship, etc. Or you may not have the whole picture of what it takes to keep a business going and the pressures that result. Isolation and misunderstandings can be the end result.
For gratitude to work for you – and everyone else – you need to strike the right cord with your words and delivery. And you need find the sweet spot between too much and too little.
3 Ways to Be Grateful Without Groveling.
- Pick one small, important thing that you have taken for granted. For the next 5 days pay attention to it and see what you discover.
- Pay attention to when and how often you genuinely say thank you. Speak honestly, simply or not at all.
- Jot down 3-5 good things that happened each day and WHY they matter to you.
Thank you, for reading this email. It matters to me that you take time to spend with me.
Do you have a story about gratitude? If you have a minute I’d love to hear about it