Creating An Environment Of Gratitude
This is my coffee. More accurately, this WAS my coffee. My full, fresh, hot, delicious cup of coffee. My front walkway enjoyed it thoroughly.
What does my spilled coffee have to do with gratitude? I will get back to that. First, a question:
"Are you a grateful person?"
This is a question I ask frequently to my coaching clients on our first meeting. 100% of the time, the answer is a resounding "YES!"
Then I ask WHAT they are most grateful for. This is where they typically run into a speed bump. Sure, I get general answers like "my family, my kids, my home, etc" but you can always tell that most people are not prepared to answer.
So how do we create an environment of gratitude? An environment where we are not only grateful, but where we show our gratitude to others and they, in turn, show it back to us. Here are five quick tips to create that environment of gratitude in your life.
1. Make A Top 10 List
Sounds easy? Believe me, it is harder than it sounds. Your brain is going to WORK to make this list. Grab a piece of paper and make a list of 10 things you are grateful for.
2. Be Specific
Now that you have your list, try to take three to five of them and make them specific. Drill down a bit. If you wrote something general, clean it up and focus it. As an example, if you wrote "my spouse" change it to, "I am grateful for the way my spouse supports my dreams and ambitions."
3. Keep That List of Three To Five Specific Things In a Place Where You Can See It EVERY DAY
Once a day OR AS NEEDED. Feeling off course? This should be one of the first places you turn.
4. Once A Week, Display Gratitude
Saying "Thank You" should be the bare minimum. Once a week, do something above and beyond for someone to show them your gratitude. Send a hand written Thank You note. Bring them a cup of coffee. Send a company wide email praising someone for doing something you are grateful for.
5. Spill Your Coffee
I promised I would get back to the coffee. When I first dropped this cup of coffee (did I mention it was full, fresh, hot, and delicious?) I can honestly say I was not grateful that I dropped it. Sometimes, in life, you have to engage in a practice that I affectionately call "finding blessings in the bullshit." I honestly believe this is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself. Once a day, find something that happened that you were 100% not grateful for, and find a reason to be grateful. What was great about spilling my coffee? I got to make my own cup of coffee, and while my coffee was brewing, I grabbed a big glass of water which hydrated me and made me feel great. I was also able to have a nice 10 minute conversation with my wife, who I did not know would be home. Good things came from it. You can always find good things of you make it a practice to look for them.
Start today. Create an environment of gratitude in your life and remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice being grateful, the easier it will be and the more guided you will be toward your goals and the results you are after.
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