An Attitude of Gratitude

I received a thank you note yesterday.  This wasn’t a typical “thanks for the ___” and then a signature.  It was a description of how I had touched this person’s life in a way I could have never imagined.  The gift that I helped to provide wasn’t significant, but made enough of an impact at a time in this person’s life that made an exemplary difference.  This woman, a public school teacher, who is a gift herself to her students, staff and parents, brought me to tears by her gratitude. 

 When was the last time you said “thank you?”  Now, you may say “thank you” when someone opens the door for you, or a waitress fills your water glass at a restaurant.  Have you thanked the people in your life that support you everyday, through the good times and the bad?  We take for granted our support systems of spouses, friends, family and co-workers.  We often expect certain actions and responses from them, because that’s just what they do and that is the kind of people they are. 

 Take a moment today to write or email someone who has made a positive impact on your life.  What part about them or their actions helped you, and you most admire?  Living each day with an attitude of gratitude not only strengthens our relationships with others, but makes us more aware of the gifts given to us on a regular basis.

Don’t Force It

Have you ever had one of those days when everything flows gracefully?  The sun is shining, you arrive early for every appointment, you get a free coffee because it’s the day your punch card is full, and that “rock star” parking place magically opens up as you get ready to pull into your destination.  Just thinking of days like that puts a smile on my face.

Then, you have days that are exactly the opposite.  You are running late, your attitude is grumpy from the get-go, you spill coffee on your freshly dry-cleaned pants, and the day goes downhill from there.

Do you have any control over what kind of day you have?

My friend and Executive Coach, Jay Pryor , shared with me a fundamental message: what you focus on gets bigger.  Jay even challenged me to try out this concept, and asked me to remove all negative chatter from my mind.  What?  Negative chatter?  Me?  Jay explained that negative chatter is all that stuff that goes on in your head to make you feel doubt, guilt, insignificance, and gives you that glass is half empty feeling – towards yourself and others. I feel like I’m a fairly positive person, but had to admit that negative chatter does get the best of me sometimes.  Although, this was very difficult to do (as we humans tend to revert back to pre-programmed messages that pull us away from thinking in a new way) I gave it a try.

What I realized through this exercise was that I needed to make it easy and not force it.  When negative thoughts came into my mind, I made a habit of releasing them.  By not giving negativity your time and focus, it opens you up to the good and positive.  So many times we yearn for those positive things to come into our life, and we get frustrated when they don’t happen as quickly as we hope.

The power of creating the positive action you desire in your life, is by being proactive.  Now, I don’t mean if you desire something that is a stretch that you should force yourself, your finances or your family into that desire at whatever cost.  What I encourage you to consider is that we should erase negativity, put in a little work ourselves, and let the possibilities flow.