An Attitude of Gratitude

Is there a person that is important in your life that you have never properly thanked? Is saying thank-you a missing part of your conversation? If so maybe we can mindfully (not just on the Thanksgiving holiday) include gratitude into our daily routine. A key factor to remember in setting a gratitude goal is that it comes in many shapes, sizes and forums.

Gratitude at the Office

Here is a short list to prime the pump for discussion on the many ways of gratitude shows up at work. Grateful people,

  1. Make time to mentor others, provide resources in belt-tightening times, remove obstacles to help facilitate people’s success, and being generous with your open door policy.
  2. Praise people in specific terms for what you see them doing well.
  3. Demonstrate empathy for people who are going through difficult times.
  4. Give the team credit when they reach significant milestones.
  5. Recognize that their success is built on the shoulders of others.
  6. Send a hand-written note to a former boss who really helped you in your career.

Gratitude in Intimate Relationships

Being consistently grateful in both our personal and as well as private life with partners or friends is the mark of a stellar character. Such people demonstrate gratitude when they,

  1. Go out of their way to share the domestic load.
  2. Make choices so that their partner/friend can succeed in his/her career or life in general.
  3. Care deeply about what their partner/friend feels and/or thinks.
  4. Are fiercely loyal to their partner/friend.
  5. Show it in their deeds as well as their words.

Gratitude on the Street

For a time “random acts of kindness were in vogue”. Maybe it is time to extend that to random acts of gratitude. I heard of a police department that stopped motorists for showing courtesy while they were driving. Imagine their surprise when a traffic policeman stopped them and gave them a turkey (it was Thanksgiving) instead of a traffic ticket. Another random act I experienced was when the motorist ahead of me at the toll  gate paid my toll fee.

How have you experienced gratitude on the street?

The lists can go on and on. But at the end of the day true gratitude is measured  by our attitude. Here we live the fact that the fountainhead of all gratitude is at the core of our being.

Our better self thinks “We” instead of “I” which runs counter to our individualistic culture. It also determines that the happiness of the other is my happiness. Another factor in true gratitude is that, in the spirit of the words of the Bhagavad Gita, “Do your duty without your eyes on the fruit of your action” Unselfconscious, not thinking “what’s in it for me”, and non score-keeping gratitude is the best there is. That’s the way to lift and enrich the lives of others.

What acts of gratitude have you seen/demonstrated?


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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