When was the last time you practiced gratitude? This post is all about the power of gratitude and my invitation to join me on a gratitude intervention challenge.
“Yesterday was a soggy day, with non- stop rain and draining humidity” began an email I received with the subject title of “What a happy day.”
It didn’t make sense…
It was a long, detailed email about work difficulties and disappointments. Until the end. And then I thought, “OKAY, I get it now.”
I’ll skip all the complaints and go right to the punch line.
“So, Sylvia, I was standing at the bottom of the Macy’s escalator waiting for my husband who was taking forever to get a new pair of jeans. I was frustrated and miserable. I hated work, I hated me. As I leaned on the jewelry counter thinking every negative thing I could about me, my life, the state of the world, the amount of time I was wasting waiting here, when a kid walked over, he must have been about eleven years old.
His smile was infectious.
He leaned toward me and said ‘You really look great today. I mean, you really look great!’ And with that he did a perfect pivot and before I could even say ‘huh?’ he was gone.
My husband descended the escalator and greeted me with ‘Well, you sure look happy now. Did you buy something special?”
I was still processing that moment of unexpected appreciation and all I could muster was ‘Didn’t buy anything special. I was given something special.”
Here is my response to my client:
“I’m glad you are working through all the messy issues at work. And hooray for that mysterious little boy. He gave you, now, all of us, a precious gift.
I call this a GRATITUDE INTERVENTION CHALLENGE and I suggest we all lift our gratitude quotient by doing what that little boy did. Reach out and touch someone.
Give gratitude, acknowledgment, appreciation, thanks to someone who doesn’t expect it.
What will that do for you? What will that do for the other person? What will that do for our very contentious world that needs more positive, creative energy?
It will make you feel better and hopefully the other person also.
The Gratitude Intervention Challenge
Acknowledge someone who annoys you or you feel betrayed you at work. Maybe it’s someone who is the office gossip, or the bully who made you look stupid on purpose or, the over the top pleaser who stepped in with a smile to get the plum assignment meant for you.
Think about that person for a moment…They may:
- See you as a threat
- Be miserable inside themselves
- Want to be your friend and feel inadequate
- Have serious health issues
- Be in relationship difficulties
Now, find something you can acknowledge them for.
Come one, you can find at least one thing. Then ask if they can meet for a few minutes and ask them where they would like to meet. Ask them, don’t tell them. Giving gratitude and learning to understand each other is at the core of great leadership.
I’d love to hear the results. Do what scares the crap out of you and strengthen your gratitude muscle.
Remember, the tiniest effort can have a huge impact.