15 Ways to Tap the Power of Gratitude
Ungratefulness spoils everything it touches.
Ungratefulness slithers out of a black muck that’s called, “don’t like,” “don’t want,” “don’t have,” and, “not enough.” There is no positive side to the slimy beast of ungratefulness.
Gratitude is a matter of the heart. Ungratefulness is about circumstances.
- You deserve better.
- It’s unfair.
- They don’t deserve _______. (Insert good fortune.)
15 ways to tap the power of gratitude:
Gratitude is about liking things and being happy.
- Recall some of the stupid things you’ve done. Aren’t you thankful things weren’t worse?
- Begin meetings by having everyone around the table say, “I’m thankful for … “ Or, “I’m thankful that …”
- Remember the dark days you worked through. Aren’t you thankful things are better today?
- Set a thank you quota for your team. Just start saying it.
- Be thankful you’re not who you used to be, even though you’re not who you hope to become.
- Be grateful for lessons learned and opportunities to learn more. You’re wiser than you used to be. Right?
- Have gratitude for the hardworking, imperfect people on your team.
- Be thankful for the people who moved on, or you fired.
- Take a short break. Go for a gratitude walk. This post is the result of a gratitude walk I took this morning.
- Schedule something to anticipate. Lunch with a friend. A golf outing. You’ll be more thankful today, if you have something to look forward to tomorrow.
- Spend more time in the present and less in the future.
- Improve what you don’t like, rather than complaining about it.
- Take action; focus on things within your control. Inactivity is great for short bursts, but turns to darkness eventually.
- Believe in next time.
- Trust you have a place and purpose in this world.
Successful leaders navigate tensions between discontent, aspiration, and gratitude.
Gratitude is a way of seeing.
What are the benefits of expressing gratitude?
How might leaders develop gratefulness?
Especially like this one:
“Be thankful you’re not who you used to be, even though you’re not who you hope to become.”
Thanks Girogio. Great hearing from you.
I feel that one in my own heart, perhaps you do as well. It’s easy for aspiration to become disappointment when we’re always aiming high. I’m all about aiming high. But, lets take a minute to be thankful for progress.
The very idea of progress suggests “not there.”
Dan, one thing that comes to mind after reading your list is that our gratitude, my gratitude needs to be intentional and it needs to be nurtured. I especially like numbers 12 and 13.
Thanks Alan. I think it’s important to make gratitude an intention, not just passive reaction.
I’m glad you added this thought.
Genuine gratitude may be the universal language.. everyone “gets it”, nearly always produces positive feelings in recipients.
Thanks Ken. It feels good both in the giving and receiving. 🙂
Gratitude also breeds generosity! It helps us overcome the scarcity mindset and look for ways to share what we have, regardless of what or how much it is. And miraculously, there is always enough when we feel grateful. 😊
Thanks Catherine. You added a totally unexpected idea. Love the connection.
I’m guessing that much ingratitude comes from our not liking ourselves! Much of what you suggest (right on by the way!!!), to me at least, begins by believing there is something to like in any person or situation. Then we need to build on the good, seeking to address the issues as well – AND show our gratitude to all deserving it!!!
Thanks John. My own experience validates your idea that gratitude and self-worth are connected. Love the connection and see it working.
When we need others to give us our worth, ingratitude seems inevitable.
Great post Dan, thanks for this. When I find myself being ungrateful (read: self-pity, complacent, not thinking of the needs of others), I take my bemoaning “grrrr” and put it in my lousy attitude. Voila, I find gratitude at my beck and call. Works every time … I remember to use it that is, or better yet, someone else reminds me! Marianne
Thanks Marianne. I really like your extension of lack of gratitude to include things like self-pity, self-centeredness, and complacency.
I wonder how much of what’s wrong with the world can be traced to being ungrateful?
Great Post! Your mindset is the most important thing to success! If we would share our gratitude more often, it would change the amount of complaining that we do.
Thanks Shellie. The idea that more gratitude results in less complaining is golden! 🙂
I can relate to the first point! Also be unemployed it’s very important to be grateful daily even though you might not feel very happy about the place you’re in at the moment.
Thanks ademarco. It’s a pleasure to see your comment. Although it’s more difficult, gratitude isn’t just about having everything we want. Best wishes!
I post 7 Things I am grateful for Today on my blog each day. It it always a great time of reflection and has become one of my favorite things to do each day. Thank you for sharing this post.
Thanks oikosocial. What a great idea!
Expressing appreciation for others; who and what they are as well as for things they do, share and give, is a strong way of showing gratitude.
Thanks Christian. Yes! Gratitude isn’t just about circumstances. It should focus on people. Very useful.
No such word as ungratitude,so no such argument is valid.
Good thing this isn’t an English Grammar blog!
Nor logic, right?
May not be in the dictionary but who really cares because its meaning as used here is very clear! By the way, there are words in the dictionary that aren’t words. So why not words that are not in??? Gives a bunch of people purpose: word or not word in the dictionaries. Dan’s right!!!
Geez jcbji, lighten up! I woke on the wrong side of bed this morning. I just wanted to see how many of the rules you would bend or break. You broke rule 12. How many more can you find? I counted about six more. Hahahaha…
So needed your post today to help refocus and the comments were filled with gems of wisdom.
Appreciate the effort and thought put into your daily musings, thanks so much.
Thanks DiMensions. The idea of refocus is an ongoing part of the leadership journey!
Gratitude not attitude. What a wonderful reminder. I’m going to focus on # 12 and 13. They really stood out for me not only at work, but for at home as well. Thank you for posting. The list is now hanging on the wall in my office right next to my pc.
Thanks Sally. #13 is a personal favorite. The bias toward action is essential to leadership.
Gratitude is a great, if not the best, way of showing we care.
“Gratitude is contagious”- read last week.
Good work Dan.
Thanks Rahul. Yes! If you want to let someone know you care for them, be grateful for them. Love it.
Inspiring message – gratitude is the secret to lasting success in business, marriage, etc.
Thanks Stephen. Yes. I’m mulling over just how powerful and essential this concept is to success. Could a person be successful and be ungrateful? I don’t think so.
Thank you for another great post. “Ungratefulness spoils everything it touches.” That is so true. It spoils our own attitude and our leadership ability. “Ungratefulness” is also a choice that we make. If you think that you have nothing to be grateful for, then I suggest that you take another look. Begin to look for something to be grateful for each and every day. Look for that in your family members and those you work with. See what happens.
While there are numerous benefits to showing gratitude toward others, I have enjoyed letting my team know I appreciate their work because it builds their confidence in themselves and helps strengthen our working relationships. My organization uses a system where anyone in the company can recognize individuals for their performance or acts of kindness. I enjoy using the system to bring attention to my team members’ leadership initiatives – either taking on a new project, competing a challenging deliverable, or going above and beyond to help the team reach a goal. It’s important to me that I take time to officially recognize my team members through the recognition system because it’s a record they can keep and show their other managers. I also make a point to show my gratitude and recognize individuals’ contributions during our daily standup meetings. I feel like expressing my thanks and appreciation in front of the team fosters an environment that builds on each other. I’m not the one “in charge” and definitely not the leader who takes credit for my team’s work. I hope my leading by example inspires my team members to also show gratitude.