How a Successful Leader had the Best Year of Her Life

Janice Kaplan cried on New Year’s Eve. She snuggled with her husband and watched a movie before the crystal ball dropped in New York City.

She didn’t want her year to end.

I can’t think of a single New Years when I cried because I didn’t want the year to end.

Nothing special happened during her year. One thing made her year remarkable, gratitude. She chronicled her journey in, The Gratitude Diaries.

“Gratitude changed my life.” Janice Kaplan

The benefits of gratitude make it seem like snake oil. Better health, longer life, less stress, and more restful sleep to name a few.

Cicero wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Gratitude makes you a better person.

  1. Gratitude makes you beautiful. Ungratefulness is toxic.
  2. Gratitude answers arrogance and nurtures humility. Something most of us could use more of.
  3. Gratitude chokes greed.
  4. Gratitude leads to generosity.
  5. Gratitude lets others know they matter. All leaders can take this one to the bank.

4 reasons we don’t express gratitude:

#1. One leader said that he withholds gratitude in anticipation of people falling short next time.

#2. It’s hard to be grateful for people who fall below our own greatness.

#3. We just don’t have time to express gratitude. We’re in a hurry.

#4. There’s a lot of stuff that could and should be better.

4 suggestions:

I’m reminding you of something you already know, but don’t always practice.

  1. Put a gratitude list on the fridge. Add one item a day.
  2. Say, “Thank you,” for small things.
  3. Write a thank you note.
  4. Take a gratitude walk-about. Pat people on the back.

I’d like this year to be so great that I cry when it’s over. How about you?

How might you practice gratitude this week?

Afterword: Just after posting this article, a bird flew over and crapped on my keyboard. Thankfully it was a small bird. A few minutes later, a butterfly flutter close to my face. Hmmm???