Seeking an Attitude of Gratitude

There are always two ways to frame our outlook on life. Two options for how we choose to view and react to our present circumstances. We can dwell on the disappointments, the sadness, the frustrating. Or we can choose to focus on the encouraging, the uplifting, the good in the midst of the bad.  Of course, flipping our negative perspective into a positive one doesn’t change the realities of a crummy situation, but it does change how we go through it.

The holidays have a way of bringing out the best and sometimes the worst in us, so over the next few days, I’d like to challenge you to:

  • Choose to be grateful for access to good food and the money to buy it as you stand in those long grocery lines.
  • Choose to be grateful for safe, reliable transportation as you encounter the bumper-to-bumper traffic that accompanies a busy shopping season.
  • Choose to be grateful for warm homes, warm clothes, and warm workplaces in the midst of winter’s coming cold.
  • Choose to be grateful for your in-laws. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have your spouse!

This season, challenge yourself not to regard “thanksgiving” as simply an event or a meal (or a whole lot of work!), but as an action that you will commit to doing more of in every season. It won’t erase your challenges, but it will improve your outlook and, most importantly, it will encourage others along the way.

In an effort to “keep it going,” we will resume blogging on leadership this week, and what better topic to start off with than Keep it Going?!

But what does that mean, keep it going? Keep what going? With our loss still fresh in our world, here are my top 10 leader lessons that are helping me keep it going.

  1. Keep moving forward. While situations and challenges harm the path you originally planned to take, it doesn’t mean you stop.
  2. Consider any movement good progress. When faced with challenges, just keep moving. Don’t try to cure it, fix it, or heal it. These things will someday be the result of your steadiness in keeping it going. (more…)

Thankfulness. Why are we so open to encourage and be thankful at Thanksgiving time? Shouldn’t we “give thanks” every day of the year? What if Thanksgiving was every Friday and we ended the workweek by thanking our teammates?  Or what if it was every Monday, and we started the workweek out by giving thanks? Wow! I think this would totally change our mindset and drive positive thinking and expression.  Thanksgiving should be a daily mindset, not just an annual holiday.

Stay with me here! Before you think this is just another Thanksgiving Day blog, know that I was on this kick before the holiday. I work within a lot of companies, and I’ve seen a workforce trend of entitlement growing more and more common. Entitlement is the enemy of thankfulness. After all, why would you be thankful for something owed to you? (more…)

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns;
I am thankful that thorns have roses.” – Unknown

There are always two ways to frame our perspectives on life, yet we often take the roses-have-thorns point of view. What if we chose a different mindset?

  • Choosing to be thankful for our jobs, even if we arrive there following a long, bumper-to-bumper commute.
  • Choosing to be thankful for problem teammates. They afford us the opportunity to impact them in a positive way.
  • Choosing to be thankful for those high-maintenance clients; it is their business that helps keep us employed.
  • Choosing to be thankful for a sink full of dirty dishes. It means our family is well fed.
  • Choosing to be thankful for a messy house; even our most modest of homes would be considered luxurious in much of the world.
  • Choosing to be thankful for our democracy. Even if we didn’t vote for all the individuals in office, at least we have the freedom to vote.
  • Choosing to be thankful for tough times; those are the moments that prepare us for something bigger.

Real Thanksgiving isn’t an event, a meal, or a feeling. It’s a choice we make each moment of the day. How will you choose to be thankful?