“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”― Epicurus
Gratitude is a funny thing. It’s one of many feelings we can control; yet when things are going downhill (or what seem to be downhill for us) we might lose our perspective of gratitude. What if I told you acting gracious is a bigger part than you might think; especially during the job hunt, in the interview, and on the job. As we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner tonight and say what we’re thankful for, remember to show your gratitude for all you are, all that you were, and all that you’ll become. Here are my three tips on why you need to show gratitude in your life everyday, and how this will help you both personally in in the workplace:
It Just Feels Good – I’ve touched upon this in my previous blog “Three Steps to Protect Yourself From Burnout” that every night before I go to sleep, I say out loud everything that I’m grateful for. Why do I do this? Because we get so caught up with all the things that we don’t have, that’s it’s just too easy to overlook everything that we’ve built for ourselves and what we do have. Time and time again I’ll stand by the statement that perspective is everything in life. Do things happen to you? Or do you make your own luck? There is a certain gray area of control and responsibility that we all must take. Next time that you are incredibly overwhelmed take a deep breath, and list all of the things that you are thankful for; it’s guaranteed to make you feel better.
Humility – Do you know how much interviewers get turned off when a 22 year old kid tells them he thinks he can run a businesses better than their CEO? I didn’t either… until I said it on an interview. You could say in that moment, or for most of my early 20’s, I didn’t exactly have an empathetic break through. I was overly confident in my abilities, slightly an egomaniac, and lacked any sort of patience for anything to develop. It honestly wasn’t until my father passed away that I started to realize how precious life is, that time is not guaranteed, and that you should be thankful for everything you have. It’s important to really take a look in the mirror and be confident that you can do anything; but humble and hungry enough to want to learn everything as well. Next time you go on that interview or have that meeting with your supervisor be humble about your wins and show a sincere willingness and eagerness to learn; you’ll win every time.
It’s Literally Good For Your Health – I know in my first point I mentioned that gratitude makes you feel good; but it’s also important to mention that it’s good for your health. In fact, practicing gratitude on a daily basis has been shown to lower blood pressure, have positive effects on your immune system, and lead to better sleep cycles. So why doesn’t everyone practice gratitude? I think again it comes back to perspective. We very much live in a world of “haves and have nots.” For people like me (who literally have trouble keeping up with the Kardashians) it’s so important from time to time, to disconnect from our social network fantasies and reconnect to our realities.
Conclusion – I think most of us know being thankful shouldn’t be celebrated just one day out of the year; it should be celebrated everyday. Next time you go on that interview that doesn’t work out, receive criticism on your resume, or are even told you need to do a better job (even when you’re giving it your all) be thankful for it; there are many other people who would give quite a lot to be in your shoes. What are some ways you practice gratitude? Share in the comments below!