“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” - Albert Schweitzer We celebrated Thanksgiving last week. We thought of the people who have made a difference in our lives, took a minute to thank them and express our appreciation for the positive impact they have made. But we shouldn’t wait another 51 weeks to show our gratitude again. No matter what challenges we are facing in life or at work, there are many things for which we can and should express gratitude. Focusing on the good things pushes us in the right direction when we are moving forward through uphill battles. Our own experience and science both show: It pays to feel and express gratitude for others and all the positive things that happen around us. Success requires expressing gratitude, and staying positive is a habit of the most successful people in the world. “It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” Effective leaders show gratitude because it pays off in so many ways:
- Opening the door to new opportunities: Positive reinforcement attracts more positive feedback, draws interest of those who come in contact with you and your team.
- Elevating trust levels: Sharing with the team how much you value their work and contribution helps increase trust and openness.
- Providing mindful leadership: A thankful attitude creates an internal peace mindset and extends to a peaceful team mindset. A lack of conflict frees up your team to focus on the important things in life.
- Enabling realistic assessment: Reviewing the positive things that happened over the past year, as well as assessing how you can change your perspective on the negative things that happened, creates a healthy balance and a realistic outlook on upcoming opportunities.