Gratitude

This week we begin the holiday season with turkey, talk around the family table, football games and perhaps a little reflection on our blessings.  So, in keeping with the theme of the season,  I wanted to share something I’ve been working on for the last couple of months.

As a Type A person, I set high expectations for myself.  I also tend to have pretty high expectations for those around me.  Does this sound familiar?  As a self-made business person I’ll bet it does. This is one of the qualities that propels us to success and achievement.

The problem with high expectations is they can lead to high levels of frustration.  Many things do not go my way or as well as I’d like.  The stress, and even anger this creates, is damaging to my focus, performance and possibly relationships.  If this sounds familiar to you ̶ read on.

As I reflected on this during my personal quarterly planning time, I wondered if I could put frustration in perspective and turn it from destructive to creative.  I decided to think about why I am grateful for the thing, situation or person giving rise to my frustration at the moment I become aware of the feeling.  I committed to trying this for 30 days.

The result has been amazing!

I’ve observed when I become frustrated or angry, and immediately begin to remind myself of the blessings this person or situation has brought to my life or business, the negative energy disappears.  Poof!  It’s gone.

Another thing I’ve noticed is my perspective on the “problem” instantly changes.  This allows me to deal with the person or situation in an entirely different way.

The biggest difference though, has not been in how I act, but how I feel.  I “feel” much more relaxed.  This, in turn, helps me make decisions much more likely to have a constructive, positive result.

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful.  It is a day in which most of us are full of good feelings, attitudes and mental, spiritual and emotional relaxation.  It is a day for deepening relationships, as well.  What if we turned every day, particularly work days, into days of thanksgiving?  What would the results be?  After thirty days of this approach I can tell you each day is pretty special, at least for me.

This Thanksgiving, whenever you feel frustrated, angry or disappointed simply take a moment to reflect on why or how this person or situation has been a blessing.  Watch the stress disappear and how your ability to act constructively skyrockets!  Thank you for reading and enjoy Thanksgiving.

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