Blog Post: Gratitude — WOW a Truly Powerful Tool

Gratitude — WOW a Truly Powerful Tool

I grew up with a dad who was always working on something – a tinkerer and a doer! Having the right tool for the job was always preferable, but sometimes you had to be a bit of McGyver and jury-rig to get the job done. For him, that was never a deterrent, just a challenge. But he was always so grateful when he had the right tool. It made things go easier, quicker and often with a better outcome.

As I was looking for an odd tool to complete something the other day, I was reminded of this. When I found it, it reminded me how gratefulness for 1) having it and 2) finding it is part of the success in getting the job done well. Gratefulness changed my outlook on both the task and the outcome of it. You see I was frustrated that I even needed to do the task! And then when I needed a special tool ... that seemed insurmountable to find in the mess of tool bins that get shaken up as they ride in the truck. I was not in a good frame of mind. But being grateful, changed my frame of mind!

Why does thankfulness, gratefulness do that?

Weird, huh?

I started experimenting and observing. When I stop to be grateful for ANYTHING, I notice

  • my breathing changes
  • my shoulders un-tense a little bit
  • the tension in my forehead relaxes a little
  • my mind clears a bit
  • my observance of my surroundings increases
  • I see other things to be grateful for
  • I become more aware of the people around me and how hard they are working or struggling and I want to ease their burdens if I can

All that from being grateful for one little thing! 

A little research shows there are studies on gratitude showing it contributes to happiness, success at work and in life, better health, peak performance and even healing and faster recovery from surgery!

But so many of us are trained to focus on what is broken, undone or lacking — or could go wrong. Well, 2020 has certainly thrown plenty at us, and our vision and thinking are looking for the next calamity or at least potential challenge to living our lives the way we are accustomed to. An "attitude of gratitude" is certainly being challenged this year!

As fall arrives and we think toward the holidays, including Thanksgiving, it seems like a great time to focus on GRATITUDE. How? Here are some tips to help!

  • Start as you awake — who are you waking up with? Someone you chose? A special companion? Some music you love? A comfy bed?
  • Be grateful for the simple conveniences of indoor plumbing, hot water, a coffee maker — not everyone in the world or even America has those luxuries in their lives
  • Toilet Paper! 😧 — 2020 has taught us it isn’t a sure thing at the store!
  • Step outside — beautiful colors in the plants and trees, crisp cool air !
  • A warm jacket or sweater to keep you toasty — wonderful boots or shoes
  • A bike, car or bus to get you where you need to go — AND MASKS!
  • Hand sanitizer in a convenient little bottle to carry with you!
  • Your computer with technology that connects you to the world — even though you are in your jammy pants!

You’re getting the idea. It is so easy to find things to be grateful for and it is so good for us, why don’t we practice gratitude more often? Good question. Let’s make a practice of it!

✨Practice gratitude around the dinner table — Use a BIG JAR and little scraps of paper and each person write down their gratitude, tell everyone and add it to the jar.

✨At work or at home — use sticky notes to make a wall of gratitude

✨LOOK for a hidden blessing in EVERY CHALLENGE — make a game of it in your family and with your team at work.

✨SHARE on your Facebook Page a gratitude a day — it even could be for a person in your life!

Did this article make you feel good? Give you encouragement or hope that things can be better? Then share it with some of your friends, coworkers, families of kid’s friends, so they can have that encouragement and hope too.  And be sure to tell them you are thankful for them being part of your or your kid’s life.