Gratitude. Webster defines this as the state of being grateful: thankfulness: appreciation.
Now I’m not here to give you an English lesson, but I do want you to think for a minute:
Are you at some point in your day grateful, giving thanks, or appreciate what you have?
I remind myself to be grateful every day. It’s something that over the past year of putting sticky notes, reminders on my phone, and reminders drawn on my mirror that it’s becoming a wonderful habit for me. I try to start my day with it. If I forget, a little reminder pops up on my phone periodically and I’ll take that moment to pause and be grateful for at least one thing.
When I can’t think of anything to be grateful for (and I know we all have those moments!) I say a mantra that one of my favorite pastors, Joyce Meyers, says: “I’m not where I want to be but thank GOD I’m not where I used to be”.
I’ll tell you that gratitude REALLY came up this past Tuesday. We had this crazy storm come through our area and the strength of it was unexpected. It dropped something like 5 inches of rain within a 3 hour period. I was already home but Hubs went to run an errand and got stuck at the store he was at. He couldn’t leave that store for about five hours. FIVE HOURS. In those five hours, the power went out at our house, our street flooded badly, and we had two tornadoes touched down in our city (one which was close to our home). I’m at home alone holed up in my bathroom with the essentials while Hubs is 7 minutes across town trying to barricade himself ina backroom with 10 other people. It was crazy.
After the storm had passed, I decided that I would post what I was grateful for on Facebook to help ground me in a time of panic (and of course to let people know that we were ok. Sidenote: Give me a hurricane any day; I feel sorry for people that live in Tornado Alley).
So I’m sure you’re wondering, “Joelyn, this is all great and good, but what does this have to do with business?”
My answer to that: “So much, it’s crazy.”
Why does being grateful help your business so much?
Being grateful does several things:
- It helps to keep perspective. When we learn to be grateful, our perspective changes. Scout’s honor. It reminds us that we already live an abundant life and that what we have is enough.
- It helps make you a happier person. When you start becoming grateful for your life, you feel happier about your circumstances. When you’re happy, your prospects, customers, and team members can feel that energy coming through thus spreading the cheerfulness like wildfire. I can tell you from experience that this is 100% true. I did a test with some team members. To some, I came in just incredibly joyful about life and within a couple of minutes of being there, the attitudes amongst them changed. I did the opposite with another set of team members, and you guessed it, the mood just went sour within minutes. I dare you to try it and let me know your results.
- It helps you become more adaptable. When you learn to practice gratitude daily, it starts to become a coping mechanism of sorts. Life will come after you, but when you know that what you have is real and you know your truth, the practice of gratitude helps to brush those Negative Nancy’s right off.
- It helps start relationships off right and it helps to deepen them. As we have talked about before, gratitude helps to keep your perspective and helps you to become a happier, more positive person. What prospect/customer/client wants to talk to someone that’s always negative and whose mindset is all off? No one. Those people are the human version of bug spray. Nobody wants to be the human version of bug spray. My Granny used to say this and this holds true here: “Darling, you will always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
How do I start my practice of gratitude?
When I first started this practice, I would write in my daily calendar right below the date just a couple of words of what I was grateful for that day. This eventually led to taking the time to write full sentences, speaking it out loud, writing it on my bathroom mirror, and even on occasion recording myself.
I would also constantly remind myself to say “Thank You” and be genuine about it to my team members and those who helped me during the day.
I hope that this has helped you gain some insight on to why being grateful should be a part of your day and how it helps your business.
If you’re STILL skeptical, I invite you to search for Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think , and his research on the topic. He did a study on the brain and what happens when we go from negative to neutral to positive and the effect it has on other people. Interesting stuff.
I hope that y’all have a good week. Start off this week with an attitude of gratitude!
As always, if you found some value in the post, please share. Show others how gratitude can help their lives all around.