We recently started an exercise at our clinic called “Gratitude Exercises”, in which we start a meeting and go around the room and everyone must share one thing or person they are thankful for. It all started with listening to Rachel Cruze on a radio show one day where she recommended it. The huge impact of this exercise is that it is difficult to be hateful when you are grateful. We also asked people to start a Gratitude List on their phone or a piece of paper, but somewhere in which it is easily accessible, so that the next time emotions or a devastating day occurs, we can reach for the list and be reminded of the many blessings we can be thankful for rather than focus on the unkind act, or negative event for the day. We all need personal reminders of the many awesome things we have or possess, the great family and friends that surround us, or the inspiring brightly lit life path we are traveling down.
Beyond inspiring gratitude around us each day, we all must also inspire optimism. Did you know that 31% of your people at work are an optimist but don’t show it? We live in a world today where leadership at work, leadership in media, leadership in academia and government don’t have the right skill set to lead with a sincere authentic passion and optimism. Especially leadership in media! And it is leadership’s job to lead through action that gives that 31 % of our people the permission to be optimistic in their own personal way and capacity. It is our duty to empower them to help them feel like they can show their eternal and internal built-in optimism so that those individuals can create a ripple effect throughout our places of work. That ripple effect or butterfly effect will flow through the person next to them, the person next to them, and the person next to them.
And to “give that permission” to be optimistic and show it, simply can be initiated through a random thank you card for who they are, or a few conversations on how awesome they are as a person and we are thankful they are there. All we have to simply do is intentionally focus on this process and let your 31% of your optimistic people know they can unleash their optimistic power within to begin your next ripple effect. Gratitude is a powerfully explosive value and as people, we must show it through words and actions. Remember, more is caught than is taught, so start today. Show your gratitude today through an action each day. Start your gratitude list today. And at your next meeting, ask your people to tell those gathered one thing they are each thankful for!
In a world full of hate, we need real change, and it starts with each individual. It’s hard to be hateful when one is grateful!