What a great time to pause, breathe deeply and reflect on all there is to be grateful for!
Without using too many cliches or tired phrases, this is the time of year when we most think about the many things to appreciate in our lives:family, friends, clients, our health, abilities, opportunities, maybe even great leaders we work with!
It is the perfect time to ponder who helped get us to where we are, which manager gave me positive feedback right when I needed it most, who shares with us kind words or thoughts, who encourages us through tough times, who listens to our ranting and raving when we just can’t keep it in any longer, who is the first one to support us when we try new things or dream big!
As a leader in your own life and as a leader of others, how can you incorporate the notion of giving thanks into your daily routine throughout the year?
Giving thanks forces our brains to reflect on the positive surrounding us. It stimulates powerful thoughts and energy to help move us forward. Think about when you have had a great day at the office. What did you notice about other things in your life that day? Did they seem shiny and new as well? Did you give the benefit of the doubt when that driver pulled in front of you, refusing to harbor negative thoughts? Were you superwoman or superman at home leaping tall piles of laundry and preparing a four course meal because suddenly it all seemed possible?
Our brain often cannot distinguish between a real and an imagined thought. In the crazy chaos of everyday life, we get stretched so thin that we often only see the negative – what needs to be done differently, what is wrong with today, what is wrong with others… Find a way to trigger your brain to pause each day and consider what you are grateful for. Place a post it note strategically on your mirror so you will see it every morning. Put it in your task reminder on your computer. It does not matter what technique you use, just use one that works for you. You will be amazed at the amount of energy you can get from this simple process and the way your thinking can shift from why it can’t be done or here’s what wrong to how I will do it or here are some alternatives. As a leader, this attracts others to you while helping them to be more successful at the same time.
Spend five minutes every day reflecting on what excellence looks like to you, your team, your organization and highlight what is going well.Consider what strengths you can leverage, what assets you have that can be applied in new ways. Who is most helpful to you in being your best and how can you thank them? How can you surround yourself with more of the people and things that support you in achieving excellence? Getting clear on excellence and appreciating the steps towards it (your own and those of others) will bring clarity, focus and alignment to your life.
I am truly thankful this week and working to be more thankful all the time. It is a great feeling helping me get better, faster, and stronger with each passing day!