In his 12-month challenge to leaders from around the world, acclaimed author and coach Michael Bungay Stanier (“The Coaching Habit,” “The Advice Trap”) is presenting short weekly videos in what he calls “The Year of Living Brilliantly.”
Last week, Michael challenged participants to use one word to characterize their leadership and personal goals over the next 12 months.
I chose the word gratitude.
It may seem strange to select that word during a year in which we have experienced a polarizing election in the United States and have encountered a once-a-century pandemic that has killed more than 240,000 people in this country.
However, gratitude is more important right now than ever.
Gratitude helps us keep going, especially in challenging times.
When we express gratitude and feel gratitude, we are transported to a higher place emotionally, physically and psychologically.
Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the founders of the positive psychology movement, has commented on the motivating power of gratitude and the connection between gratitude and happiness.
During these troubling times gratitude can help keep us going.
It can help us as leaders in the workplace, as participants in significant personal relationships and as friends and relatives of people across the country and the world.
What are you doing each day to express gratitude? How are you feeling daily gratitude?
Make it your goal to pause several times each day to breathe deeply and feel gratitude for the good things in your life.
Then go out and express your gratitude for the wonderful relationships you have, doing it un person, by phone, email, text and Zoom.
Show your gratitude to your work colleagues, your direct reports, your managers, your vendors and your customers.
Show your gratitude to your spouses, your children, your relatives, your high school and college friends, your neighborhood friends, your sacred community friends, your sports buddies, your doctors and health care providers.
Find reasons each and every day to show that gratitude.
Gratitude will not and this pandemic. But gratitude will help us get through it.
Note: In last week’s blog post, I wrote about “Going Up to the Balcony.” My friend Michael Reuter quoted that blog post in his weekly Sunday blog, “Three-Minute Leadership,” which I greatly appreciate. Unbeknownst to me. that term was initially coined by the leadership author and teacher Ron Heifetz. in his book, Leadership Without Easy Answers.” I want to give Ron full credit for this important metaphorical concept.