These are good habits and fruitful ones. However, there are more ways that gratitude can make life easier if you are in a transition in your life.
It’s easy to be bitter or get depressed when a lay off has occurred or money is tight or your life is in crisis for any reason. Robert Frost once said: “The easiest way out is through.” In my opinion, there is no better way to ‘get through’ than to find the good you can be grateful for even in the bad.
When we scan our past work, past bosses, past triumphs, and past losses, we need to unhook from the negatives and find what we can be grateful for. So if somebody was cruel or unfair, thanks goodness! They taught you to persevere. Or they taught you how to speak up or they taught you that you belong in an environment where you are appreciated.
Give thanks for lessons learned.
Similarly, even the worst of scenarios can hold a gift inside of them. What skills did you gain? What resume nuggets can you add? What hard skill or soft skill learning did you take on?
None of these things can be taken away. They are yours to keep. Find gratitude for that.
Coming up in my professional life, there were certainly assignments I took on ‘just for the money’ that were not necessarily satisfying or life-affirming. Nonetheless, at the time, I got through them by being grateful for the income, certainly, but also for the tid-bits of industry knowledge they gave me. Thanks to the varied exposure, I can now carry on an intelligent business exchange in dozens of areas. Thank goodness for those less than ideal assignments.
Beyond pleasantries and etiquette is deep, deep gratitude. —Gratitude for the people who have shaped you along your way. Negative influences and positive, both call for gratitude. Whether they were grains of irritating sand polishing you into a pearl or they were fuel that rocketed you sky high, they have made you who are today.
Think of those that have influenced your career path. Think of those that believed in you when you did not believe in yourself. Think of the person who was selfless on your behalf and the one that was selfish and got you angry enough to learn how to stand up for yourself.
Whether it was a parent, co-worker, boss or stranger everyone has had a hand in your growth and for that, being truly grateful will reap its rewards. Being at peace with past relationships, keeps the new ones free from baggage. Appreciating those you crossed paths with makes for easy communication if you run into each other in other circles or find that you are to work together again.
Going deeper with your gratitude is not that selfless. It actually serves you very, very well.
So go forth and celebrate Thanksgiving. Rejoice at your holiday table and keep the gratitude going for a long, long time.
“Choose to see the world through grateful eyes. It will never look the same way again.” Doe Zantamata