Balance in business and in life is very important. Therefore, while this is a business-focused blog, I intend to cover topics of all areas of life as they relate to business and being a business owner. Part of maintaining balance and happiness in your life is through gratitude.
This topic is important with many high performance coaches, life coaches and motivational speakers. Two of our bi-weekly networking group members recently went to a Tony Robbins event (where they walked on fire!) and came back with this powerful topic of Gratitude.
Essentially gratitude is about putting everything into proper perspective. Your day may have been bad, but things could have been worse. Gratitude is not about minimizing your pain, fear, loss or troubles but about understanding and accepting what you have, and then moving forward in spite of it; look at the silver lining.
Gratitude is about putting things in perspective so that you can move beyond obstacles to lead a more productive and fulfilling life.
Gratitude has many different forms or ways to view it, including:
- Celebrating your achievements
- Appreciating others, being appreciated and feeling like you matter
- Being present when with others by giving them your full attention
Celebrate Your Achievements
Each day is a struggle for a bigger goal, but if you don’t stop to appreciate what you have achieved and accomplished you will just burn yourself out. If you always push forward without taking the time to stop and celebrate what you have done, you are not celebrating yourself or showing gratitude towards yourself.
This is a topic covered in-depth by Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Guy Kawasaki, Tony Schwartz and more.
Whatever else each of us derives from our work, there may be nothing more precious than the feeling that we truly matter — that we contribute unique value to the whole, and that we’re recognized for it.
The single highest driver of engagement, according to a worldwide study conducted by Towers Watson, is whether or not workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in their wellbeing. Less than 40 percent of workers felt so engaged.
Brendon Burchard is a strong advocate for being present and in the moment to ensure that you have a full life that is shared completely with others.
The greatest gift is to be present.
I don’t mean being half-present, but fully focused on the other person with your whole body and mind as if there was nobody else in the whole world. I’m sure we are all guilty of being half – or even quarter-present.
Carrying on a conversation without being fully present leaves the other people feeling unappreciated, unimportant and upset. By engaging fully and taking the time to appreciate your time with this person, you will not only engage them on a deeper level but also feel better.
How Can You Show Gratitude?
To address this, we answered these questions in two stages.
- What is stressing you out? What are you grateful for about it? (What is the silver lining?)
- What do you do in your daily life to show gratitude?
How do you show gratitude in your daily life? Or what could you do to show gratitude daily?
- Write in a gratitude journal – It helps put each day in perspective, even if the only things you can write are basic things, “I woke up”, “The sun is shining”, “It is a warm day”.
- Show affection – Let others know that you care by taking the time to be with them.
- Keep in mind the other point of view – Don’t make judgements about other people. They may be having a bad day and acting out of character when they cut you off in traffic or shove in front of you at line.
- Spend time with others – Have a ‘no electronics night’ where you spend the evening just playing board games, talking and spending time in the company of others. It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with. (This is my personal motto in life.)
- Don’t assume – Other people have things going on as well and may be dealing with personal problems or trauma that you know nothing about. Don’t assume you know their perspective or current frame of mind.
- Focus on the things you can control – You cannot control other people’s actions so don’t waste your energy or time trying. Focus on what you can control and have a more productive day.
- You are what you do – What you think, what you do, what you say are all a reflection of who you are. You become what you focus your time on so be sure to focus on the positive and what you are grateful for.
- Breathe, align, let go.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – Stop worrying about the little things when they are unimportant. Don’t wait for a traumatic life changing even to bring around this change either.