What’s Gratitude Got To Do With It?

gratitude is a chosen response

It’s easy to become a bit confused when the the subject of Gratitude finds it way into the conversation about empowering the creative and innovative talents of  company employees and teams. After all, whats gratitude got to do with business anyways? If you find yourself in the confused camp welcome aboard, you’re rubbing shoulders with a large group.

Can you be grateful for everything?  “No not for everything, but in every moment.” David Steindl-Rast

Many years I heard a story about a women who suffered a series of terrible tragedies and as a result found herself homeless and alone. Many of those who learned of her plight took it upon themselves to donate food and other items to help her out, some people even went to meet her in person and offer a warm hand and it was this group that noticed something unusual about the woman. The woman had a peaceful smile that belied her situation. Why are you not crying and moaning for the loss of your home and family? They asked.  It’s true I have lost much and my heart is broken yet I am also filled with the joy of gratitude she responded.

The story is quite long and follows the ups and downs of the well-wishers becoming angry at her lack of outward pain but finally concludes with their understanding that her gratitude was a chosen response she carried side by side with the pain of her tragedy. Gratitude she explained is something we choose to experience moment to moment.

I’m sharing this story to illuminate how we often color our outlook on the ideas of another with our preconceived assumptions. We may think someone in our creative-innovation group is too old, too stupid, to this or too that and as a result we stop listening to their thoughts and ideas even before they begin speaking.

Bringing Active Gratitude into each moment of our day will create a buffer against our preconceived assumptions bubbling below the surface of our minds. Actively reminding ourselves of what we are grateful for in our lives short circuits our egos need for control. And yes this is a good thing. 🙂 

Dialogue empathizes residing in the moment through the practice of mindfulness, and actively embracing gratitude within each moment strengthens your mindfulness practice. Now there is even some evidence that integrating gratitude into your daily life is good for your brain, in a recent article How Expressing Gratitude Might Change Your Brain  Christian Jarrett shares some thoughts and results I think you’ll find interesting and exciting.

Nurture Gratitude – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;>

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