Gratitude: Daily Appreciation of the Small Stuff
Writing a “what we’re thankful for” blog post around Thanksgiving can feel a bit predictable. But gratitude plays an immensely important role in both my personal and work life, and ‘tis the season to reflect on and express that.
A year ago, I wrote a blog post about how to be a servant leader. In it, I included my list of common characteristics of a servant leader. The first one on the list was being grateful. That’s because gratitude is such a crucial part of the servant leadership culture. When you recognize the positive things, you create a more productive, satisfying work environment.
How do you make gratitude part of your daily life?
I’m a big fan of Rachel Hollis, the New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker, and chief creative officer of The Hollis Company. Her perspective on gratitude and making it a daily practice is compelling. With the pace of life speeding up more and more, it’s too easy to forget to be grateful on a regular basis. A gratitude practice is required.
For me, the iOS app Calm’s gratitude series was helpful in setting up that practice, but it could be as simple as writing down what you’re grateful for every morning or evening.
Being grateful for more than the big things
In the “How to Change Your Life Today” episode of her podcast Rise, Rachel recommended focusing on the small things you’re grateful for, so you’re not running out of items or repeating the same things over and over. I used to focus on the big things, but when those big things aren’t quite as rosy as you’d like, it becomes hard to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Yet when I look at the smaller things—the beautiful cherry trees blooming in our yard in spring, good friends who show they care every day, a great article, cuddle time with my daughter, cooking in the kitchen with my husband, morning walks with my loyal dog—a daily gratitude practice isn’t hard at all.
Over the last 18 months, this practice has helped me process difficult situations and shift my mind and soul to a better place. It helps me recognize the positive.
So what am I grateful for today?
Today, I am grateful for things both big and small.
I’m grateful for how much progress I’ve seen this year, both in our business and our people. I watched many team members begin to hit their stride and flourish, which is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
I’m grateful for how we get to get up every day and do what we love for an amazing set of clients who truly support us and who have built real partnerships with us. I am grateful for their honest feedback and trust. I am grateful for the opportunity to problem-solve with these clients together. I’m also grateful for those who have given us a shot after we rebranded and added new services.
And of course, I’m grateful for our team. We respect each other, we’re open-minded, and we have fun in the process of building amazing campaigns. It is a blessing to work with a team like this. We feel connected even though we are not all in the same place. It’s not always easy, but our team figures out how to get through any challenge with a positive attitude. I’m also grateful for the team’s thirst for knowledge and their focus on their craft, no matter what the discipline.
I am lucky. We are lucky.
As we lead into this holiday season, I am grateful for all these things, and I’m also grateful for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and Happy Thanksgiving.