I once heard a story of a woman who was attending a motivational training seminar. After one of the sessions, she had a conversation with the trainer. She told him that she was very unhappy with her job. “How can I be positive,” she asked, “when I work in such a horrible atmosphere?” She went on to say her co-workers disliked her, she was greatly underpaid for her work skills, was unappreciated and could not think of a single thing she liked about her job. The trainer listened and responded, “Well, based on what you’re telling me, if I were your boss, I’d fire you. Anyone with an attitude like yours is a cancer in any organization.” He then proceeded to ask several very specific questions, “Do you have paid vacation time, 401K, Flex spending, health insurance, clean office space, well maintained equipment, climate contolled office?” To each question she responded,”Yes.” He then asked how she related to the other employees. She responded that she kept to herself as much as possible and rarely talked to them because they were snobish.
The trainer pointed out he believed she had a very good job, but because of ingratitude she was not able to see clearly and those around her were actually reacting to HER negativity. He challenged her to try an experiment. Over the next two weeks she was to greet her fellow employees with a smile and engage them in friendly conversation. He challenged her to say, “Thank you” for everything anyone did for her even the smallest thing like standing aside for her in the hallway. He asked her to make a list of the positive characteristics of her job. Then before work every morning she was to affirm,
“I appreciate that I work in a climate controlled office, I appreciate I have paid vacation, I appreciate I have health insurance,” and so one through the entire list. He said he would check back with her in two weeks.
Two weeks later he spoke with her, and to his delight it was as if she were a different person. To her surprise, the other employees were actually very friendly. Every morning she reminded herself of the things she really appreciated about her job. She realized she had fallen into a state of taking things for granted. Showing gratitude had literally changed her work experience. She had a new outlook, felt confident about her future and was happier than she had been in a long time.
My question for you is, “What are you taking for granted?” Look around. Are you sitting in a comfortable chair in a climate controlled room? Is there food in your cupboard? Do you sleep in a comfotable bed with nice warm blankets and soft sheets? Can you listen to the music you love or watch your favorite show? When was the last time you expressed appreciation for these things or do you just assume they will always be there? Take time every day to recognize the things that make your life so enjoyable.
Make a habit of expressing gratitude to those around you. When someone cooks a meal for you, cleans your clothes, provides you with food and shelter, or does anything to make your life more enjoyable, recognize it and let them know you appreciate them. One of the most enjoyable blessings to come from showing appreciation is others will go out of their way to help. We all crave appreciation. It is a prized and rare commodity that pays big dividends. The world loves appreciative people, so be generous in your appreciation. Develop an attitude of gartitude and see how your life will change. Gratitude is the MASTER KEY.
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