7.18.12 - Today, one of my gratitude projects at work materialized. My idealistic attempt to create a culture of gratitude, where people can show how grateful they are for even the smallest things, had a chance to be tested today. My boss assigned me and a partner to lead a recognition team, where we had to think of new ways to recognize our teammates. So, we created a platform where they can thank their peers and leaders for whatever reasons by sending gratitude notes. I know they needed a little push to accept the idea. And sometimes, that’s all we really need. So they did, and I know it changed the way they looked at things. I can feel we made a difference. A positive change, no matter how little.
Early this year, I trained myself to be grateful for all blessings I receive, down to the most simple thing. I did this because I was such in a depressing state that even my sunshiny self couldn’t make me smile. I would sit and do nothing and just be catatonic just thinking about how miserable I was because I cared too much about what others thought. I was sad because despite my good intentions, other people seem to only see the bad side of it. It took a lot of my will and prayers and what’s left of my confidence, but I made myself decide that I will not stay that way. I have a blessed life and I have no right to wallow in misery just because some people think less of me. So I began to count my blessings, esp. those I normally ignore. Like, water on the faucet for example. It seems like a simple thing, but imagine if you had no water the morning you have a very special meeting? Most areas in Africa don’t even have faucets, much less water. Even the negative things that happen to me, I try to find good angles on them. It sounds naïve and unrealistic but I’ve come to realize that all situations good or bad, is really about a person’s perspective and how we react to it. A knife can either be used to cook or to kill. It is not good or bad on its own, it depends on the person using it. I still forget to be thankful sometimes when everything is going my way, but not as often. Now, I am more conscious of how blessed I am and I try my best make others feel that they are too.
I know some are not used to saying thank you either because they have high standards and nothing is ever enough.. or they are shy.. or they didn’t really think it was necessary to show gratitude.. some are just too busy to stop and take a moment to say thank you. We have different reasons, but because I’ve seen and felt the effect of receiving thank you notes, I knew it’ll make a difference, big or small.
Go ahead and try it. Be grateful for the little and big things in your life and see how it changes your perspective. J