gratitude

More Good Things (2 minute read)

The little boy in 3A couldn’t have been older than four. Dressed in suspenders and a collared shirt, the first class seat swallowed his miniature frame, making him look like a teeny CEO. 

He was smiling and as I shuffled by I heard him say, “Good things. Good things. More good things!” Judging by his first class window seat, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, that kiddo has clearly mastered this manifestation stuff!”

After a nearly 4 hour delay my fellow passengers would have probably liked to see the young lad manifest us an on-time departure, but he’ll get there folks, give him time.

As we taxied out for takeoff his little voice repeated in my ears, “Good things. Good things. More good things.” What struck me about what he said was his tone. One might assume a boy of his age would be asking for or demanding, “more good things”, but his tone suggested an attitude of appreciation.

He was grateful. 

Last week I got a call from a friend who coaches women’s soccer in the Ivy League. She’s a great coach, and her teams have been successful, I think, largely because she’s in constant search of that extra something. Anything she can gift her team that will benefit them this season and in the many seasons of their lives after college. 

“Bets, we’re in pre-season and I wondered if you could do a webinar for our team. The past few years we’ve covered every topic from leadership to grit to mental toughness to resilience. The one topic we’ve yet to dive into is gratitude. It’s not that our kids aren’t grateful - they are - I just think there’s something more to explore there.”

Handing over the creative reigns she allowed me to design a customized 45-minute webinar and “A Season of Gratitude” came into existence. Citing work from some of the leading gratitude researchers across the country, we talked about the ways in which gratitude is a choice, a skill, a matter of perspective, and a competitive advantage. We discussed how gratitude improves sleep quality and increases athletic performance, while at the same time decreasing stress and depression. 

We applied gratitude to adversity and one insightful comment after the next tumbled from the players as they practiced, collectively, the quality of being grateful. 

During our time together they reaffirmed for me that gratitude isn’t simply a choice, a skill, a matter of perspective or a competitive advantage. It’s a way of living. 

While sitting in the airport terminal I heard countless passengers bemoan the inconvenience and rage against circumstances they could not control. 

Yet as our delayed flight rose into the now sunset-soaked sky I couldn’t help but think,

“More good things”.

[Thank you for reading and continuing to share! If you'd like to create a 45-minute gratitude experience for your workplace or team, let's connect and make it happen!]
 

Gratitude, Perspective

Gratitude + Presence = ?

While driving my grandmother to her Silver Sneakers class at the YMCA she turned to me and said, “It’s a strange thing, this being 90.”

“How do you mean?” I asked.

“Your memory. You do things and then later you don’t remember them. It’s just, ‘poof’” as she made a tiny explosion with her hand.

For years I’ve watched as Grandma’s fading memory frustrated and angered her as she refused to accept the fact that she was aging. While I empathize with the fear she feels at being unable to remember, the silver lining in her evolution is that she’s been brought fully into the now. My Grandmother knows that she will soon forget what just happened, so she’s learning to live moment to moment.

Lately I’ve been researching gratitude and I’m finding more and more that a by-product of being grateful is being present. In order to appreciate something (gratitude) we have to be consciously aware of its existence in this moment (presence).

As we wind through the hills she whispers “Oh my…” and “That’s beautiful” and “Look at that!” with a smile that would convince you that she’d always seen the world this way.

Grandma lost her memory but found gratitude and presence, which have combined to gift her the experience of “joy”.

Before we lose anything, let’s take a moment to be grateful, get present, and experience some of the joy that exists in our life right now. Enjoy your day!