Have you ever noticed how much of your day is spent tending to problems and fixing what’s broken?
Everything from car repairs to sick children to work issues surround you, thrashing for attention.
With so much competition from the problems and the broken things, the things that are going right scarcely have a chance to be noticed. That triage approach of dealing with the problems first works for most parts of your life, except for one: your relationships.
By the time you realize a relationship you thought was just fine needs attention, it can almost be too late. Certainly catching it late and making amends is better than not making any effort. But it’s better to be committed to regularly nurturing your relationships in order to shore up any that are weak and to keep the strong ones strong.
That’s where gratitude comes in. Showing gratitude, when expressed regularly to the people who are in your life, nurtures your relationships.
Show Gratitude: 3+1
It only takes a minute to show gratitude and express appreciation to the person who organized or led an important meeting at work or for a community group. Or to show gratitude and delight to a member of your household, just for being who he is. Or to give a few words of encouragement to your neighbor’s efforts to make her garden a beautiful spot for all to see.
Don’t stop there. After you’ve expressed your gratitude to three other people, take a minute to show gratitude for yourself. Pat yourself on the back for something you’ve done well, even if it’s how you handled yourself when you didn’t do something well.
By remembering to show gratitude to yourself, you keep your most important relationship strong too.
The 41¢ Memory Tip
Learning to take nothing for granted and valuing the contributions of others can help you lead a life rich in relationships. So, how do you remember to show gratitude consistently?
Mike Goss, the founder of “41 Cent Leadership,” suggests placing a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny (41 cents) in your pocket. Each time you tap into your gratitude and express appreciation, delight, encouragement or affirmation, transfer a coin from one pocket to another.
By regularly tapping into your own gratitude and expressing it to others, you strengthen your relationships with them. It’s not enough to profess to care about others, you have to take time to tell them in specific ways so they know you notice their strengths, their efforts and their accomplishments.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Gratitude helps you stay committed to your relationships. Expressing your gratitude shows how much you value others, and yourself. Each day express your gratitude to three other people and then, express your gratitude to yourself.
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Where do you find gratitude and how do you express it? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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