Gratitude is one of the single most important keys to happiness in life. Oftentimes, it is assumed that gratitude needs an object; for example, expressing gratitude for a meal or a specific person. However, an object is not necessary to express gratitude – we can feel gratitude for virtually anything! The opportunity to meet other people, explore the world, love others, and experience being alive warrants expressions of gratitude in and of itself.
Where we focus our attention directly influences our life experience, including how we respond to day-to-day occurrences and our overall happiness as human beings. Focusing on grievances and problems inevitably leads to unhappiness. On the other hand, when focusing on gratitude, we naturally expand our consciousness and allow ourselves to approach problems and grievances from a deeper perspective.
It is so important to find ways to express gratitude every single day. I personally keep a gratitude journal that I try to write in before going to sleep every night reflecting on what I am grateful for from that day. Expressing gratitude not only helps to ground you as an individual but also can help infuse your organization with goodwill toward others.
At Whole Foods Market, we used to end every meeting with appreciations, which remains an important part of the culture. From the executive level down to the store level, a Team Member can recognize and appreciate the actions of a fellow Team Member in front of the team. This is something I plan to continue with Love Life!. Genuine, authentic appreciations – small or large – are very powerful.
November marks National Gratitude Month, which is a timely moment to discuss the power of practicing gratitude. Practicing gratitude regularly (daily, not just for this month!) can make us more effective leaders and unlock the potential to experience life with much more happiness and joy. Who doesn’t want that, right?
If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on gratitude and appreciations, check out my book, Conscious Leadership.