Wednesday, October 22, 2014

If Only vs. Thank You

This post also appears on LinkedIn.

"Just say Thank You, Gilbert!" - What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Jeff Haden shared a piece he wrote for INC. His claim is that no one is rich and no one is happy. He asked people who most us would consider rich and possibly happy if they thought of themselves that way. None of them did. I have a suspicion that most of these people "forget their thank yous,” as my five-year-old daughter puts it.
Instead of looking for people who should be happy and rich, the people Jeff may wish to interview are people who are grateful. Gratitude reminds us of the good in our world. This is the good that surrounds us and the good we create – by choice.
What I noticed the people all had in common was that they were thinking about the next thing, or what they didn't have. I call this “If Only” syndrome. “If Only” are toxic words for the human spirit. "If Only" kills happiness by making us feel powerless and forced to make choices. Those aren't choices; they are self-blackmail.
“Thank You” to others, yourself and whatever higher power you may believe in is like a growth hormone for happiness. "Thank You" inspires us to do more good works and to help others. When we help others, we feel better and richer and happier. And so on until we’re not a nation on anti-depressants. "Thank You" makes the workplace and the world better. It even drives up employee engagement scores.
So here’s my request:
For five days, when you wake up, say “Thank You” for 3 things. Don’t think too hard – you’d be surprised how easy this is. The thank you can be directed at whomever or whatever you wish. Then, have your children do it. It changes your day.
I’ll start:
  1. Thank you for the amazing feeling of sun on my shoulders.
  2. Thank you for my healthy family.
  3. Thank you for time to do what I love.

Let me know how it goes. Respond here with some of your own gratitude or on twitter with #thankyoufor.
Thank you for reading.

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