A Practice of Gratitude: Four Outcomes that May Surprise You

Notice the small moments

A post entitled Grateful Moments by Tabby Hinderaker of daily ARC Coaching caught our attention after we wrote Challenge: Gratitude in the Workplace.

On her blog, she shared her personal experience of implementing a gratitude practice. This involved publicly sharing, on social media for 45 days, at least one thing to be grateful for each day.

We reached out to Tabby and asked; “What surprised you the most about your 45 day practice?”

Below we’ve summarized her experiences.

1. Being grateful is easier than we might expect
Tabby wrote…“There were several little surprises along the way. Most days, I was joyfully surprised by how easy it was to identify something to post about.”

2. Gratitude lifts our spirits
Tabby recalled…“Some days, I really didn’t feel like posting at all and wished I hadn’t publicly committed to do it every day. But on those days, I really challenged myself to find something, anything, to post about and in almost all cases; my spirits were lifted after posting my blessing.

This experience appears to be backed up by research on gratitude.

3. People, not things are what matter in terms of gratitude
Tabby also discovered more about her connections with others; “Honestly, what surprised me the most was how many of my posts were about the people in my life. Until you really pay attention to it, sometimes it’s easy to miss the difference that others are making in your life – how they help you have fun, how they are supporting your growth, or how they help you feel better. It was overwhelming to step back at the end of the 45-days and see just how many people there were around me who were contributing to more joy in my life.”

4. Knowing one’s core values matter
Tabby says, “Now that I know what my core values are, I create my goals and priorities to align with them.
When I have multiple choices to consider (related to professional or personal goals and priorities), I hold those choices up to my core values before making my decision so I can create a better outcome. When I’m determining how to spend my time, I think about it in terms of how I can integrate my values into what I do. When I am living in congruence with my values, I am more confident, more joyful, and more receptive to the opportunities around me. It is easier for me to notice the blessings in my life and to express gratitude to the people in my life.”

Tabby concluded her thoughts with a reminder for all of us as we move through our busy lives, “When I’m going too fast or spending too much time on meaningless tasks, I don’t notice the small moments that bring meaning and joy to my day, such as the dabbled light through the leaves or the bright pinks and oranges dancing on the clouds in the sunset.  I miss the little things that other people do to make my day greater.”

We are thankful and inspired by Tabby’s experience and her honesty.  Do you find it  easy to be grateful each day?

PS: We had the opportunity to partner with Tabby last month as we hosted members of the Des Moines West Side Chamber.  (See photos from that event.) She works with clients to fine tune their personal or workplace leadership practices.

A Challenge: Gratitude in the Workplace

Link to Templeton Foundation

Source: The Templeton Foundation

The concept of gratitude came up in our  last post. Digging deeper into this notion, we discovered a survey that was completed by The John Templeton Foundation.

Gratitude is related to civility because the behavior of saying “thank you” is a small action that can lead to respect of others. When we are thankful, we take time to appreciate the value of others and we see the world as bigger than ourselves.

The Templeton Survey of 2,000 Americans, taken in 2012, revealed interesting findings about the place most of us spend a majority of our time, the workplace:

• People are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else
• 74% reported that they rarely express gratitude to their boss.
• 70% reported that they would feel better about themselves if their boss were more grateful.
• 81% reported that they would work harder if their boss was more appreciative.

What would happen if people first appreciated their boss or something that is good about their workplace?

Here’s a challenge for November: Make a list of 10 things that you appreciate about your boss or your workplace. The challenge is intended to determine for yourself if just appreciating things at work will make you feel or act differently.

In case you are wondering why you should bother, check out this article “Why Gratitude is Good?

The Wallace Centers of Iowa  is a non-profit organization with the mission of enriching community through sustainable food and civility initiatives. We teach civility as a foundational component to leadership and talent development.