Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Try a Little Tenderness!

As you go about your Thanksgiving holiday, I'm sure you're feeling grateful thoughts for everything important to you. It's good to be grateful! Gratitude is a light that can shine through the days you're feeling blue, the days you're feeling forsaken, or those times you feel you don't have enough of whatever. However, gratitude goes even further if you express it, especially if your gratitude target is a person. You may be glad that you have a wonderful teacher, or an efficient accountant, or a thoughtful assistant. But maybe, as time goes by, you take that person for granted; you may even allow negative thoughts to cloud over what a gift that person really is. Perhaps they came in late one day, or forgot an appointment, or acted grouchy one morning; that sort of thing seems to cling to our consciousness more so than the good things. It's probably out of some kind of primal defense mechanism -- our brain wants to protect us against bad things and feelings, so recalling those things first will allow us to react quickly to a possible repeat behavior. Now is a great time to recall, instead, all the good things, even the mundanely good things, people do for you every day. Maybe they simply come to work every day without fail, or maybe the teacher drew a smiley face on your child's homework. Give gratitude and you will surely get it back doubled. Tell your assistant that she's doing a great job -- pick something specific so she knows you're paying attention...Give your office cleaning person an unexpected raise....ask your postal worker what she's doing for the holidays. And smile when you do....for all you know it may be the only smile someone sees all day.

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