Thursday, November 27, 2008

Transformational Gratitude

I'm a fan of gratitude. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let's revisit both old and new thinking about gratitude.

My "Old" Thinking.
It is not obsolete but it is old, at least in blog years. I have written before in Thanks, there is lots of agreement on Gratitude and Building Community: Thank you, as a way of leading, that gratitude is a great foundation element on which to build community. It is easy. It is effective. Why not express gratitude for the work of your colleagues. It will expand trust and opportunity. It is old thinking but, IMHO, still valid.

My "New" Discovery
Gratitude is transformational. Russel Bishop writes this past week on the Huffington Post that gratitude is a key to personal transformation. I'd like to share two of Bishop's thoughts and encourage you to read the full post.

Bishop writes, "given the stressful times in which we live and the apparent instability, unreliability, and fear wracked nature of our social and economic systems, it seems to me that the counterintuitive notion of Gratitude is needed right here, right now, for each and every one of us."

He goes on to write beautifully about the transformational force of gratitude.
Gratitude is a kind of seed that survives even the most devastating of circumstances, one that can germinate with the slightest amount of care. And when the gratitude seed germinates, the grateful typically experience an expansion of well being - emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

The seed typically sprouts in small ways, and yet the observant amongst us will notice that the tiniest sprout slowly grows into something more substantial. Gratitude is not just a seed, but also a form of nourishment that enables us to find our way out of difficult circumstances, to find choices that others might miss, and to craft an improved life experience.

This is a powerful sentiment for a simple concept.

Thanks for reading. Happy Thanksgiving, with gratitude.


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