At the weekend, I was lucky to be part of the first pop-up boutique event organised by Amsterdam Small Business Network (http://www.020sbn.nl/ ).
This group is full of amazing small business owners and the positive attitude among everyone at the weekend was truly inspiring and it got me thinking.
Here is a group of like minded people who know the difficulties of starting and running a business and despite the hard work, long hours and juggling various commitments, everyone appeared positive, happy and thankful for the opportunity of working for themselves,
So how can we all sustain this positive attitude?
Well, the practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the positive things we have, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: warm summer days, colourful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, the ability to read, nature, our health. What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Keep a gratitude journal in which you list you achievements, no matter how small along with things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a positive way.
- Make a game of finding the positive side to a challenging situation.
- When you feel like complaining, find something to be thankful for instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
- Try smiling, it is amazing how just a smile can make you feel more positive and it’s infectious.
- Notice how this positive attitude is impacting your life.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be surprised to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
What do you feel grateful for today?