If retailers can have “Black Friday” anytime they want, then I can have Thanksgiving anytime I want. Right?
Well, I’m not here for the turkey. Being thankful is something that we should all practice continually. Like, every single day. Aside from the personal benefits that being grateful can have, there are some pretty amazing leadership implications.
In one of my previous posts, I talked about the Principle of Progress and the Principle of Morale, both of which talk about the importance of celebrating success. Did you know, that one of the simplest ways to celebrate someone is to say, “Thank you”? That expression of gratitude can carry with it acknowledgement of value added, affirmation of a job well done, and a relational deposit that is real. This is what great leaders do. They build people up, affirm them, and connect in very real ways.
Gratitude does not only need to be expressed to or about people. Being thankful for circumstances in your life can alter your perception of them in a very powerful way. I heard Aubrey Marcus say something on the Tim Ferriss Show the other day. It was something along the lines of ~”Once you can see how the hardships of your life can add value to others, you can be grateful for them rather than resentful.” This is not a direct quote, I am paraphrasing from memory. The reality is that everything that you have done, encountered, accomplished, failed at, won, lost, experienced, or passed up has led you to where you are right now. If you add value to others in any way, you can be thankful for your journey because it shaped you to help in the way you do. If you feel like you don’t add any value to anyone, or maybe you feel “unqualified” to help others, then you just need to look a little harder and become thankful for who you are. Everyone has something to offer humanity, even if it is just an example of what not to do. I know that sounds harsh, but take the following example:
Frank Abagnale Jr, the subject of the movie “Catch Me If You Can”, was a criminal that committed innumerable counts of fraud and spent several years of his life in prisons. He could have had a hard time working legitimately if he had tried to push his past under the rug and hide his failure. Instead, he decided to share his methods with banks in order to help them protect themselves from the very kinds of fraud that he once committed. He turned his negative past around and started using it to add value to others and now has a successful security consulting firm.
I am growing to become more grateful of my past and current circumstances and it is helping me to see how I can use my experience to make a difference in the lives of others.
How about you?