Tim Ferris’ recent blog entry got my interest. His statement “The Sky is Falling” captures our current economic environment and makes me think about being grateful. Strange? Not really.
An attitude of gratitude is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves especially in difficult times. It’s really a matter of focus. Being grateful immediately shifts our awareness towards bigger, more expansive, more positive horizons. When we ask for what we want and we do it from a stance of gratitude we line ourselves up with possibility and are much more likely to receive our answers quickly. In his powerful motivation training course, Tony Robbins advises students to start each day being grateful – because it helps set a positive tone for everything else.
When I was a child, I had an unusual experience. For no apparent reason I went to bed one night completely convinced that I was going to die in my sleep. I was absolutely sure this was going to happen. I wrote notes to my parents, left instructions on what to do with my things, cried a lot and finally fell asleep. Can you even imagine what it felt like to wake up the next morning?! Exquisite, blissful and miraculous don’t even begin to convey it! I knew I had been given a new life, a new opportunity.
Since then much of my perspective has been focused on gratitude. For the gift of my life, for starters! This has had a profoundly positive impact in my life: helping me be at the right place at the right time, opening doors of opportunity, helping me manage relationships. Being grateful has brought into my life amazing situations, environments, people and experiences. I know for a fact that being grateful has a profound impact in helping us succeed and living the life of our dreams.
So how do we stay grateful?
It isn’t easy to be grateful when we feel pressured, stressed or challenged. When I do Customer Service Training sessions this is always one of the biggies. It’s true that reps and companies need to be grateful for customer feedback because it’s hugely valuable. But this is easier said than done. When the customer is angry, it’s not easy to be grateful. It isn’t easy to stay present, authentic and caring when you feel you are being attacked. Yet, when a rep can say “thank you” and really mean it, the interaction suddenly shifts, angry egos are deflated, and real communication can truly begin. And since this is not the norm, the customer remembers. And this is a good thing — a very good thing.
We stay grateful by looking at the bigger picture.
We really have so much to be grateful for, so much we can celebrate. Being able to work and earn a living. Being able to impact the life of a customer, a relative, a vendor in a positive way. A bed to sleep on, our family, a fairly safe food supply chain, mentors, the privilege to be living on this beautiful planet, friends, the natural world that surrounds us, companionship, the ability to think, relate. The ability to learn, grow, improve, refine our perspective.
When we adopt the attitude of gratitude … and see our life from a grateful stance, we change our inner state for the better; we impact our world more positively. Whatever thoughts,ideas or initiatives come from this stance will be more constructive and uplifting. From this place of gratitude, whatever we seek and need begins to line up right in front of us.
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