Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Self-esteem Series (2 of 13) Living in an “Attitude of Gratitude”

The following 9 Principles are a process in which an individual grows toward his potential.  This process is most difficult at the beginning, because this is a process of self-awareness and self-awareness means taking a good long, hard, and honest look at one’s self.  Only when the individual understands and accepts who he or she is, can they begin the work to heal pain, change self-defeating beliefs, and stop destructive behaviors.

#1  Living in an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Most of the world walks through life like the walking dead.  For most of us, life is a task to be gotten through instead of an adventure that gets to be lived.   We take for granted all the things that make life special – the things which give it meaning and purpose.  We take for granted the blessings and miracles that surround us each and every moment of every day.  We become complacent in our own humanity.

The world is full of misery, ugliness, chaos, and din and we’re quick to see those – we’re quick to see the horrors because we’re always on the lookout for them – we don’t want to be blindsided – we don’t want to be caught off guard.  Our whole society is geared to be on the lookout for negativity, misery.  Just turn on any news show:  “…school bus roles off cliff.  Film at 11…”  “…Man walk into supermarket and shoots six.  Film at 11…” and everyone is quick to flock around.  I guarantee you’ll never here: “…so and so signed onto an e-learning program about self-esteem today in an effort to enhance their life.  Film at 11…”  No one cares; it’s not “juicy” enough.  You would think tragedy is addictive.

But the world is also filled with beauty, wonder, majesty, and awe – gifts which we never notice because we’re too busy looking for the negatives, and we will find in this life whatever it is we’re looking for.

Some things can only be seen once you believe in them – once you look for them.  If you’re looking for the horror you’ll find it – it’s there.  But if you’re looking for the majesty life has to offer you’ll find that – it’s also there.

The glass is half empty.  The glass is half full.  Which is right?  Well, they’re both right.  But if you’re looking at the world through the eyes of the glass is half empty, you’re looking at the world through eyes of negativity, lack, never enough, dissatisfaction.  If you’re looking at the world through the eyes of the glass is half full, you’re looking at the world through the eyes of possibilities, positivity, abundance.

Depending on which view point you chose, but you will have two distinctly different lives.

To be able to recognize and appreciate the blessings and miracles surrounding us – to be grateful for what others take for granted – this is the essence of living in an “Attitude of Gratitude.”  It’s impossible to be grateful and resentful at the same time – grateful and hateful – grateful and jealous– grateful and depressed – grateful and afraid – grateful and angry – grateful and ashamed – grateful and arrogant.  Gratitude instills humility, humanity.

Most of us never appreciate those things precious to us until we lose them – only then do we realize their importance – only then do we appreciate them – only then do we want them back and are willing to do anything – pay any price to reclaim them.   But unfortunately, it’s all too often too late. When you’ve been behind bars long enough, just the feel of sunshine on your bare back is awesome – the feel of grass between your toes will bring tears to your eyes.

Let’s pretend for a second – let’s play make-believe.  Just imagine: what it would be like to be in a place where you can’t help but recognize and take joy in the beauty surrounding you – to marvel at the wonders of life – to humbly bow before the majesty of your own existence – to look for what there is to celebrate in this moment and every moment.  Now, imagine that you can do all this without having to lose anything, let alone everything – now wouldn’t that be priceless?  What would you be willing to give for that?  How about a little of your time – a little of your effort?

But how does a person change, maybe a lifetime of, looking at the world through the eyes of “the glass is half empty?”  To begin with, this person will have to “learn” how to see the beauty – the positives.  If you stop to think about this statement, it’s tragic.  That an individual would actually have to “learn” how to see the miracles that surround them every moment of every day is a good indication of how sad our society has become.

Write a list of fifty things you are grateful for today.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Fifty?  Are you out of you’re flippin’ mind?”

If this is you’re reaction, what does it tell you?  How difficult is it for you to put things you are grateful for on your list?  Now ask yourself why is it so difficult?

What if the “Big One” hit – earthquake, hurricane, flood, or fire?  What if someone very close to you was in an accident and hanging onto life by a thread?  What would you be grateful for to have returned to you – Health?  People?  Home?  Love?  Liberty?  Security?  What have you taken for granted?

The Gratitude List is a powerful tool to help a person “learn” how to see the positives in this world.  In the beginning, you will find it difficult.  But if you continue, you will begin to see things you’ve probably walked by every day and just never noticed.

Another powerful experience is to volunteer at a homeless shelter.  I guarantee when you plop a ladle of “goop” on a metal tray and some child looks up at you and says, “Thank you,” it puts a lot of things in perspective (the average age of the homeless in America today is nine).

NOTE: Manager Development Services’ Blog is intended to educate and give “food for thought” that will enhance a person’s personal and professional lives.  You can find our Self-esteem Series in either our text or  our e-learning course titled, “Becoming Master of Your Destiny.”

– excerpt from “Becoming Master of Your Destiny”


July 7, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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