Do you enjoy riding? On a horseback, a bus, or a plane? Today, I want you to ride with me as I take you somewhere you’ve been. It is going to be a free ride. Get ready, close your eyes, and be on board now on a time machine. Let’s zoom out! Our first stop would be your early childhood years, when you were around four to nine years old. What do you remember? Focus on the happy memories you have, and hold on to those memories.
Do you recall your happiest times then? What was the first gift you received, as far as you could remember? What about your after class games? Surely, you played under the sun, and so you would go home catching your breath, sweating with dirt all over your face, and if you must hide you couldn’t lie. Now during these years, do you see someone in particular? Who is that significant person for you then? Now open your eyes as I take you back to the present time.
Did you have a great time with the ride? Well, I hope you did! If I were to ask you, each of you would have a different story to tell. When we were young, we were helpless! If not because of those significant persons who were there for us we could not have been here. These significant persons in our lives may be our parents, grandparents, or our guardians. For all their sleepless nights keeping an eye on us when we were sick, did we ever say any word of thanks to them? Perhaps many if not all of us have expressed our gratitude in various ways! Well, actions speak louder than words, but words have power. They can bring people together and connect everyone.
Now going back to our daily life at work, who are these people we have impact on? The persons we work with of course! I am sure you are thinking of your boss, your colleagues, your peers, your counterparts. Yes, you have impact to these people. But I would want you to consider those other people we see and meet everyday. You might not find them significant but yes, they are! When you arrive at your office/station everyday, do you notice your trash bins have been emptied and your area cleaned? Whom do you call when there is no more drinking water at the pantry or you need a tissue towel? Opps, you need to transfer a heavy baggage but you can’t carry it alone, so you call them. We might not have really come to think about how these people made our work easier and more convenient, and we might not have even said thankful words to them. Is it our practice to greet them too like saying, “Hey, good day! How are you?” Can you imagine a day without them? That would be a lot of mess, dirty pantry, and worse, you’ll carry your load all by yourself.
Isn’t it rewarding if we live in the space of gratitude? Oprah Winfrey says, “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.” Opportunities, relationships, even money can flow our way when we learn to be grateful with little things.
Doesn’t it give you a healthy feeling when you are grateful rather than complaining? Gratitude brings in more positive energy. It is a powerful motivator. Gratitude is an impetus for a whole new perspective.
You can start a thank you list that includes things too important to take for granted—like having a good breakfast, a genuine moment of laughter with a friend, that you didn’t get the flu, and for arriving home safely. These are some petty things we might have taken for granted. It is not easy being grateful all the time. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you.