By Dr. Todd Dewett, Andersen Alumnus, author, and speaker
Everyone agrees it’s a lovely concept. We should all be grateful, right? But what does it mean to be grateful how do you show that you are grateful? It means feeling thankful and fully appreciative. In practice, people just say it, but is that enough?
I believe that actions speak louder than words. Ideally, if you’re grateful, there should be a behavioral component. For the concept to have value, it should affect how you interact with the world. Stop thinking about it as a state of mind and think of it instead as a practice – a way of expressing thankfulness.
Sure, start with counting your blessings and being thankful, but then get active. Think in terms of saying, showing, and creating.
If you feel grateful, say so. Tell the person responsible, share it with a friend, blog about it, post it on social, consider bringing it up on occasion at the team meaning. To say it out loud makes it real and might impact others as well.
If you feel grateful, show it. The concept suggests a person who is willing and able to help others. So, be kind, be supportive, and be helpful. Others are not always feeling so lucky, so give them a hand. You never know the true impact of one small act of kindness.
Finally, if you feel grateful, create the feeling in others. Help them build perspective and increase the chance they see the glass half full. Share your view of one blessing they clearly possess. Remind them how lucky they are to have a certain thing. Be kind and subtle, never heavy handed. Sometimes they only need a small nudge in the right mental direction.
To feel grateful is special. To share it with others is even more beautiful. To help remind others they too have things for which they should be grateful is a true act of caring.