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Mindful Leadership

Empower Yourself with Gratitude

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For many people, gratitude will often come to mind during the holidays.  But, what happens once the holiday is over?  Often the beauty and deep meaning of that day is forgotten.  And that is unfortunate, for gratitude is empowering.

When we live with gratitude in our hearts and minds, moment by moment, or at least daily, it changes everything.  Gratitude is the realization the we are entitled to nothing at all.  In fact, gratitude acknowledges that everything we have is a gift and true good fortune.  Whether it be a loving partner, family, a rewarding job, a home, a pet who loves us, or the ability to walk, see, or hear, it is all a true blessing.

I don’t mean to imply, for a moment, that we have these things by chance.  We can certainly work hard to attain and maintain healthy relationships and good jobs, etc.  And, that is the aspect over which we have some control.  We can intend and work to have a healthy and positive attitude, and to behave in ways that enable us to be proud of our lives.  But, the outcome of our efforts are not within our control.  We can’t make someone love us and we can’t always get what we believe we professionally deserve.

Consequently, it serves us well to be grateful for everything we do have.  And when we are grateful, something incredible happens.  We unleash the most amazing internal power.  Our mood is quickly affected, how we relate to others greatly improves; everything seems to flow with much greater ease.  The outcome of intentional gratitude (which in time becomes automatic) is a deep and abiding joy.  A joy for no reason at all.

So, you may wish to try this for a week.  Everyday, upon rising, reflect on that for which you are grateful.  And at the end of the day, as you go to sleep, reflect on your day with gratitude.  Even if you are experiencing hardship on a given day, find whatever you can to express gratitude.  It may just be that you saw the beautiful Fall colours, or that someone smiled at you when you needed it, or the fact that you have a roof over your head and food to eat.  I don’t know of a strategy more potent than gratitude.  It truly unleashes a power from within that will change your life.

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