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As part of our Weekly Happiness Challenge, we’re sometimes going to be focusing on one of the 12 Ways to Be Happy. This week we’re focusing on the gift that everyone likes to receive but we often forget to give, the first step of Thank.
Thank someone and be appreciative toward your colleagues, every single day.
When my mind goes to thankfulness, the word that surfaces for me is: Gratitude.
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Synonyms include: gratefulness, appreciation, indebtedness, recognition, acknowledgment, credit, and praise.
I believe gratitude exists in all of us. It is not something we need to create. We can simply let it be. And like ice cream, it is best shared. And it’s not just about saying “thank you” for something. It’s also about developing an attitude of gratitude. Which makes sense, since the whole idea of the Happy Melly Weekly Happiness Challenges came out of the idea of making happiness at work a habit. And we think being grateful is a wonderful habit to form.
Experimenting with being grateful
Mark Twain wrote: “I could live two months on a good compliment.” And I suspect he told only half the story. I wonder: Is there something for the bestower of thanks that emerges in the transfer process? An increased social bond? An expectation of reciprocity? Does the giver become taker?
That’s why for this week, Thursday September 22 through Thursday September 29, we are offering a new experiment in living with gratitude.
This week we dare you to take any possibility of reciprocity out of your giving of thanks. I can think of two possible ways to go about this. (If you have other variations on this idea, please share them in the comments at the end):
Option 1: Take yourself out of the equation. Each day this week, thank someone. Be appreciative. Express your gratitude. But add a twist: Give your thanks anonymously. If you’re in a physical office space, one great way to say thank you publicly is to start a Kudo Box or Wall, with anonymous and signed (it’s your choice)
Option 2: Recognize those people that present you with obstacles, with challenges, that push you to your limit and often to be a better person. Show your gratitude to them for the opportunity by trying to be more patient and compassionate towards them.
During the course of this experiment, keep a journal, take notes, make some chalk marks on the sidewalk. Or just add them to the comments below. Anything you like.