I first learnt about the power of gratitude five years ago, when I used it to overcome grief. Since then, I have used gratitude as my “go to” emotion. It is the emotion that I default to when I can’t see anything positive in a situation or can’t think of another emotion to help me.
This week, I feel as though my gratitude cells have been working overtime to create possibility and positivity from events that challenged me. It has been a week in which we have experienced:
- Hail damage to two cars (golf ball sized hail during a Canberra summer!)
- A trip to hospital
- Someone we know also being taken to hospital
- A fire near Canberra, resulting in a number of places being evacuated, including my place of work.
When events challenge us, it can be (understandably) difficult to find something for which to be grateful. In my case, I didn’t think that getting caught up in events was going to serve me, so I decided to give gratitude my best shot. If I can find something to be grateful for, the events of the week become something that just is, rather than an issue to dwell on.
This is the gratitude list that I came up with:
- My colleagues were outside giving me a hand with my car before I had even told anyone that my car had been damaged. They rallied each other together and when I thanked them, they responded with a simple: “That’s what we do”. I had looked at my car and had no idea of what step to take first. Yet, my colleagues swung into action and before long, I had a car that was drive-able.
- The actions of my colleagues also helped my husband, who had his own hail damaged car to deal with.
- I have worked in organisations before where jumping to action wasn’t “what we do”. I am now working somewhere where helping each other is part of our culture.
- Both our cars are drive-able. Many weren’t.
- Neither of us was physically hurt by the hail.
- Our cars are insured.
- The hospital visit reinforced just how many people – family, friends, and colleagues – care about us.
- The hospital visit reminded me of the importance of taking care of ourselves.
- The person we know is out of hospital and doing well.
- When news of the fire came, my place of work put our people first. Our customers also put our people first.
- The fire looks to be coming under control.
What I found fascinating about my search for gratitude was that for every seemingly difficult event this week, there was at least one thing (and often more) for which to be grateful. If I had become caught up in the events of this week, I don’t think that I would have noticed these gratitude opportunities.
This led me to wondering…
How many opportunities for gratitude are missed simply because we attach our emotions to an event, create a story about it and then take action from those emotions and stories?
Points to Ponder…
- Where would gratitude be a useful addition to your way of being in life?
My passion lies in coaching people to become the most resourceful version of themselves, and helping new and upcoming leaders who may be struggling with everyday life as a leader. I believe that the ability to be whatever we want to be lies within each of us, and sometimes it is useful to have help in finding what and where that is.