It’s been cold here in Seattle lately; colder than usual. But my home is heated, my office is heated and so is my car. I’m very grateful for this presence of warmth. When I stop to really feel gratitude for heat, friends, love, fabulous food, kindness from strangers, babies, bao-zhong tea, family, beauty, cool technology, spiritual guidance, the ability to think, feel and move freely, financial resources, flannel sheets, silk sheets, flowers, and…..the list goes on… something remarkable happens. I feel fuller, more expansive.
This often spills out spontaneously as generosity. I might reach out to help the woman who is in too much pain to get out of her car easily, smile at strangers, buy a treat for my husband, forgive a friend for something that hurt me, think about a “just so” gift for a family member, give a little extra to the people I work with, bring tenderness to the flaws and fixations in myself and others, accept an inconvenience without resentment, joke with the young man who is nervously waiting in the Doctor’s office with me, offer an extended thank you for great service, bring a warm gaze to someone who is struggling, or a hug or kiss to the family member or friend who I just want to hug or kiss!
With an attitude of gratitude, you could expect to have a more positive, even joyful frame of mind. It is this energizing and uplifting feeling that often leads to generosity. When you respond to others with a full, generous spirit, you’ll do your part in creating a positive environment of goodwill. This will benefit any kind of relationship, whether it’s at work or home.
Consider cultivating gratitude and generosity in all areas of life. Don’t assume for example, that you’re really all that different at work vs. at home. You’re you wherever you go, even when the environment and circumstances change.
1. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for, at home, at work and everywhere else. Add 2 or 3 items each day. Be sure to include both large and small things.
2. Review your list every week or two. Find out for yourself if you feel more full. Are you more energized? Joyful?
3. Pay attention to feelings of generosity and respond to them when they arise. Look for simple ways to be generous in ways that cost you very little. Generosity doesn’t have to be spectacular.
4. Notice how you feel about the world you live in when you’re more generous. Are your relationships smoother? Do more creative ideas bubble up?
5. Take note of how gratitude and generosity can affect your performance at work. Are you creating a better workplace for others?
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