Every morning at (or near) 9:30AM everyone at the printing company I co-own huddles up for a few minutes to go over the various projects that are currently in play. We review things that are on hold, exchange information about progress we’ve made, and make sure we are all aware of the things we all need to be aware of.
This week I threw everyone a curveball by asking them to share one thing they are thankful for at each of these informal meetings. It’s amazing how quickly one’s mind goes completely blank when asked to fill in the “I’m thankful for” blank and I wonder if it’s because we think we are only supposed to be thankful for big, important things.
I think engaging in a posture of thankfulness is far more important than the specific things for which you are thankful. To rehearse gratitude weekly, daily, or hourly, is to put yourself into a mindset that accepts that you might not, in fact, be the center of the universe and challenges you to find something good in the midst of almost any situation.
While I was raking the ten trillion leaves that had overtaken my lawn – one of my least favorite activities each year – I forced myself to be thankful for the tools I had at hand to make the work easier. Raking leaves sucks, but it would have been worse without the rake and lawnmower I was using to speed the process and lessen the physical labor.
Instead of only being thankful for the big things like health or family or that big promotion, what if you chose to be thankful every single day for the silliest things? What might change about the way you see your work – and the broader world around you – if you were thankful for having that great Thai restaurant across the street from your office or the way a marker sounds as it goes squeaking across the white board that has helped you capture so many weird and wonderful ideas?
There are likely a host of big things for which you can be thankful, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the little things too.