Question: There are way too many challenges and conflicts in my life – at work, at home – everywhere. How do I get past this mess?
Answer: Our perspective on the various challenges and conflicts that we encounter can make or break us. If we are unable to look for and find the opportunities in such situations we will most certainly feel a great deal of negativity. Of course no one intentionally wants to tap into negative energy. But how, in the face of what seems to be insurmountable odds do we make the choice to find the positive?
There is a way and it’s called gratitude. Being grateful for what we have can be a powerful force in our lives. In the midst of your consternation, stop for a moment and think about all the wonder and bounty that has been bestowed upon you. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, home, pets, vacations, material possessions, faith – the list is virtually infinite. Take this one step further and start a gratitude journal. Every day write down the things for which you are grateful for that day.
Here’s a tip on how to really find the power of gratitude that I have practiced for many years. Before I make a phone call – a sales call, or a general call – I purposefully spend a few seconds and think about something for which I am grateful. This generally brings a smile to my face and sets the tone for my call. I also do this before I go into a meeting. More often than not the result of my call or meeting is positive.
The expression of gratitude goes beyond thinking about that for which we are grateful. It also includes verbalizing these thoughts to others. When your coffee cup is re-filled in the restaurant do you thank your server? Do you say thank you every time someone does something for you? Besides common courtesy this also helps pave the path toward feeling gratitude on a daily basis. And by feeling grateful throughout each day you will find that your attitude will change – for the better – with respect to the issues and problems that you face. Gratitude will trigger a pivot in your perspective and enable you to see the mountain that you are trying to climb as an energizing exercise in creative problem-solving as opposed to a cliff over which you are about to fall.