“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~ William Arthur Ward
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” ~ Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
“Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” ~ Gertrude Stein
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
Platitudes are overused, dull, trite remarks. How many of us are guilty of showing up at the Thanksgiving table and giving these out when it’s our turn to say things we are grateful for. Let’s commit to making this year different.
Gratitude is a feeling that is best expressed, which makes it an action verb. Refresh your life by refreshing your commitment to offering real gratitude to those you come in contact with this month.
Here are some powerful ways you can enthusiastically express authentic gratitude.
For the People You Love:
Let them know how much you appreciate them. Be specific. Don’t just say, “Thanks for all your help”, instead say, “Your encouragement gave me the courage to ask for that raise, so thank you for all your love and support”. Specificity is the difference between expressing a platitude or real gratitude.
Surprise them with something unexpected. Bring home flowers, have dinner made, or bring up a cup of coffee in bed. Do something that shows you are paying attention to what is important to them.
Show appreciation for their uniqueness. Complement their flaws and quirks. Often people are self-conscious about things they see as imperfections, so you can offer a different point of view by telling them why you really like that unique trait of theirs.
If someone you love is struggling, call them and offer your time and attention. Perhaps all they need is an ear, so offer to listen without judgement or advice.
Send a handwritten note expressing the things you are grateful for about that person. This shows how much they mean to you; you took the time to write a note and you took the time to detail and acknowledge the impact they’ve had in your life.
For People You Encounter at Work:
Give them a meaningful gift. Give them a flower for their desk because they are always brightening your day. Or bring them a cup of coffee because they are always so thoughtful you thought they deserved to be appreciated.
Tell their superior what a great job they are doing and what a contribution they are to the company.
Thank them for something specific; like always going the extra mile, or making the workplace a fun environment.
For the People Who Challenge You:
Thank them for offering you a different point of view. After all, it’s nice to broaden your experiences and knowledge.
Be fully present when you interact with them, instead of spending your time crafting your argument in your head.
Acknowledge that even though you two don’t agree, you appreciate interacting in a respectful way.
For the People You Encounter in Your Daily Life:
Give a big tip.
Give a note of thanks with your tip.
Say something nice when you encounter them. For example, instead of just saying thanks when you get your coffee, say, “I really appreciate the fact that you always smile when you give me my coffee. I wanted to let you know it brightens my day”.
Leave a great review, mentioning them specifically. Or let their boss know what a great job they do.
Gratitude is like love; the more you share it the better you yourself feel. See how many times a day you can actively express specific, personal acts of gratitude to everyone you encounter in your life.
This month commit to going deeper than platitudes by doing three acts of gratitude every day. Little actions have large consequences, so boldly go out there and light up someone’s life this Thanksgiving.