Most religions and spiritual teachings emphasize that we should always remember to count our blessings. At this time of the year - and in this year especially - this is a particularly important message.
Regardless of your personal belief system; studies consistently confirm that those who take the time to express gratitude for their life are more likely to enjoy a satisfying life than those who are constantly focused on what's missing. I've seen genuine changes in clients' attitude once they started to take the time to track all that they for which to be grateful. Importantly, with their changes in perspective, many experienced new success in their career or personal life as well.
I don't know the reason behind this. But I do know that it's real.
When they're "shopping" for a coach, people will occasionally ask me if I am religious, and if so, exactly what religion. Others will start our conversation asking me if I've read the book, The Secret, and if so, did I believe in the messages of that book. I've had discussions with clients surrounding about Quantum Mechanics, and the Power of Self.
Without getting into my values and beliefs; I can say that when it's all said and done, I am certain that people invariably do better in their 3 key life aspects - personal / family, career, and finance - when they decide to set aside some time at the beginning and end of the day to express gratitude for the good stuff in their life. You can ascribe their success to whatever you choose and I'll accept it. It simply works.
If you're interested in trying it out (and it can't hurt can it?) I suggest you use a notebook to record 3 things each time (once in the AM before you get out of bed and once again in the PM before you put your head on the pillow). It's important to write them as opposed to simply thinking about them. Just like a business plan or an annual plan for your department is more effective when it's recorded and monitored; the same holds true for your statements about what makes you grateful each day. Write them down. This should not take you more than 2 or 3 minutes each time; most clients tell me it's more like a minute once they get into the routine.
After you've done it for 30 days, give yourself a reality check. Noodle about what was going on in your life before you started giving thanks for all those things that you care about; and compare how your life is going now. I'll bet it's better.
And finally, because you're taking the time to read our blogs at this time of the year; here's a little bonus: Click on the words Leadership Coach below my name for an interesting exercise developed years ago by Coachville, one of the earliest very successful coach academies in the US. To open the page, use the user name holistic and the password diamond.
John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.