“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
In 1863, during the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln declared that the last Thursday of November should be designated as a day of Thanksgiving. He knew the importance of remaining thankful, even during arguably the worst crisis in American history.
Ever since, Americans have celebrated this cherished holiday with family and friends across the country. People gather in houses and restaurants for feasting, fellowship and football for this beloved American holiday.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it highlights the importance of gratitude. Life is short and we can easily get so wrapped up in our day-to-day activities that we forget to pause and reflect upon all the good things in life.
Study after study has shown that those who practice gratitude on a continual basis are some of the happiest people around. This does not mean that thankfulness always brings happiness, but ungratefulness surely won’t either! Adopting an attitude of gratitude is one of the best ways to get your mind in a positive state and that is always a wonderful habit to maintain.
Leaders should adopt an attitude of gratitude not just at Thanksgiving but throughout the entire year. When we continuously express thankfulness to our followers, they get a real sense of appreciation and most respond by striving to do more for you. Leaders should thank their people often and with sincerity.
True thankfulness must come from the heart and not out of insincere obligation. In other words, don’t treat thanking your employees like something else to cross off your daily schedule. Whenever an employee does something that positively impacts the team and/or the bottom line, let them know that you noticed it and are thankful for their efforts.
Don’t just limit your attitude of gratitude to the office. When your spouse or children do something that positively impacts your family, let them know how much you appreciate them. By practicing thankfulness at home with your loved ones, you will reinforce the habit and it will bring positive benefits in all aspects of your life.
As you gather with family and/or friends for Thanksgiving this year, tell each of them how much you appreciate them and what they mean to you. As John C. Maxwell points out, “Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up”.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!