“Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say thank you to everyone you meet for everything they do for you.”
– Brian Tracy
We are well past Thanksgiving, a holiday that is not paid the reverence it should be. But that time of year should not be the only time of the year where we show gratitude and thankfulness. Seems like all the time should be a great opportunity for us to consider the issues of gratitude, thankfulness, and affirmations. Much like Thanksgiving, these subjects are undervalued and underrepresented everywhere today. Each of these needs to be brought to the forefront of our minds, actions, and implemented in all arenas of our lives. As is always the case, the subject of gratitude applies to interviewing and transcends across our lives.
Admittedly, when going through struggles it is difficult to demonstrate that attitude of gratitude consistently and sincerely. I find myself dealing with some issues now and it is incumbent upon me to find the ability to show gratitude. It is good for those around you, and it is good for you too. This falls into the subject of the last three articles I’ve written on mindfulness and contentment.
Gratitude has so many benefits both externally and internally. Have you considered them? Do you even invest time focused on this subject? If not, why not? Gratitude will make your job easier, make your personal life better, and improve your well-being.
So, let’s examine this issue and over the next several weeks we will look at affirmations and their use, the victim mentality, and its destructive effect on gratitude, and how do we improve our approach to create a more successful life.
Studies have shown that when we practice gratitude, we are more empathetic, sleep better, and strengthen our immune systems. Quite frankly, this is just the beginning of the comprehensive list of physical and psychological benefits from being grateful.
“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.”
– Robert Braathe
So why is gratitude on the decline? Gratitude and common decency seem to be in a very short supply in society today. Are they in short supply in your life too? I will address this more in future weeks but culturally as we have dived headfirst into the “me” mentality, with rampant self-absorption and epidemic narcissism, there is no need for pleasantries. We aren’t thankful for what we have because we always expect more. And much like a disease that is contagious, behaviors and beliefs have the same effect of poisoning those around them. (Remember this when you are interviewing too.)
My great concern is that gratitude is no longer a part of the lives of the new generation. They seem to believe that their blessings such as technology that is the stuff of science fiction, unparalleled wealth, unfathomable comforts and forms of communication, bountiful freedom, and opportunities unrivaled in human history—are owed to them. They see no need to be grateful; it makes no sense to them. They want to know what their next “prize” is.
So, have we held on to how we were raised in a simpler time, or held on to what we know is right or that we believe, or have we thrown it away because no one else is being nice? I want to encourage you to find it, strengthen it, and field it. Gratitude is for everyone’s benefit including yours. I write on this, teach on it, and try to live it all the time because it is powerful and right.
Several years ago, I wrote on “The Power of a Thank You” (https://andersoninvestigative.com/the-power-of-a-thank-you-using-soft-language-in-the-interview/) as directly related to interviewing and the power of a thank you in the interview room. Now I want to expand on that for consistency across all facets of our lives. That consistency builds credibility, and that credibility builds integrity, and frankly that is all you and I are taking out of this life. We also know from research that credibility and confidence are why over 60% of wrongdoers tell us the truth.
Benefits of showing gratitude:
The reason for showing gratitude should be for others, however in doing so you will reap a bountiful reward. I have written previously about reciprocity which works the same way. We shouldn’t do things with the intent of receiving things, but that is often the result. We need to have a giving spirit.
The benefits are immense to showing gratitude to others in all facets of our lives. Plus, it is the right thing to do. Gratitude makes other people more receptive to us, we know it builds trust with others. It builds credibility and responsiveness. These qualities are so important in every area of our lives and consistently deploying them, will result almost always in positive results.
I was always taught that showing gratitude was a good thing, but never knew of the personal benefits of doing so. Did you know that there are a huge number of health benefits for you when you show gratitude. With those health benefits will be psychological benefits and well-being issues. It works across our entire well-being.
Benefits associated with gratitude include better sleep, more exercise, reduced symptoms of physical pain, lower levels of inflammation, lower blood pressure, less headaches, lower respiratory infections, less gastrointestinal issues, healthier hearts, and a host of other things we associate with better health. The more you research them the more you find about these health benefits and there is a plethora of resources online to learn more about these subjects.
Psychologically we just feel better. Displaying gratitude improves your mood and disposition. It allows you to be more outwardly focused and recognize positives around you which results in improved emotions and thoughts. All of these contribute to you enjoying great satisfaction in multiple areas of your life.
Personal Social benefits of gratitude:
From an interviewing, audit, and investigation perspective this one is very important, but it is equally important to your family and friends. Displaying gratitude results in better communication because we must listen better to show it. When we listen and seek to understand, empathy often is the result. These qualities result in stronger interpersonal relationships which make us stand out and be more likeable. Our greater cooperation, communication, and care often receives the same in return and teams, families, friends work better together.
How do we display gratitude:
Let’s start simple, find “thank you” and start using it. I joke in my classes about how many of you are still waiting on your boss to say thank you. The response is shocking and disturbing…a huge number are and have been for a long time. Lesson for bosses: get out from behind your desk and self-importance and start saying thank you. Lesson for us: there aren’t enough thank you’s going around. In interviews say thank you a lot…..even for the smallest thing. It will pay you back.
How about being a better listener. We talk much better than we listen. Seek to understand, invest yourself in listening. Don’t be thinking and formulating what you intend to say next. Invest yourself in others and what they may be experiencing. Start caring. Identify and eliminate those narcissistic tendencies that are sneaking into your life and look outwardly for places to make a difference.
When it comes to maximizing our attitude of gratitude have you thought about whether you are handling this subject effectively or not? Or do you care about this enough (see a few weeks’ past blog on having passion)? Do you plan for opportunities and prepare to maximize gratitude? If not, why not?
Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom-tailor training to your specific needs. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the above issue of gratitude or any training need, please reach out. Additional issues pertaining to interviewing, auditing, and investigations can be found in other blogs and videos that we have produced and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.
If you have additional questions, comments, or have an interviewing topic you would like me to address, give me a shout. In the meantime, be well, stay safe out there, and find a way today to show gratitude. Be intentional!
Mark A. Anderson
Director of Training and Development
Anderson Investigative Associates, llc
114 Loucks Avenue
Scottdale, PA 15683