I do not normally make any new year’s promises. The reason for that is that I set myself continuously different kinds, more or less important goals, but I don’t have any need to tie them with a specific year like 2013. The decision to reach a goal has to be connected also with something more than a time period – the willingness for a change and a positive attitude.
There are a lot of things and qualities that I would like to develop in myself and there are a lot of things that I would like to do better: I should sleep more, I would like to drink less coffee, eat more regularly, see my friends more often and many many other things. But there is one thing that has bothered me already for a long time: how often and how much we actually complain about some small, insignificant and marginal things in life instead of thinking something positive. Oh, the weather is so bad today! Why do I have to wake up this early…! I don’t want to go to the dentist! My knee hurts.. etc. Why don’t we instead turn the expression into a positive one e.g. Ok, the weather is not that good today, finally I have a good reason to stay at home and read the book that I haven’t have time to read yet..!
During my Christmas holiday I happened to read a book written by Rhonda Byrne: the Magic. And I found the magic word: gratitude. Her book is all about the power of gratitude in life. Gratitude is something that we should feel more often instead of putting so much energy on complaining.
The power of gratitude
Rhonda Byrne begins her book by telling about the happiness and excitement that we feel and experience as a child. We look at our lives with wonder and awe, our hearts are full of happiness and our imagination is endless. When we grow up why do all the negative things, problems and difficulties take so much space from that happiness? The problem is that we have forgotten to feel the gratitude. For some reason we do not see all those countless number of things we should be grateful for but instead we worry and complain about so many things. We tend to think negatively about many simple things…
“Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he or she will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he or she has will be taken from him or her.”
This is the famous phrase from the Gospel of Matthew with the word gratitude added in it.
So what Rhonda Byrne means with this phrase is that if we for example keep complaining about our health (I’m too fat, I always sick etc.) it does not help us to get better. Instead, by complaining also the remaining health could be taken from us. It makes sense. If we complain and feel negative, it might affect our immune system that doesn’t at least improve our health. So, we should be grateful for the health we have and try to get better, not by complaining but by concentrating on the solution, not on the problem.
I remember when I once visited a doctor, many many years ago, because I was stressed and could not sleep well. I had always slept well without any problems so the situation was kind of a new to me. But instead of giving me some medicine or sending me to further examination, she recommended me to start yoga and to eat more vitamins. And she was right, that helped. I realized that I had complained for nothing, but I felt so grateful for her great advice.
To mean what you say
Like Rhonda Byrnes states, being grateful means not only saying thank you. Only when we really understand why we say those words, we can feel the gratitude. We have to believe in those words and say them sincerely.
There are difficulties, unhappy situations and problems in some point of our lives, that cannot be denied. But it makes difference how we react in those situations. There are those who concentrate all their energy on negative thoughts – they talk about the difficulties all the time and their thoughts are filled with negative aspects. And then there are the ones who are aware of the problem but instead of talking all the time about it, they concentrate on its solution that for sure is not complaining.
If we think about the business life, there are many persons who maybe complain about their work or about their colleagues or are not satisfied with the compensation they get from their work efforts. They spend a lot of energy on these negative things instead of trying to do their job in the best possible way. And we should remember that to complain is not the same thing than to have a constructive discussion. If we do our work in the best possible way, we always learn something new and we should be grateful for that.
In the book The Magic, Rhonda Byrne not only tells about the gratitude and its positive effects but she also gives some exercises for 28 days that we could do to practice how we can reach the feeling of gratitude.
So, if you want to learn more about gratitude I can warmly recommend this book
More than two words?
I already mentioned earlier that it is not the same thing to say the words thank you than to say them and mean them. Thank you is a mighty expression also in the business life. It is an expression that gives us a feeling that we are appreciated and that we have done something right and well. Ron Thompson talks about the importance of thank you in his blog posting. Being polite and showing someone that you appreciate his or her work effort is important in business environment and a crucial part of good business relationship. To say thank you does not cost anything but it can have a huge effect on the relationship between the employee and the employer.
If an employee doesn’t ever get appreciation or thanks for his or her good work it can harm the business atmosphere remarkably and also decrease the employees willingness to do his or her work in the best possible way. And like Ron says it also makes difference to be more specific in your thanks and instead of simple thank you to say e.g. thank you for your help with the project.
My goal for the year 2013?
Like I said in the beginning I don’t want to make any promises only for the specific year 2013. But now in the beginning of this year I decided that every time I am about to complain about something, I will give it a second thought, and avoid complaining when it is possible. So, let’s see what happens. J
Have a great 2013! And thank you for reading my blog. :)