Picture it: Colorado, 2012.
After delivering one of my first career workshops for my new business, I was driving the long and usually kinda boring, 2-hour commute back to Denver. However, that day, I felt electric. The workshop went very well, the career women were engaged and I felt this wave of happiness.
“Thank you for being a friend… travel down the road and back again.” What starts out as a hum, soon breaks into full-blown car karaoke of just the first verse (since I don’t know the rest of it. C’mon, does anyone?)
Each time I sing the words, I think of my good friends and family who supported my crazy (but not so crazy) leap into entrepreneurship from stable and lucrative corporate. I was feeling so grateful; I thought, “I need to share this feeling with them.”
So, I break out my trusty iPhone and record voice memos of me singing my heart out to The Golden Girls theme song along with a personalized voice message of thanks to each of my friends.
Gratitude Lesson #1: Tell your loved ones that you are grateful for them.
Whether it’s Dorothy saying, “Love you, Ma” or just the ladies supporting one another’s crazy schemes, show you care through your words and your actions.
Gratitude Lesson #2: Give without expecting anything in return.
The second part of the story above is that after I hit send on each of the voice memo notes, I was expecting to hear back from my friends.
But all I got were crickets. [Quite literally, I was in the middle of nowhere.]
I asked myself “was this so corny that they don’t want to respond?” Self-doubt rolled in and the natural high from the workshop started to dwindle.
Finally I thought, “Does it matter? The point was for me to share my joy and gratitude with them. I did and it felt great.” So, I kept on humming.
About an hour later, I started getting texts and emails saying they loved it and me. It turns out that my cell reception was poor and delayed the messages.
Gratitude Lesson #3: Get Grateful Everyday.
Just as the Golden Girls would get together each episode and recap their day over cheesecake, it’s important to bring a daily practice of gratitude into your life each day.
Try this: Once a day, write down in your journal 3 things that you are grateful for at that moment.
For me, some days my gratitudes are deep and meaningful. (I.e., “I’m grateful for my parents’ health and that they are still with me.”)
Other days, they can be light and silly. (“I’m so glad that Carlton won on DWTS last night!”)
The point is to make gratitude a consistent part of your day so that joy, happiness and peace become a natural part of your life.
I’d love to hear from you. How have you incorporated gratitude into your life? Comment below!