August 07, 2015
When we focus on strengths and practice gratitude, we see solutions and opportunities where before we saw problems and setbacks.
For some it is easy to make a gratitude list—perhaps it’s as simple as looking around the room or reflecting on those they admire. But can we name what inspires our gratitude? What set of circumstances stops you in your tracks and makes you say, even privately, “Thank you.”
Do we wait for something really huge to happen—a new job, a bigger house, a ‘better’ something—before we stop and give thanks? If so, what would it mean to move toward a state of constant gratitude?—to have a practice of appreciating all things. Rainy days, a smile, a curious bird at the window, fingernails, ice.
The strengths deliver a guide to this process. They provide us with a constant opportunity and reason to stop and see—truly see—evidence of our greatness in action. These are things that may seem small to us, but could be huge to others.
Even if we are already living in our strengths, over time we may get so used to the ‘way we are’ that we begin to take that ‘way’ for granted. Our worldview is as unique as our fingerprints, and because of that we have infinite potential to serve as teachers and models to others.
And, because our strengths are so much of how we view the world, we may forget that we have them at all! We may even think that everyone is like us! Imagine that. A world full of yous…
Perhaps this is a conversation about stopping and smelling the roses—your own roses—and taking a moment to be grateful for the unique and invaluable strengths that you, alone, possess.
Maybe you are a maximizer and are having an epic day of crossing things off the list, or maybe you are strong in ideation and your ‘outside-the-box’ thinking just saved the day—whatever the case, gratitude is an act of acknowledgement. How often are you thanking yourself and acknowledging the bigness of your gifts? The next time you find yourself in the zone, try taking a deep breath and feeling a little self-gratitude. It just might be contagious.