Why I am focusing on gratitude.
What you focus on is what you will get infecting your head. Your thoughts play back to what you feed them. So if you are going to spray them full of harmful and destructive stuff that you pull from social media, then that is what you will manifest inside of you. That’s what will influence you more than you think. You will reflect all of that outwards to others, and the next thing you know, you have turned into a nasty fecker with a crap-on attitude.
Don’t be that person with the attitude that it’s not you. It’s them.
I see it happen all the time. Friendly people from my school days, previous working environments, and friends from bygone times are spilling bile into the universe because they have the inside scoop. They know, without a doubt, because they read it in a tweet or in a post. Oh, how they have been wronged by this (insert whatever) group of people. It was their fault and not mine, and I have been wronged!!
It’s not fair. It is not my fault.
Let me tell you a secret. Life is not fair, and anyway, life is not an equal thing. You have not been lied to, and you have been fed nonsense to suit another cause. Because you are too fragile as a person, you have embraced that instead of looking inwards for understanding.
I used to look for blame. I still do, but I correct it when I feel it coming on. I shout back at it – with ferocity – I scream back inside, ”What the feck are YOU going to do to get past this pity party and make some difference to others?”
I was not always like this, and I had to learn to work with myself from the inside out. I am blessed to have worked with so many great leaders and mentors over the years, and I could tell many stories. But, one example set off my journey to understand others and get curious about how great leaders made a difference.
I worked with this exceptional manager early in my career who would always quietly push back to complaining people. It was a simple but effective technique, and it often felt like you were being mugged by a mind ninja.
She would quietly get inside your head.
She would quickly turn the tables by asking, ”So, I hear your complaint, but what do you want to do about it?’‘
I loved seeing people squirm when she threw that question back at them. I remember how she would make me feel when she played the question back at me when I was off on one. I would often have no answer, but one day I blurted out…
”Nothing, I don’t want to do anything about it. I just want to complain.’‘
She then proposed back to me that I should be feeling better now that I got the complaining out of my system and so would then ask what next?
At that point, I was totally disarmed, blank and open to anything.
She, Kathy Dooley, then asked if she could make a suggestion.
”Sure!!” I said. Despairingly.
”What are you grateful for?’‘
I had to ask for the question to be clarified. Kathy repeated the question and emphasised the word GRATEFUL, and I could hear the all caps in the way she subtly punched out the word. I got the question.
After a few moments of thought, I said, ”Family.’‘
The conversation unfolded, and Kathy forced me to explain my why…
I explained in jagged sentences that were carefully coached out of me. At that moment, my mood changed to a positive, my engagement level maxed out, and I was ready to make a difference to what had ailed me at that time.
Kathy was a phenomenal coach, leader and mentor, and I wish I would have taken the time to thank her for what she quietly taught me. I am so grateful for having worked with her, and I am so grateful that I know the power of gratitude.
I am so grateful for family, for friends and for colleagues.
I am grateful to be alive and I am grateful that I have learned to shift my mood by appreciating others…
…but why do I appreciate them?
The detail matters to the shift in mood.