Good Intentions (Part 4)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5 ESV). Happy New Year! I hope you have been following the suggestions for developing some good intentions in this next part of your journey. Today we come to the fourth suggestion: recapture the art of gratitude. I am convinced that People have lost the first, and arguably one of the most important, skill-sets they learn as human beings. Many have simply lost the truth concerning the undeniable power and politeness of “please and thank you.” It goes beyond politeness, really. I find that the most powerful and effective leaders are those not only cognizant of their support systems, but self-aware enough to give the people who helped them succeed a meaningful thank you. There is no such thing as a “self-made man.” Every success story started in someone’s garage, under the influence of someone’s leadership, propelled by a supportive community, or inspired by a passionate teacher or parent. This is not terribly difficult if we will simply be intentional. Let me remind you that recognition is not the same thing as gratitude. Gratitude is both an experience and an attitude. It is a way of looking at the world around you to see the parts greater than yourself that have helped make your dreams of success a reality. Learn the truth behind your own success. Map out several of your accomplishments and make a list of every person and circumstance that contributed to them. It not only reminds you of the great things that can come from less than desirable circumstances, but also brings back the people that, for better or worse, impacted your life to get you where you are today. Embed gratitude into your culture. Celebrate the present AND the past. Nostalgia is a way to be grateful for your past. Gratitude can have some surprising side effects too.  Gratitude can help block toxic emotions that get in the way of our long-term happiness. It also helps magnify the goodness in your life and decrease envy and depression by widening our scope of reality to interpret life events differently. Be the leader that inspires the next generation of success stories.  Take the time to ingrain gratitude into your home, your workplace, and the organizations you are a part of in the community. I guarantee that someone will be grateful that you...

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