Gratitude, not platitudes

How has your week been? Has it been one in which you moved effortlessly through your task list? Have you had successful resolutions to your projects? Has your proposal been accepted? Or has it been a frustrating week? Has the ideal candidate to whom you offered the job turned you down for a better offer? Has your request for additional funding been rejected? Is your strategy just not coming together?

A friend of mine has had a dreadful week marked with family tragedy and yet when I saw her this morning, she said ‘even in the middle of all this, there is so much I am thankful for’. This challenged me and caused me to think about what I’m grateful for today.

When I spend time chewing over what went wrong during the day – the person who took ‘my’ space in the car park; the badly-written email which made me cross when I read it; the opportunity I missed to influence a situation – I just feel even more stressed and uptight. On the other hand, if I choose to dwell on that which is lovely and honourable, that which went well, that which was a surprise, or that which brought me peace, I feel much more relaxed and even happier.

I believe this applies to work just as much as to our lives. If I am thanked by a colleague for a piece of work I’ve done, I feel appreciated and positive about the contribution I make to the organisation. Undoubtedly, I then bring that attitude to the rest of my work and am more effective and productive: I guess that’s the case for most people. It seems then that it’s in our interests to practice gratitude with our colleagues.

However, if our gratitude is to be meaningful, it must be sincere and specific. ‘Great job’ has a ring of ‘have a nice day’ about it. ‘You’d obviously prepared well for that meeting: your questions were very perceptive and helped us get to the bottom of the problem’ shows the person you’re thanking that you noticed and appreciated what was actually done.

Thornton Wilder, an American novelist, said: ‘We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasure.’

I want to be conscious of my treasure so I’ll get the ball (or the pebble!) rolling:

  • I’m grateful that I work with a team who, even when we’re busy, make me laugh out loud on a daily basis;
  • I’m grateful that I have the privilege of seeing people I coach go on to be promoted and realise their potential;
  • I’m grateful that you’re here again, reading this.

Now it’s your turn.

Today’s pebble: what are you grateful for today?

Let me know,


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?



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4 Responses to Gratitude, not platitudes

  1. K H says:

    I’m grateful for warm and friendly colleagues who miss me when I’m not around
    I’m grateful for work that allows me to spend some time in the sunshine
    I’m grateful to have work and be able to earn a living
    And I’m grateful for this opportunity to remember some of the things I’m grateful for.
    Thank you

  2. Roger Martini says:

    I’m grateful for a wonderful person to share a beautiful, sunny weekend with.
    I’m grateful for family.
    I’m grateful for purpose.
    I’m grateful for my destiny.

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