“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.” —John Wooden
A recent story on LinkedIn talks about a math teacher who wrote the following on her chalkboard:
When she turned to her class, the kids were snickering. She asked, “What’s so funny?” The students quickly noted that her first math fact was incorrect.
The teacher responded, “Sure, but I got 9 out of 10 problems right.” Her lesson that day was about far more than math. It was a lesson to prepare her students for the world, and that one mistake can outshine 9 successes.
Her message wasn’t that they should work harder and never make a mistake. It was to never let the negative get in the way of the positive and to never get discouraged—to have grit.
So how do we change our perspective and put more emphasis on the positive? One way is to give thanks.
Expressing gratitude for a colleague’s contribution, even the small things, is a great way to emphasize good work and harness strengths.
Studies show that simple acts of gratitude encourage feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression. Affirmations also build confidence and trust and are proven to increase performance and job satisfaction and improve culture as employees pay their gratitude forward.
It’s a good time of year to reflect on all that we are thankful for, but let’s not stop there. Let’s intentionally express our appreciation for those that positively impact our life and work each day.
In his book Thanks a Thousand, author A.J. Jacobs chronicles his effort to thank every single person who made his morning cup of coffee possible, which turns out to be hundreds of people around the world including farmers, chemists, presidents and artists.
Much like the folks behind Jacobs’ cup of coffee, sometimes in a business setting, the steady, consistent performers can get overlooked, simply because they are getting their work done. Stop and consider your supply chain of positive, and express thanks day in and day out for the large and small contributions.
As Coach Wooden said, let’s magnify our blessings today and every day.