A Lesson on Gratitude from an ATM
Watching this clip was the highlight of my week. Props and kudos to TD Ameritrade and their great example of demonstrating gratitude.
My favorite part is watching for the change in the customer’s facial expressions- It’s that moment when shock turns to awareness and the realization that something incredible is happening. Well done!
Hopefully my local bank is feeling the same sense of gratitude. ☺
Gratitude helps us gain perspective
Dedicating an entire month to celebrate gratitude and practice giving thanks seems like a bit much right?
Not according to the experts.
Numerous positive psychology studies have found that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel positive emotions and relish good experiences which improves all facets of our mental and physical health.
When we feel grateful, we acknowledge the goodness in our lives. We recognize that the source of goodness lies partially outside of ourselves. As a result, gratitude connects us to something larger than ourselves.
I came across this quote almost 20 years ago as I was living in Germany- “The deep roots of discouragement can never be found in a grateful heart.”
This quote rang true then and still rings true today. When we feel discouraged and overwhelmed, reminding ourselves of what is good or of the positive people around us, helps us shift our mindset from discouraged or depressed to one of gratitude.
Gratitude does not eliminate heartache and grief. Loss of loved ones, broken relationships and the heartbreaking events such as those in Paris last week all appropriately call for a time of grief and pain.
Gratitude helps us appreciate and honor each moment of every life while experiencing pain.
When we become thankful for every moment, regardless of the grief or pain we feel, we begin to understand peace.
What’s amazing is the transformational shift towards love that people find as they face grief and loss.
Even more amazing is being a bystander, watching as gratitude broadens perspectives and deepens appreciation for the beautiful and inspiring moments, however small or short those moments are in comparison.
Gratitude teaches us that things will not always go our way and assures us that no matter what we go through something good may be found within it.
We long to feel appreciated
Few of us are exempt from the deep longing to feel appreciated. We need confirmation that we are loved. We need to know that our day to day efforts to “be and do better” are understood by those close around us.
Mark Twain once said - “I can live for two months on a good compliment”
We can all relate to this. We feel great when we receive genuine gratitude from others. What this quote doesn’t say is that the giver of gratitude also basks in the joy of human connection.
With each genuine compliment given, an emotional trust is built and human bonds are strengthened.
Start the day by practicing gratitude
I’m the first to say, this is going to take some work for me- especially when facing adversity. I’m looking forward to making this a stronger point of focus each morning. Instead of dreading the alarm clock reminding me of the day’s meetings, I’m going to take a few quiet moments and reflect on the countless good people in my life.
Life can be about us and what we want, or we can devote ourselves to lives of gratitude, service and human connection. Even in tragedy, gratitude is possible.
“Gratitude opens the heart and unleashes the true power of human kindness. Gratitude silences egos and destroys the seeds of selfishness.” -anonymous