I’m really excited for you

We’re really going to miss you around here

I wish you all the best.

Odds are most of us have heard these words at one point or another in our professional lives.  Question is: “Are they sincere?”  We have all talked on a regular basis about the currency of gratitude, its undeniable value is unsurpassed.  To quote Steve Feher:

The art in gratitude is in the expression.  Whether in words, deeds, gifts, or other non-tangible ways, we must practice the art of expressing our gratitude with credibility and sincerity.

Gratitude is an easy expression when sharing or celebrating good news, a referral converted into a great sale, a friend or referral partner becomes a client, a colleague celebrates a career milestone.  Gratitude is easy when its good news for everyone.  But what happens when the celebration is one sided, or when one party has decided that the business relationship is no longer mutually beneficial.  Does the Green Goblin of Envy get in the way of true gratitude?  Truth is we live in a culture that preaches discontent.

I once worked for a sales organization that was so heavy with account ownership rules and regulations that when one of the salespeople made a great sale at least 1/3 of the salesforce immediately started digging for a loophole to steal the sale.

What about the well wishes when you leave a job or get a promotion.  Have you ever wondered if they are truly sincere?  Search within yourself, have you ever offered a less than sincere congratulations?

In our consumer culture gratitude isn’t profitable.  It’s very difficult to sell products to those that are truly happy with who they are.  So how can we find gratitude in a world that seeks to destroy it?

  1. Intentionally choose gratitude. It can’t be purchased, you can’t supersize gratitude at the check-out counter, you must choose it.
  2. Count your blessings, we all have great things in our lives, gratitude takes hold when we start to spend a quite moment each day reflecting on what we have to be grateful for.
  3. Stop focusing on what you don’t have. Always remember that it’s the ad agency’s job to make you think that their product is the key to happiness. Spend that quiet reflection time thinking about what truly makes you happy.  I guarantee none of these things can be purchased.
  4. Embrace humilityHumility is an essential ingredient in gratitude. A humble heart finds satisfaction in the gifts it already possesses and demands less from others and life. Remember that no matter what your accomplishments, your life contains no more inherent value than the person sitting next to you… no matter where you may be sitting.
  5. Open your eyes to those with less, half the world’s population lives on less that $2.50 cents per day. That’s just one staggering statistic, once we grasp just how fortunate we are, gratitude becomes a little easier.
  6. Find the silver lining in every cloud. This is the last critical step, none of us are without our trials and struggles, your perspective on this makes all the difference.  Forget the glass being ½ empty or full.  Find the silver lining in a job loss, or a loved one.  Master this and gratitude will find you.

Today I choose to celebrate with my friends and colleagues. And I will be happy for everyone’s success.