Thanksgiving was a good time to reflect and to be thankful and one of the things I was grateful for this year, is the many indications that the global economy and global development outlook continues to recover.
What I am thankful for as well is the sheer fact that I have the luxury to buy my morning coffee every day at the same street vendor close to my office. Every morning , I smell the fresh brew of coffee and see people like myself in line, waiting in their suits and ties for the day to begin to tackle new challenges and embrace them in to opportunities.
On this given moment, I remind myself of the fact that more than 795 million people globally, live under the poverty line of less than a $1.90 a day and have no access to even clean water, sanitation, nutritious food and do not have the joy to smell Starbucks’ blond roast every morning. This is my daily reminder of giving thanks and understand that struggles to end poverty in all its forms everywhere is an everlasting and insurmountable problem that sometimes seems to big to solve. Ending poverty can be a lot and it is easily overwhelming to reminisce about the fact that mankind’s biggest challenges, cannot be just wiped out. They take time, resilience, gratitude and determination in order to be tackled and resolved.
But then, I take a step back and reflect on what it really means to count your blessing and reflect on the most important noun there is in business, global development, life and love: Progress.
Because more than all the gifts and monetary satisfactions we already have and the morning coffee we buy each day, it’s the hope (and sometimes, even the expectation) that things are going to get better that gives us the fuel to dare and the courage to leap. It is the progress of a mom teaching her child how to be kind, a scientist dreaming of his/her new discovery to cure HIV/AIDS, or the incremental advancement of a world based on civility and trust. I learned this year, that progress in my work and life, does not always mean reaching your goal fast and driving change and impact forward impatiently, just because you can’t wait for it to be done rather sooner than later. You want to get this [email protected]**@t done, you want to help and support those who can’t help themselves, but I realized that change is a steady process and we will still have 13 years of eager strive and push moving forward to make the planet more prosperous by 2030, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It all goes back to progress. It is the steady, sometimes slow and patient progress which helps us to turn Ideas into Action. I realized that being grateful also means to count your many blessings and simply realize that there is a human, and good hearted intent in everything we do.
Here are four ways to reflect on what being grateful means and how you can embrace those steps in your every day life
1. I’d Be Happy If . . .
Stop saying you would be happy if! Some people have a hard time being grateful for what they have.
They say, “I’d be happy if only I had [fill in the blank—a new car, an I Pad, amazing boyfriend, good hair, etc.].”
If we put restrictions or labels on what makes us happy, the happiness may never come. But when we are grateful, we invite happiness to come.
2. There Are Sad Consequences of Ingratitude
When people are not grateful they tend to complain, and that isn’t good for anyone. The universe hears when we complain, and believe me it does not like it. Something amazing about being grateful is that it’s in our control. We might not be able to make the varsity team or be elected Secretary General of the United Nations. We might not get asked out on dates or have the biggest muscles. But we can control whether we have a grateful attitude.
3. Appreciate your community
Build a community around the cause you are passionate about and appreciate them for who they are and what they do. Build a community of consensus, but also a community that challenges you every single day to think outside the box. I am thankful for the Global Storytelling for Global Development Community which keeps me on par and in check to never give up to stand up for the cause.
Challenge your community with thought-provoking ideas or action items but also teach them how to treat you and others.
Invite gratitude and manifestation in to your community and understand, that only united we can fight for our cause. Give thanks whenever you think you do not need to and you will realize, it will come a long way.
4. Take a Gratitude Challenge
We always talk about counting our blessings—let’s do it! Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for. Some might think that is too many. If that is the case, try this:
- Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
- Write 10 people who have died you are grateful for.
- Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
- Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
- Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
- Write 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
- Write 10 well wishes to people you do not know yet.
When we make a list like this, we discover that a list of 100 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things you ought to be thankful for each and every single day. Be the captain of your grateful soul and contribute to the greater good and it might just save you.
As seen on Claudia Koerbler_LinkedIn