Your Soul Food for Thanksgiving & Universal Children’s Day Week 2017: The Power, Science and Wonder of Timeless, Universal Gratitude


This week:

To borrow from Yogi Berra, “many of us wake up on third base and think we hit a triple”!
These first two links remind us of the un-level playing field of life, and might positively reframe your gratitude index as you prepare to gobble gobble…

Are YOU Privileged?
Find out…

United Nations Universal Children’s Day:

United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Thanksgiving Insights for Conscious Leaders from Eric K:
Gratitude is recognized as one of twenty-four character strengths recognized all over the world throughout time…

Tis the season for giving thanks, gratitude is on my mind, toward you and especially in the realm of leading.

I’ve discovered that when I’m grateful I naturally focus on receiving and giving kindness. Gratitude  counterbalances an innate urge to complain and blame, and reinforces the reality of interdependence and accomplishment. When I feel into gratitude I can appreciate what’s already working in my life, even as I strive for more. As leaders we’re always striving, but without gratitude that striving and reaching and driving becomes tense and unsatisfying.

Gratitude is a feeling we can experience spontaneously, and it’s also a behavior we can cultivate deliberately. The more you establish your gratitude, the less you succumb to disappointment, and the more people feel encouraged to give back; appreciation stimulates a sense of obligation – not a forced or externally imposed obligation, but one internally generated as a response to being seen and heard, recognized and supported.

Oh, by the way, there’s some compelling science that affirms that gratitude increases resilience, improves self-esteem, improves sleep, reduces aggression, improves physical and psychological health, and strengthens relationships. (see Forbes article for more)

Here are a few insights to consider if you’d like to cultivate your gratitude: (Also, watch my video for even more guidance)

  • Gratitude follows focus. Focus your attention on evidence of gratitude, and there will be much to be grateful for. Remember, we don’t see the world as it is; we see the world as we are. If you want to find evidence for gratitude, look for it.
  • Gratitude is a choice. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, writes that external circumstances only account for ten percent of people’s happiness. Even if you receive all the things that you want, that would still not ensure your happiness. Gratitude is independent of your life circumstances. Gratitude is an attitude, not a reaction, and it builds your happiness muscles.
  • Say it to believe it. In order to cultivate gratitude, begin expressing it. You may not feel it deeply, but expressing gratitude in words and actions actually heightens your personal experience of it. By speaking and writing your gratitude you strengthen your discipline in this practice, and, over time, the habit becomes established and natural.
  • Competence cultivates confidence. Effort turns into habit through continuous and deliberate practice. Regularly practicing gratitude strengthens your gratitude. In time, we begin to take it for granted and feel it spontaneously. Think about the many things in your leadership that you feel grateful about—relationships, contributions from others, and advantages and opportunities. Identify aspects of your leadership for which you can be thankful, and spend a few moments each evening writing about the things for which you are grateful. Some of the things you feel grateful for might be the same, and some might be unique to that day.

Finally, consider what Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman, revealed in Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. They list gratitude as one of twenty-four character strengths recognized all over the world throughout time. Gratitude involves both acknowledging good things that happen—being mindful of present benefits—and recognizing that the sources of goodness lie outside us. Gratitude is a moral emotion acting as a moral barometer (“Someone else has done something good for me”), a moral motive (“I will now do good things for others”), and a moral reinforcement (“Remembering good things done for me gives me energy to do good for others”).
In gratitude.

The Science of Gratitude:
Kindness and Giving are Related to Gratitude…

The Science of Gratitude with Susan Sarandon:
The past 10 years have seen an explosion in the scientific study of happiness. The findings so far are complex, and incomplete. But if they could be distilled into one simple prescription for happiness, it would probably be this: Say thank you. The Science of Gratitude combines scientific research with personal stories illustrating the benefits and obstacles to feeling truly grateful…

Thanks this week to Eric K, and everyone like you committed to the wellbeing of others.

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Thanks Giving!


Please consider paying it forward…

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As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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