He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~ Epictetus
Before following up on open items and setting the stage for the next week, as I noted in my Follow-up Friday post last week, I do the most important task first, namely, give thanks.
This is important because, like Benedictine monk and interfaith scholar David Steindl-Rast, I believe happiness is borne from gratitude.
Don’t believe a monk? Consider what Melody Beattie, a survivor of abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child has to say about gratitude:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
There many ways you can acknowledge your gratitude be it to employees or business partners (or anyone, for that matter).
Here are a few ways I give thanks on Fridays:
- I write each of my employees a card for their birthday and work anniversary. Because I want to do more than just sign the cards with my name, this practice encourages me to get to know everyone on a more personal level so I’m able to integrate aspects of their lives into my thank you cards.
- In my 121 meetings with direct reports, I ask to hear about any Evaero employees who have gone “above and beyond” in serving our mission, living our values, or committing to our quality policy. This gives me another reason to write a thank you card, but also, I cannot tell you how much hearing what everyone is doing on behalf of Evaero and its customers fills me with gratitude.
- Clearly Evaero wouldn’t be successful without the support of its business partners. I have found Fridays to be the perfect day to set aside time to give thanks in the form of a card or an email. More than just responding to specific events (e.g., orders placed, commitments met, etc.), I like to take time to give thanks “just because.” Usually, those are the most unexpected and therefore, meaningful.
I can tell you from firsthand experience, this is a practice that, over time, fills the heart. The next time you’re feeling down and out, consider spending a few minutes to express your gratitude for the actions of others – send a thank you card/email, give someone a call on the phone, or do it in person.
On that note, if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading this blog. I’m deeply appreciative of the time you take out of your day to read my writing and, for those of you who take the time to shoot me an email and share your thoughts.
Before checking out for the week, since I happen to hear that he’ll be joining Willie Nelson for a show at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania in September, here is one of my favorite songs by the incomparable Van Morrison. When my son was five years old, I remember setting up a microphone and amp and singing this song with him for his mother. It has been a while since we’ve done that, but now that I think of it, I can tell you it’s another practice that fills the heart. If the thank you cards aren’t doing it for you, you might sing with/for someone you love.
As Martin Luther once said:
Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.
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Having said that, I am interested to hear from you. Good, bad, or otherwise, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m the only person who will read your email and, as time allows, I’ll do my best, at a minimum, to personally acknowledge receipt.