A few months back I read/heard a line that went something like this, “start each day out by stating what you are grateful for.”
I thought I’d try it…really, there was very little cost to me (a minute every morning while I brush my teeth) and it made sense – think about those positive things in your life in the morning and you will probably feel better about the day ahead.
It brought me back to work on Appreciative Inquiry and Management. David Cooperrider from Case Western Reserve University developed this model of management interaction in the 1980’s and 1990’s (see here or here) that is based on the assumption that organizations change in the in the direction of their inquiry (i.e., if you inquire or focus on the positive you will find or grow more positive in your work – the opposite is also true – if you inquire or focus on the negative, you will find or create more negative elements in your work).
By starting each day with a positive affirmation of what I appreciate, it has helped me view things in a more positive light. Some key things that I’ve found in this:
1. I immediately feel a greater sense of calm. By thinking about what is good in my life, I tend to find that much of the worry about deadlines or budgets or workload get pushed aside and I physically feel a calm come over my body.
2. I feel rejuvenated. The act of being grateful tends to rev me up. It makes me feel like I want to work harder to achieve more.
3. I tend to be more appreciative throughout the day. My morning gratitude exercise helps me focus on positive things throughout the day – I tend to be more aware of them and grateful for them.
So I welcome you to try this little experiment for yourself. Take a minute each morning when you wake up to just say thank you for the things that are going well in your life. If you are like me, you will find that this little activity can have really positive effects on your entire day.
So thank you for taking time to read this and for letting me expound on my little touchy-feely side…
I would love to hear from people (click on the comment section) and find out if they tried this (or something similar) and what it does for them.