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The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 14, 2011 • Issue 11:11:01


Choose to be grateful

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches in the United States, the nation turns toward gratitude, at least for a little while. People prepare scrumptious turkey dinners for family and friends and enjoy each other's company. Some folks go around the table before the meal and ask each person to mention something he or she is grateful for; others give thanks privately in their own way.

The ways to mark the holiday are as varied as the people of this great land. It's good to remember, though, that giving thanks need not be limited to one day per year.

In fact, it's a good idea to focus on gratitude throughout the year. Why? Because research has shown that, compared to people who fail to be thankful for what they have, people who actively cultivate grateful thoughts tend to:

  • Report fewer symptoms of illness
  • Fall asleep faster and awaken more refreshed
  • Feel better about their lives as a whole
  • Recover more quickly from negative events
  • Be more optimistic about the future
  • Be more generous with their time and resources
  • Feel more connected to their family, friends and community

Cultivating gratitude

Those attributes sound good, don't they? You may already be enjoying the benefits of a life focused on gratitude and have a thing or two to teach others about the subject. If so, I hope you send an email containing your tips to editor@greensheet.com. We just might publish it in a future Forum section of The Green Sheet.

And if you'd like a little boost in this area, here are some ideas to help you more fully appreciate what you have:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write at least five things you're grateful for every day. Some people like to do this just before bed; they list things that just occurred during the day. Others like to do it upon waking; they say it helps them get off to the right start. Whatever time that works for you is fine; just commit to doing it daily.

  • Appreciate one person every day. This can be someone you know or someone you've never met, someone who has done something significant for you or someone who's done something small in another corner of the globe, someone alive now or someone from history whose efforts are still benefitting you in some way (the Founding Fathers of the United States come to mind).

  • Find a buddy. Enlist someone who will also commit to focusing on gratitude, and check in regularly with that person so you can help each other to stay on track. A daily phone call works for many; others meet in person weekly; for some, regular email does the trick.

  • Donate time to a worthy organization. Choose a group with a mission that is dear to your heart. Even one hour a month will make a difference to the cause you select. This type of service will elevate your mood, too.

Strengthening ties

I can't say that doing these things will immediately increase your residuals as an ISO or merchant level salesperson, but these actions can improve the quality of your life. And if you genuinely and actively appreciate your merchant customers, their positive regard for you will increase, your interactions will be more enjoyable and your relationships with them will be fortified. That is bound to benefit your business.

So appreciate what you have personally and professionally today and always, and revel in the bounty the world brings to your door. end of article

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