Gratitude Journals & Conversations

An associate recently shared a simple life experience. It has significant implications. Please analyze his account.
Yesterday morning at work, I was feeling pretty flat.  I went down to the gym a little early, thinking a quick workout would help me face the rest of the day.  A colleague walked in and said a cheery hello.  I responded, and I could hear the lack of enthusiasm in my voice.  In my mind I was thinking, “I just need to finish my work out and get out of here.”
But the gratitude entry I wrote yesterday about listening to others came to mind, and that made me more open to what my colleague might say.  We ended up having a really great conversation as we both did our workouts, and I shared with her a concern I had about my work.  She said a couple of things that helped me unlock concerns I had about a meeting I had to attend later.  Near the end of our conversation, I discovered my colleague had recently started keeping a gratitude journal, and she was effusive about its effects.  I shared with her how important it has been to me to keep a gratitude journal as well.
With a renewed sense of peace, I said, “This has been a great conversation.  I’m glad you walked in when you did.  I have to go to a meeting now.  I was dreading it, but I’m not anymore.  Thank you.”  The meeting and the rest of my workday went well.

  • Given his initial feeling what caused a great conversation to emerge?
  • How did what he wrote the previous day influence his new day?
  • How did the conversation alter his future?
  • How can we use this passage to create a more positive organization?


6 comments on “Gratitude Journals & Conversations

  1. I’ve started my gratitude journal more than four years ago. First of all, I’ve never understood what is so important about being grateful, for me, it was too much religious, and waste of time. But I’ve decided to implement gratiture into my daily activities. I was writing at least three things I was grateful for in my life in the morning, and the same at night, and during the day, I there was something I wanted to mentioned in my journal. Let me say – practising gratitude changed my life, from practising presence and self-awareness (because if you’d be looking for what to be grateful, you should become in the moment of now, not your past, or future), and allowed to evaluate my thought patterns and continuously direct my attention inwards, how I feel (and why), and it changed my subconscious beliefs (you just can’t be resentful or blame somebody and be grateful at the same time – try it! 🙂 I still have my gratitude journal, by now gratitude become a second nature.

  2. Sometimes the simplest stories can teach some of the most profound lessons. Clearly where this associate chose to direct his attention and even have the ability to open himself lead to the experience he had with this colleague. “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything do to with the focus of our lives.”—Russell M. Nelson

  3. In my job as a secondary teacher I have the privilege to serve teenagers, many of whom come from difficult backgrounds. Last week I spent an hour with a small group of senior students in a ‘pastoral care’ session. We went to the basketball court and threw hoops, and my suggestion was that every time one of us got it in, we had to say one thing we were looking forward to. After a few rounds, we changed it to “things that you are thankful for.” This was easy for some students, but others (me included) struggled with this task. One girl said, “I’m not thankful for anything!” I suggested that it would be much easier to change the prompt to “People I wish I could punch in the face right now.” This elicited a chuckle, and she agreed she had a long list. Then I said, “It’s times like this, when we’re NOT feeling thankful for anything that it’s most powerful to dig deep and find something.” After a moment, she said. “I’m thankful for yellow cars and dirt roads.” The basketball game continued, and the gratitude kept coming, until we ran out of things to be thankful for. Then we changed the prompt to, “I wish…” Near the end of the hour, the mood of the group had flipped. One girl yelled, “Look out, I’m it!” and started running after the others. A game of line-chasey ensued on the basketball court, punctuated by laughter and squeals of delight. Gratitude is powerful!

    1. Jotham-I tried to email you, but it got returned. I can’t get this story out of my mind. Do you mind if i use it in a blog post?

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