Friday, December 2, 2011

Gratitude And The Power To Pay It Forward

Gratitude , The Tall Ships' Races, Szczecin 2007Image via WikipediaBy Allan Gregoire

Often we become so absorbed in our own challenges and difficulties that it becomes so easy to forget that we are often alot better off than some of our own fellow human beings. Because we are so focused on our own difficulties, it is very difficult to step outside of ourselves and want to help others.

However, if we adjust our frame of reference ever so slightly and invoke an attitude of gratitude for what we do have, then helping others doesn't seem to be such a huge emotional undertaking.

I'll take my own personal situation to illustrate what I'm talking about. Due to the nature of the business in which I'm employed, a large percentage of my income is dependent upon tips.

In the last several years, I've seen as much as a 30-40% decline in that income. Let's face it, that's pretty significant. The most troubling aspect of that for me is that I am essentially completing the same volume of work for much less. Customers are not spending like they used to when times were better.

So, I have a choice to make. I can gripe about it and obsess over the money I'm not making. Or, I can be grateful that I still am gainfully employed, still have a roof over my head, and still have food to eat, and a little bit of cash for entertainment purposes.

Which choice is going to be most empowering for me? I can also look around my own town and see the multitudes of people that are really hurting. I can also turn to the news media and the consistent message is that the whole world is imploding.

Then I turn to my own personal situation and I realize that I have not been expressing much gratitude for that which I do have. Once I have taken inventory of that which I can be grateful for, I then can express inwardly a deep sense of gratitude. Once that inward expression of gratitude has taken hold, I am now much better prepared to express it outwardly and to pay it forward.

Some of the ways you can express gratitude outwardly is to let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. You could write a check for a few dollars to a charity that really helps those in need. You could volunteer at a church, a charity, an outreach group. You could help a family member, a friend, or even a neighbor who is suffering.

On the economic front here in the USA, instead of giving products that are made in foreign countries as gifts for Christmas, you could patronize local businesses by giving gift certificates as gifts. These could be gift certificates to have a house cleaned, a car detailed, a haircut, a teeth whitening, landscaping services, etc.

Pay it forward by helping out American businesses. Yes, we have much to be grateful for such as having the choice where to spend our hard earned dollars and, by doing so, paying it forward to our fellow Americans.

So, take a look around. You have much to be grateful for and there is no better time than NOW to give someone else something to be grateful for as well. Peace and happy holidays!

An enduring fascination with peak performance systems and human motivation and achievement led Allan Gregoire to a career as an author. The author has worked in the resort industry, financial services, and the legal profession. The author writes content for his website http://actionmaxims.com, a site devoted to exploring your calling and destiny and achieving high levels of success.

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