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Nov 12, 201209:34 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Being thankful

Being thankful

I keep a gratitude journal, which many times will include notes about a good business experience. Especially at this time of year, even with the economic challenges all around us, we can make a conscious choice to focus on life’s blessings, rather than its shortcomings.

In the relatively new field of “positive psychology,” researchers are finding that showing regular, deliberate appreciation improves almost everything. I’ve read that when we are in a state of appreciation, we are in a state of abundance, so I decided to make a list of all the things I appreciate and for which I am grateful, including:

  • I’m extremely grateful for my family. They make life worth living. I’m thankful that I get to work with and/or interact with family on a daily basis.
  • I’m grateful that I get to work with a stellar team, which steps up to the plate to make things work even in tight deadline situations. How lucky I am to work alongside people of this caliber.
  • I’m thankful for, and I applaud, our good customers, who even in difficult times continue to show recognition and appreciation to their own stellar team members. Fostering this spirit of appreciation goes far toward retaining good employees and keeping team members motivated and engaged.
  • I’m thankful that I got a new smartphone last spring that helps me keep in touch with the business even when I’m out on “monkey business.” And, add to that, I’m very grateful that I’ve now learned (more of) how to use it. It spent a few weeks dialing people at random before I discovered how to deal with that. Fortunately, (again I’m grateful) my friends thought it was very funny.
  • I’m grateful for wonderful vendors, who have been a help to us over the years. I appreciate that they go the extra mile to make sure we get what’s needed. Good vendors make it easy to keep good customers happy. The appreciation “trickles down.”
  • I appreciate all our good industry friends, who are always ready with help, suggestions, and/or advice when we need it. I feel good that they know they can count on me as well. I know how important it is to cultivate these relationships and I’m glad I have the opportunity.
  • Friends play a huge role in my gratitude journal. They are a big part of the joy I feel on a daily basis. I know I can count on them to be there when needed. They know they can count on me as well
  • I’m thankful that I get to pay visits to bookstores. My mother taught me, early in life, about the wonderful smell of books … and the wonderful places books can take a person. I’m very fortunate that one of the largest Barnes & Noble stores in the country is directly behind our store. If I could, I’d have “direct deposit” there. I’m also glad that my husband, Dave, enjoys visiting B&N as much as I do.
  • I’m grateful for the opportunity to see world-class theater right here in Madison.
  • I’m thankful for the many volunteer opportunities available in our community. It feels good to help where needed.
  • I’m grateful for the vibrant, active chambers of commerce in our area, and the opportunities they provide for businesses of all sizes.
  • I’m very thankful for you readers. I’m grateful that I get to put some creative energy to good use in writing this little blog. This keeps me on my toes, and allows me the chance to give something back to all of you. And I’m very grateful when you share your experiences with me.

I’m glad that I get the opportunity to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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