Gratitude: A Guiding Tool for Success
Gratitude is a powerful tool that is often underestimated and underutilized. Both its presence and absence can have a significant impact both professionally and personally. Each year FGP decides to focus on a different theme to inspire and connect our team throughout the year. In 2020, we are focusing on “Growth and Gratitude,” knowing that we cannot grow without intentionally reflecting on our achievements and sharing our gratitude with others. Maintaining a mindset of gratitude has always been an FGP value, but we are excited to see how being intentional this year can positively transform our team.
When it comes to business, gratitude is a key ingredient in building and maintaining a healthy culture, strong team dynamics, positive client partnerships, and maximized growth. On an individual level it fosters a perspective shift that invites sustainable confidence, an open mind, the activation of lessons learned, and the capacity to intentionally impact others.
Gratitude also puts us in a position to recognize and take advantage of opportunities in front of us. When we are thankful for what we have already, we are less apt to be weighed down by what we don’t have. And as that focus shifts, we gain clarity that allows us to see new doors opening in front of us, and the courage to step through them.
What is gratitude?
In order to put something into practice, it must first be defined. To kick off our initiative at FGP, we asked each employee to spend time reflecting on gratitude. Our goal was to dig deeper than the generic definition (no offense, Webster) and really wrap our minds around what thankfulness looks like as a lifestyle. We believe it is more than the words “thank you” or the feeling that exists momentarily when we receive something of value.
How Our Team Defines Gratitude:
“Gratitude is a lens through which we view our circumstances...a mindset, a way of thinking. Being grateful is choosing to see the good, or the underlying meaning or purpose, for different joys and trials that we face, regardless of the outcome.”
“Gratitude is a life tool we have complete control over. It is something we can use to fight back when things seem to fall apart. We may not be able to control a lot of what happens to or around us, but we do have control over the choice to be thankful. If gratitude is used to justify happiness instead of the other way around, that happiness becomes a very hard thing to steal.”
“I choose to see gratitude as a state of being, as opposed to a personal quality or singular act. Gratitude is living with a spirit of gratefulness and appreciation.”
“I believe gratitude is a choice -- it is the action of thankfulness, not necessarily preceded by a feeling or glaring explanation. When things are going our way it is easy to feel thankful, but gratitude is a conscious decision that can be made even when circumstances are tough.”
“Gratitude is giving back what I am thankful for in my own life; allowing the things I am grateful for to resonate with me and looking for ways to offer those gifts to others. This can be time, energy, money, encouragement -- things I should be thankful to have any amount of.”
“Gratitude is being aware of the things that we have. We aren't entitled to anything...taking time to pause and appreciate all that we have to be thankful for is how I would describe gratitude.”
“Gratitude is realizing that even the opportunity to hope for the future is a gift.”
We also recognize the importance of having practical ways to implement gratitude into everyday life. Our team came up with some tactics and ideas about ways they want to model and grow in gratitude that may help spark your own brainstorming.
Practical Ways Our Team Plans to Practice and Grow in Gratitude
“I think I can simultaneously model and grow in gratitude by making an effort to view "failures" or discouraging times as opportunities for growth or fresh starts. One great way to model gratitude and solidify it internally is to speak it out -- negativity is contagious so if I make an effort to verbally process my choice to be thankful, it may rub off on others as well.”
“I plan to spend time writing down specific things in three overarching areas of gratitude: past, present, and future. I think we instinctively look to the present when we look for things to be thankful for (which is great) but there is also much to be found in the past, and the option of having hope for the future is a huge gift in itself.”
“Spinning even the most mundane tasks or frustrating interactions into positive and constructive exercises as an opportunity to connect and grow.”
“I would like to create a habit of pausing to tangibly take note of things I should be grateful for (people, opportunities, successes, lessons learned, etc.). I have started making lists in a journal of things to be thankful for and I am going to do that on a regular basis this year.”
“Make a point to call out positive things in other people.”
“I think a simple way to promote gratitude is to blatantly ask people what they are thankful for. This could be a neat thing to do randomly or when something bad happens, like a project falling through.”
Our hope in sharing this is that it may remind you of the importance of remaining thankful, not just during a season but year-round. We challenge you to find a way to remain intentional and craft ways to reflect. As a company that has been voted one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina for many years, we know gratitude truly makes a difference in work culture and personal life.
Lastly, we would like to extend a big THANK YOU to our clients, candidates, colleagues, friends, families, and anyone out there who is sharing in our gratitude. We are thankful to work with you daily, and we are excited to see how gratitude helps us grown in 2020.