Categories for Gratitude

An Antidote For Disengagement: Being Appreciative For Your Job

Gallup reported on January 13 that only 32% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work from a mental, emotional and volitional (a choice of the will) point of view.  Conversely, 50.8% of employees were found to be “not engaged” and 17.2% are “actively disengaged”.  This latter group is a dangerous one — they are actually actively working at cross-purposes with their employer, doing things to make things worse in their workplace. Much of the blame for this sad state in our work environments is being placed fully and solely on the shoulders of supervisors, managers and employers, a position... Continue reading...

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January 28, 2016 9:48 am
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Not Everyone Appreciates Your Type of Appreciation

One of the lessons that aspiring leaders and those who want to continue to develop their leadership abilities must learn is: to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to lead individuals who are different than you. If you don’t, you will only be able to gather and lead those who are similar to you in personality, perspective or ability; and this, in turn, limits what you can accomplish. Although at first the idea seems intriguing, you actually don’t want to lead a group of “Junior You’s”. You may be talented but you can’t do everything, and to... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2015 1:31 pm
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Perspective – How it Shapes Our Daily Lives

The importance of perspective is becoming more clear to me all the time. Perspective implies a viewpoint — a place from which we are looking at our lives and the world around us. Pick a specific spot, a physical location, that you have been to in your life. It could be a beautiful vista overlooking the Grand Canyon, the top of a mountain in Colorado, at the bottom of a valley next rushing mountain river, or hiking in the fall foliage of Vermont. Now, change your perspective — look at that spot from an airplane 30,000 feet above it —... Continue reading...

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October 25, 2014 12:04 pm
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Appreciation When You’re a Solopreneur

Appreciation is everything for your brand. How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input/effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it? That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you... Continue reading...

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September 19, 2014 2:06 pm
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So You Are an Intern This Summer? What Should You Expect?

If you are one of the fortunate students who has landed an internship for the summer, congratulations. You have an opportunity to learn some practical skills in your field of study, add a valuable piece to your resume, and possibly make a little money (if it is a paid internship.) There is a good chance you have never been an intern before, so you are not exactly sure what to expect. So let us fill you in – with both the good and bad news. Understanding the Full Time Employees’ Perspective For most FTEs (full-time employees), interns are viewed either... Continue reading...

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July 8, 2014 8:16 pm
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Value Others to be Valuable

We’ve all heard the phrase, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”  It’s a myth. It’s just not true. In our hyper-connected world, whether or not you have the best mousetrap doesn’t get you the business, land you the job or even make you memorable. It might make you visible and that’s about as far as the “best mousetrap” will get you. The phrase needs amendment to read, “even if you have the best mousetrap in the world if people don’t know you, or like you and trust you – then they’re not... Continue reading...

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May 14, 2014 2:37 pm
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Why Authenticity is All You Need During the Holidays

We all feel a lot of pressure regarding things we “should do” during the holidays — for our family, friends, co-workers, clients, boss.  It gets to the point that the expectations feel overwhelming, and the temptation is just to “shut down” and do nothing (for anyone!)  This is typically not a good solution. Let me offer an alternative solution to you: be yourself.  Be genuinely you during the holidays.   Don’t try to impress people.  Don’t do things just to “look good” or because “you are supposed to”. Let me explain.  There is more than enough “image management” going on in... Continue reading...

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December 5, 2013 11:16 pm
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An Antidote for Disengagement: Being appreciative for your job

As I wrote recently, research was released by the Gallup organization that found only 3 out of 10 U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work from a mental, emotional and volitional (a choice of the will) point of view.  Conversely, 52% of employees were found to be not engaged and 18% are actively disengaged.  This latter group is a dangerous one — they are actually actively working at cross-purposes with their employer, doing things to make things worse in their workplace. Much of the blame for this sad state in our work environments is being placed fully and solely... Continue reading...

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July 2, 2013 9:00 pm
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Utilizing Thanksgiving as a Reminder to Appreciate Your Staff

Thanksgiving is the holiday where we are encouraged to be thankful for the good things in our lives – health, safety, adequate food, clothing, and shelter, as well as the many material blessings we have. For most people, Thanksgiving is usually more of a personally-focused celebration, including sharing meals and time with family and friends.But the Thanksgiving holiday season can also be an opportunity to focus on, and be reminded of, the positive aspects of our work lives. This is especially true in these more difficult economic times, where many who desire employment are unable to find work or have... Continue reading...

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November 17, 2011 12:43 pm
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What are we remembering — and why?

Memorial Day in the U.S. represents a variety of things to different people: A day off of work (possibly even paid!) The beginning of summer Going to the lake Having a barbeque with friends and family Having to get together with family The Indianapolis 500 Visiting family gravesites Veterans parades and celebrations Watching old war flicks For me, especially when getting together with children, teenagers & young adults, I start to think about — what does Memorial Day mean to them?  In some ways, maybe it doesn’t matter — it is what it is and it is their life.  But,... Continue reading...

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May 30, 2011 3:27 pm
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Am I Making the Right Choices? Using Life Transition Events to Reevaluate Your Life

Life is daily.  And sometimes it is hard to see if the choices you are making on a daily basis are leading to the results you desire in your life. During the late spring and early summer, we have some opportunities to stop and reconsider:  “Am I living life the way I want to?”  “Do my daily and weekly activities really reflect what is important to me?” We are in the midst of the season for graduations (high school and college), weddings, family gatherings and the beginning of summer vacation.  These life transition events, in combination with getting together with... Continue reading...

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May 15, 2011 5:18 pm
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Perspective — How It Shapes Our Daily Lives

The importance of perspective is becoming more clear to me all the time.   Perspective implies a viewpoint — a place from which we are looking at our lives and the world around us.  Pick a specific spot, a physical location, that you have been to in your life.  It could be a beautiful vista overlooking the Grand Canyon, the top of a mountain in Colorado, at the bottom of a valley next rushing mountain river, or hiking in the fall foliage of Vermont. Now, change your perspective — look at that spot from an airplane 30,000 feet above it —... Continue reading...

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April 26, 2011 8:05 pm
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Stars & 7 billion people

I recently have become more interested in and enamored with the stars.  I just received a book put out by National Geographic entitled Hubble: Imaging Space and Time with a lot of photos of stars, galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble telescope.  Although the following image isn’t from that book, it demonstrates the wonder I am finding in the stars. At the same time that I am contemplating the incomprehensible enormity of the universe, I also am becoming more aware of how many people there are on earth.  This month’s National Geographic title story is about the fact that the... Continue reading...

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January 12, 2011 8:36 am
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Core Principles for Life

As I travel, meeting with various families, businesses and organizational leaders, I am exposed to a wide range of people, situations and subcultures (usually within the U.S., but also with English-speaking families overseas [I acknowledge much of my life experience is limited by a North American bias]). These experiences, in combination with the changes occurring within our economy, government and culture, lead me to make some observations about core principles for life that keep coming up. I’d like to share some of my observations and how they often are counter to what is presented in our current mainstream culture: Truth... Continue reading...

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October 10, 2010 8:13 pm
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The Opposite(s) of Thanksgiving

We usually think of opposites in terms of a simple, “either-or” relationship — such as light and darkness, large and small, heavy and light. And these opposites exist on a single continuum, with the opposing characteristics being on the ends of the spectrum. But there are some relationships which are more complex, where there is more than one characteristic that can be opposite of another.  For example, in comparing a “good meal” with a bad one, there are different factors that can lead to that judgment. The quality of the basic ingredients, the correct amount of the ingredients, combining the... Continue reading...

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November 21, 2009 3:28 pm
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A Real Life Fire Drill

Last night we had an interesting life experience — one of our neighbors’ home caught fire and burned to the ground. For those of you who don’t know, we live out in the country surrounded by trees.  There are 8-10 homes in our area, with woods (currently very dry woods) in between homes. Around 11:30 p.m., my daughter, Lizz, came into our room and said she thought she heard gunshots and then sirens.  Just then the phone rang and the wife of the leader of the county firefighters in our area called saying our neighbor’s house was engulfed in flames;... Continue reading...

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February 9, 2009 8:53 am
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Dealing with the Impact of the Economic Downturn

Almost all of us in the United States are now starting to personally experience some aspect of the global and national economic crisis.  Whether it is through a personal or family job loss, friends and extended family members who have been laid off, a slow down in your business, or projected reduced sales for next year — the impact is now personal.  This is different than hearing it on the news or reading statistics in a publication. I resent the frenzy and panic the media seems to want to whip up, because this type of communication doesn’t help anyone.  We... Continue reading...

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December 7, 2008 2:17 pm
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Antidote to Stressful News

Major (repeated) upheaval in the financial markets.  Hurricane Ike.  Flooding across the Midwest.  Concerns about who will be elected President (from both sides). Bombings in Pakistan.  Political turmoil in Bolivia and Venezuela.  The negative, worry-producing news keeps coming. What’s a person to do?  Ignore it?  Stress out?  Drink more? (I heard a news report that beer and wine sales are up significantly in the last 6 months.) Previously, I have written about the role of thankfulness and gratitude in helping us live more contentedly. Rather than pontificate on the subject further, I thought I would share the things in my... Continue reading...

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September 21, 2008 6:45 pm
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The Encouragement of Thanks

Recently, my wife and I have had a couple of experiences together on which we both commented to one another. One experience was actually two separate events that were similar and which occurred close together. As a family, we enjoy music and frequently go to music events of various kinds — concerts by professionals, school concerts, musical theatre productions, and free community events (e.g. concerts in a park). This summer we had the opportunity to go to a couple of professional productions and were able to take along some younger friends of ours and our family. The evenings went well... Continue reading...

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July 20, 2008 3:55 pm
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Reflections on the 4th of July: Our Freedoms and Rights

I love the 4th of July holiday – largely because we have wonderful family “get togethers” that are a lot of fun (and we have done so for several years, which evoke a large number of fond memories for me.) And our family celebrations involve several traditions that I enjoy – being outside playing games (this year I was introduced to bocce), shooting fireworks, barbeque with great grilled meat, swimming and boating, and watching a large fireworks show (one of my great nieces asked “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks?” which led to a neat family... Continue reading...

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July 6, 2008 3:09 pm
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