Monday Morning Momentum™
I want to share with you my syndicated newspaper column from last week. I still feel grateful.
My younger daughter, Ariela, graduated from pre-kindergarten tonight. The ceremony was wonderful. Ariela and all the kids were adorable. Ariela’s cap was a white felt cut-out with a gold tassel and her gown was one of my white dress shirts worn backwards. We took pictures. We clapped. We laughed. We yelled, “Ariela! Yay, Ariela!” She waved. She smiled. It was a beautiful evening.
When we came home, Dawn and the girls went to sleep. I started working again.
I’d been back at my desk writing for about an hour when it hit me. I became overwhelmed with gratitude. I stopped what I was doing. I leaned back. I closed my eyes. I knew my daughter’s graduation—my daughter’s life —would not have been possible without my wife, Dawn. Dawn gave birth to our daughters and cares for them every day. She is a wonderful mother. I felt grateful.
Has this ever happened to you? You were in the middle of doing something when all of a sudden you felt thankful for someone important in your life? You may have been working, reading, exercising, meditating, or praying. And without warning you became overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude.
I believe we all have felt this way at some point in time. In fact, I believe most of us have experienced
this feeling many times. I call these
moments of clarity, “gratitude impulses.”
These experiences remind us what’s important in our lives.
But like all emotions, gratitude impulses can be
fleeting. We feel the initial emotion. We pause.
We reflect. But then we catch
ourselves. We wake up. We get back to what
we were doing. We move on.
I suggest another way.
Act on your gratitude impulses.
Don’t let them pass by.
Gratitude impulses are authentic expressions of who we are and what matters to us. They reflect our unguarded selves. They remind us of the important people in our lives. They call our attention to what we care about.
In these moments we don’t feel self-conscious. We don’t evaluate our feelings. We just feel grateful. This is the time for us to act.
When we feel grateful to people, we should let them know. We should call them, text them, instant message them, or write them. And we can make it quick: We just need to let them know how we feel. We should express our gratitude before we start rationalizing why “now is not the time.” Sure, we can think about the best way to express our appreciation, but we should not let our thoughtful deliberation lead to inaction.
Even in the workplace we should act on our gratitude
impulses. When we genuinely feel
grateful to others at work, we should express it. Let people know. Tell them why. Be specific.
Research tells us that we all value being told how much we matter.
One day we may not be able to reach the people we love and care about. Why let our gratitude impulses go unexpressed? We can embrace our feelings of gratitude each time they come.
Let’s act on our next gratitude impulse. Why wait?
Copyright 2009 David J. Pollay
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Have a great week!
Best to you,
And remember you can sign up for my newsletter, Momentum
Minutes™, right here.
David J. Pollay is the creator of The
Law of the Garbage Truck™. He is a
syndicated columnist with the North
Star Writers Group, creator and host of The Happiness Answer™ television program, and an internationally sought
after speaker. David’s book,
Beware of Garbage Trucks!™, is due out this summer. You can find out about the No Garbage Trucks!
mission at www.bewareofgarbagetrucks.com.
David is the founder and president of the consulting and seminar organization, The Momentum Project. He is also a founding associate executive
director of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).
If you want to reprint one of David’s columns, email email@example.com. Here’s David’s full bio.
You can sign up for David’s MO Minutes Newsletter here.