The key to joy is practicing gratitude.
When I read this statement, I sat in disbelief for about 5 seconds. Then I immediately stood up, walked to my office, grabbed a Post-it and wrote down the word “gratitude.” I propped it up like a teepee and set it on my night stand facing my bed, so that it is the first thing I see in the morning.
This morning I had been complaining to a co-worker that my boss implied that only lateral movement would be available to me. I was so disheartened when my boss and I had that conversation. I told him I was looking beyond just a manager position. After all, that’s what I’m working for. That’s why I attend leadership programs, why I read books, why I seek out learning opportunities. After his implication, I immediately came to the conclusion that if I was going to see a C-level position, it would have to be with another employer.
Like, whoa. Right? I went from 0-60 in an instant. Who’s to say that I’m even going to want a C-level position in the next few years? Life changes! I work for an amazing employer that values my opinion, includes me in the hard conversations, allows me to influence their leadership, and truly cares about my well-being as an employee and a person. My employer is a diamond in the rough, and I should be grateful that they afford me the opportunities that they do! But I was so focused on what they may not offer me, that I completely overlooked what they do offer me.
As I continued with my reading, Brown went on to say that we should stop looking for confirmation that we don’t belong or that we’re not good enough.
That is exactly what I was doing. I was looking for confirmation that I don’t belong. I’ve been having a hard time at work though. I’m going through growing pains, and so is the company. Instead of owning my pain, I was looking for an exit strategy.
It’s funny too, because at work, I am leading a movement to change our culture from being reactive to being proactive. We’re trying to recognize and reward positive behavior in the effort to minimize disciplinary action. Then here I am, automatically assuming the worse, seeking out the negative. So tomorrow and days in the future, I will choose gratitude. It will take self-discipline to recognize when I’m falling into the trap, but “the key to joy is practicing gratitude.”