What Elephants Have in Common with Gratitude

elephant-waterDid you know that elephants travel the same long journey every year?

They do. They do it because they know when the fruit will falls from the trees, so they can eat them when they are perfectly fermented and able to get a little tipsy. I forget the name of the kind of African elephant that does this, but believe me it’s true.

They only do this once a year because they have the discipline to appreciate the moment then move on.
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How to Change Your Company’s Office Culture

My wife discovered a story about a teacher who changed her/his work culture with a simple plan that anyone can implement at their organization. Her/his work environment went from back stabbing haters to appreciative givers in a few short months.

A teacher (still no one knows her/his name) didn’t like how teachers and administration treated each other. Staff gatherings were filled with fighting, politics and fear. No one seemed to even tolerate each other. This one person decided to take problems into his/her own hands.

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The Greatest Compliment of My Life and Compliments to Give Your Co-workers

My wife and I were discussing the need for people to compliment each other at work. Not enough of us do it. With Thanksgiving coming along in a few days, I’m reminded of the importance of showing gratitude to our co-workers with a simple and honest compliment.

My favorite compliment of all time came from my senior year high school English teacher. My friend and I were leaving school after our last final when we took a quick peek into our English class to say goodbye. She looked up and smiled. We told her thanks for everything.

She looked at both of us then said to me,
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Notice the Every Day WOW

You are walking to the meeting room and nothing registers on your external radar. You’re probably lost in thought, trying to prepare yourself for the people in the meeting. You don’t notice the beautiful painting of the little house tucked along a hillside. You don’t notice the people walking by you because you are so focused on getting everything in order.

 

If you are too caught up in cramming for your meeting, you won’t be relaxed and able to communicate with a clear mind.

 

You are also missing out on a huge percentage of all the good stuff in your life. You are too busy trying to keep things under control that you forgot to let “WOW” be a part of your every day life. Sure, we all get used to the same things in our life, but when we choose to ignore them instead of taking a little time to enjoy where we are then we are losing the most valuable tool to enjoying our jobs – appreciation of the every day details.

Point B

 

We’ve all heard the statement that half the fun is the journey, but what it doesn’t say is that you need to stop and soak in the journey. When you are rushing to the next thing you are never taking the time to notice the regular “WOW.”

 

This thought was spurred by a NY Times article. It was written by a doctor who has gotten so used to death that it took a new resident to show him that he had to slow down and let moments sink in. A death may seem significant to most people, but this doctor was becoming accustomed to it. We may not have to deal with this at our jobs, but there are many noteworthy occurrences that happen to each and every one of us that go ignored.

 

We chose to ignore the beauty in our lives. We do this because we think that we need to stay focused and be so productive that we accomplish all our goals. If we don’t then we get mad at our inability to achieve our tasks.

 

Why so many people are unhappy at work

 

We never take a look around and appreciate the bang, boom, and crack of the simple. You are one of the luckiest persons in the world, being able to relax and enjoy this article.

 

The best description of how lucky we are to be here was written by a Zen master. I’m paraphrasing. It went something like this…

 

The chance of you being born is as likely as a plane flying 10,000 feet over the ocean, the co-pilot throwing a hula hoop out of the plane, which lands in the middle of the vast sea, and having a turtle float to the surface and pop her head up within that hula hoop. You have been given a gift to accomplish great work. It’s up to you to enjoy it.

 

How Lucky We Are

 

It’s up to you to take time to see the wow that’s in your life. It could be…

 

  • A joke from a customer that makes you laugh.
  • A telephone call that brings you a $10,000 contract for you company.
  • A bird chirping outside your home office.
  • Your mother calling you just to check in.

 

Some days are filled with deadlines and getting to point B, but take the time to notice the regular “WOW” and you’ll improve your ability to relax before a stressful event like a big meeting.

 

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