Thanksgiving is a good time for your career, because practicing gratitude is good for your career.

For one thing, if you write a list of what you’re grateful for each day you are more likely to meet your most important personal goals, according to Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at University of California at Davis.

Susan Quandt found in her research that people who succeed at work are able to look at roadblocks as opportunities because of their inherently optimistic outlook, and this optimism helps people overcome obstacles. Many other researchers have concluded that one’s level of optimism, more than anything else, determines how happy they will be, because happiness is mostly about outlook.

Emmons writes in Science and Theology News that you can affect your level of optimism by practicing gratitude: “A grateful response to life circumstances may be an adaptive psychological strategy and an important process by which people positively interpret everyday experiences. Focusing on the gifts one has been given is an antidote to envy, resentment, regret and other negative states that undermine long-term happiness.”

Practicing gratitude is not that complicated, but of course, not everyone feels grateful toward family on Thanksgiving. Not all families are gems, and there’s a reasons that across the country Thanksgiving is the day for round-the-clock AA meetings. But even in this case, Thanksgiving hones workplace skills. The same skills you need to get along with difficult family are the skills you need to get along with difficult co-workers. Any you can be grateful for this opportunity to practice.

9 replies
  1. Katelyn Sack
    Katelyn Sack says:

    Yes! I especially enjoyed the end of the essay by Dr. Majid Ali that Penelope cited in the penultimate link in this post, which says: “Gratitude may be practiced anywhere, anytime, through any trivial object – for there is divinity in all trivia just as there is divinity in each of us.”

    As an artist, I think this is also the way of seeing that enables me to be most productive professionally. It is the mode of seeing that makes me notice the brushstrokes in the dahlias, and know that I had better paint them!

  2. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    Penelope, I, The Recruiting Animal, agree with what you said including the simple exercise of noting a few things you like each day.

    I have a friend whom I believe has the makings of a decent businessman because of his drive and aggression. But his regular refrain is “Life is Tough”. This makes him miserable and doesn’t encourage me to think that he has what it takes to ride out the rough spots to success in the long term.

  3. Gordon
    Gordon says:

    I read a book which made a serious impact on my outlook for life, it was by “Viktor Frankl” “Man’s search for the meaning" he talks about his life in the “Concentration camps” and even in those circumstances he could find something to be thankful for….and find a meaning for his life – .we all have things to be thankful for on a daily basis – we just need to realize it – .have a great thanks giving Penelope

    Slainte
    Gordon

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