An Attitude of Gratitude (Pt 1)


Booking under: Keith

As November carries on and the weather gets colder, what could we possibly keep a contented heart for? For one, the beginning of many beanie and sweater dates!

Thankfully, I also have a few more reasons to be grateful as we approach the end of 2016. Here are a few items:


girl surprised

Why so surprised? Everybody appreciates good manners!

It is incredible how much difference a simple “please” makes. As an employee in a fast-moving business environment (which you might be as well), I work with a lot of team members and stakeholders on a day-to-day basis. While the expectation at work is to produce quality work as efficiently as possible, sometimes we need to give another colleague a bit of a shove to keep things moving.

Another instance presented itself this past week, and I felt a little hesitant about prodding a colleague to contribute to a task. Alas, our offshore contractor worked in a different timezone and we couldn’t afford to delay shipping the task, so I made my request to my colleague with a smile and a few “please”s and “thank you”s.

To my relief, she was more than happy to help, and we were soon able to set the contractor on his way to continue his work. Morale of the story: people will almost always help you if you use good manners.


coffee discussion

Career reviews over coffee (or water) are common. Make the most to give good feedback!

If people appreciate good manners, they definitely love positive reviews. Indeed, one thing I love about my workplace is that everyone gives positive reviews, and dishes them out quite often. That’s not to say people just brush over mistakes or take a lackluster approach to work. But when someone produces good work, they get (duly) recognized. And that’s something I really appreciate.

Although it’s not strictly necessary to my work, I am happy to read the responses (over email) that acknowledge my work whenever I ship off a deliverable. It gives me a quick buzz and energizes me to do more good work. In that spirit, I’ve taken more effort these two weeks to recognize the good work of others. Since a large portion of my work involves the contributions of others, I’ve been making sure to credit each person who helped out on a particular piece of work. And when somebody else announces a shipped deliverable, I made sure to hit “reply all” and to credit them for a heck of a job.

All of this might not be necessary, but it helps all involved keep a contented heart at work. And that in itself is a win.


diy sushi

Remember the good… DIY sushi in Kyoto

More and more, I realize how we have so much power in determining how we feel from moment to moment. There are times (see above) when things are great and people help you feel awesome about your circumstances. Other times, various pressures and difficulties can leave you down in the dumps.

At these times, I’ve come to realize how remembering the good can be so helpful. After a long day at work recently, I could’ve sat on the ride home just thinking about the next day of work and the big projects that needed to be delivered. Instead, I took a moment to scroll through my Instagram profile. Looking over my travel moments with Nicole was all the refreshing I needed. I was immediately transported back to Italy and Japan, taking in the grandiose vista of Florence before being transported miles away to feed wild deer in the Nara countryside. Remembering the good may not change our situation, but it helps change our mindset – and that can power us through our circumstances.


Continuing last month’s commitments was quite natural given this month’s goals. I reminded myself that treating others as equals is the reason we use good manners – we treat others as we would like be treated. I continued ask what if everyone did that when faced with questions of how to communicate with work. I prodded myself to choose positive and to take on my tasks with enthusiasm. Finally, I tried (not always successfully) to live bitter first, sweet later. After all, there are some moments when we need to rest and relax before continuing to work. We’re not robots!


to-do list

And that wraps up my hat-trick items for November. If anything, I’ve been reminded again on the power of choosing a positive attitude and being gracious to others. What are your secrets to contentment? How do they stack up to the ones I shared here? And how would they stack up to Nicole‘s? Check back next week and find out!


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