Dear Ask Madeleine readers,
It is coming up on one year since I started this column. On the occasion of the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to thank you so very much for checking the Ask Madeleine post every Saturday. In my travels to conferences and gatherings, I have met a few fans in person and I cannot tell you how it makes my day. I would also like to take a moment to thank Renee Broadwell, my delightful and talented editor, for polishing my words without stifling my humor and David Witt, our marketing program director, who finds all those great images and wrestles WordPress into submission on my behalf. They are both a delight to work with–it just goes to show that half the battle in being consistently productive is having the right team!
And because I can’t help myself, I will take this opportunity to remind you that gratitude is good for your brain. Check out this Harvard Mental Health Letter if you don’t believe me.
My father-in-law left the following list on our company voice mail recently. (And yes, in case you are wondering, Ken and Margie Blanchard and—while we’re at it—their daughter Debbie are the best, best, best in-laws ever.) In case you are stuck in a rut and need to expand the ways to think about things to be grateful for, answer these questions.
- Who do I appreciate in my life?
- How am I fortunate?
- How have I experienced the divine and sacred in my life?
- What abilities do I have that I am grateful for?
- What is it about my surroundings–home, neighborhood, city, etc.—that am I thankful for?
- What experiences have I had that I’m grateful for?
- What opportunities do I have that I’m thankful for?
- What have others in my life done that I’m thankful for?
- What am I taking for granted, that if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for?
- What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced or am currently experiencing that I can be thankful for (i.e., what have I learned and how have I grown from those experiences)?
- What is different today than it was a year ago that I am thankful for (what happened this year versus last year)?
- What am I able to offer others that I am grateful for?
I am grateful for the opportunity to work with amazing, brilliant clients, for your heartfelt letters, and for being able to write this column every week. And, of course, for you, my readers. Thanks for reading and sharing, reblogging, retweeting, etc. I hope you have a wonderful holiday time.
About the author
Madeleine Homan-Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.
Got a question for Madeleine? Email Madeleine and look for your response here next week!