June 19, 2016 | Posted in: Leading Hartfully, Living Hartfully

Focus your attention on what you have and not on what you don’t have. There is so much to be thankful for that we don’t even think about it until it is taken from us. Start your day thinking about the things for which you are thankful or start a gratitude journal and write down a few daily things for which you are grateful. There is a very good chance they will add up to more than you had imagined.


Start a tradition on Thanksgiving to read your list of grateful things to your partner or family for some surprising warm fuzzies. To bring this idea into sharp focus, visit a third-world country, or a culture with sharply contrasting beliefs and economic situations, and your perception of abundance and gratitude will be forever altered.

When we fill ourselves up being grateful and appreciative, we edge out the resentment and anger that has a nasty way of sneaking in and usurping our energies. (Remember the power of negative energy?) Instead of being angry at being stuck in commuter traffic, change your perception to being grateful for having a nice air conditioned car with a great stereo system and a home or gainful work you are driving to or from. Being grateful and appreciative helps us take less things for granted and helps build up our stores of positive energy for a time when we may need it most.

Appreciation for who you are and for others who provide support to you, the team, the family, or the organization. Gratitude, acknowledgement, and appreciation improve the spirits of the giver as well as the receiver. It is physiologically impossible to be in the state of appreciation and the state of fear at the exact same time. When we remove fear from our lives, we remove a huge energy drain and barrier to gaining more energy.

So if you start to feel fearful, change your mind to feeling appreciative about some other aspect of your life to take your mind off the paralyzing affects of fear. Experience with thousands of audience members around the world confirm the research that appreciation improves motivation, self-esteem, productivity, and positive feelings. When we are appreciated, we feel better about ourselves and better about the person who is appreciating us. It creates a positive energy cycle and a connection between the two people or the person and the organization.

That is why it’s so critical to give recognition to improve retention in organizations. Likewise, it is just as critical to give recognition to improve retention in marriages. The wooing shouldn’t stop after the wedding. When people feel appreciated, they are more likely to keep giving and doing the behavior that gets appreciated. When the appreciation falls short, then the behavior starts to fall shorter, then the appreciation dwindles until there is a mutual shutdown by both parties. Before you know it, the positive cycle of giving and appreciating has turned into a downward spin of “why bother” or “what have you done for me lately?”

If you want to keep up the positive behavior, then you’ve got to keep up the positive rewards, and appreciation is one of the positive rewards we all seek. Be aware, be appreciative, and be grateful for the things and the people that come into your life.

As the CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) at Hartful Living including GaiaHart.com and BizBuilderCards.com; I’m a Messenger and Mentor for women entrepreneurs, connecting them to their capacity to energize their work and their lives in the art of living Hartfully. At BizBuilderCards.com, you can make a living through giving with greeting cards and gifts to build your network net worth as an additive to your current business or an easy way to send gratitude and kindness to the world.