G.K Chesterton once said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Indeed, we are amid the season of wonder.
As we gathered around the family dinner table this past month for Thanksgiving and set our eyes on further holiday gatherings for Christmas, it’s easy to think of things we’re thankful for. We’re culturally prompted to do so. That said, how many of us maintain that spirit of thankfulness the other 11 months of the year?
We hear about “cultivating gratitude” to help keep our mental health on track, to “look on the bright side” especially in difficult times, or to find reasons to be grateful with what we have in the present moment, and to not constantly be comparing ourselves, our possessions, our family, our bank account to anyone else – or what we wished we had.
Though it’s excellent to have goals, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy focus balance, between our dreams and being happy in-the-now with what we have. Too much focus on the former can lead to robbing ourselves of true joy and gratitude within the latter.
The values that we instill in our family businesses come directly from the values we hold dear as a family first. What can we do, after the holidays are over, to maintain the spirit until next Thanksgiving?
Not sure where to start?
- Speak words of appreciation to your family and your team on a regular basis. Make it part of your weekly or monthly meetings. Say one thing that you’re grateful to that person for.
- Encourage your family, friends, and team members to give of their time freely. If you’re able, set up an annual giving day where you all go into the community and volunteer in places of highest need.
- Set aside 5 minutes a day to reflect on all the good you have right now.
- Do something kind for a stranger, anonymously, on a regular basis.
Over our many years in the business, we have found that the family businesses who have the highest employee satisfaction, the lowest turnover and the strongest cultures are ones that have instilled gratitude as one of their operational cornerstones.
We wish you the deepest joy and spirit of thankfulness this holiday season!