Choose to be Grateful and Happy Happens!

November 23rd, 2016
Thanksgiving is the obvious time when attention is given to being thankful and grateful.  But if at this particular moment, you don’t feel grateful or happy, should you celebrate Thanksgiving?  
The answer is yes because doing the right thing even when you don’t feel like it, works.  Acting grateful can actually help make you feel a sense of gratitude.  When you actively choose to be grateful, happy just happens! It comes down to common sense: choosing to focus on good things makes you feel better than focusing on bad things. 
In the Staffing and Recruiting Profession, we change people lives for the better on a daily basis.  We can never arrive at work not grateful for our amazing profession and the opportunity to help both candidates and hiring authorities reach their professional, as well as personal goals.  However, because we have human beings on both sides of our process, who can change their minds and priorities almost instantaneously, there are times when it is difficult to feel grateful. 
Almost fifteen years ago I was reading critiques from a day of training I had delivered at an employment conference.   Out of the 200+ critiques, three people disagreed with almost everything I said and one felt that he could have done a better job.  I painstakingly reviewed my programs and then realized I should be grateful they attended and see if there was anything I could improve from their critiques. 
I decided to send handwritten notes thanking them for taking the time to provide me with their feedback.  Within 48 hours, I received emails from two of them sharing with me that they didn’t feel they needed to be trained, but realized they were wrong. One even admitted she had already used an idea from my session.  I’m quite sure the third person still feels he could have done a better job than me, but that’s okay! 
Often Holidays bring out the worst, as well as the best in family members who can be stressed out from travel or extra expenses during this time of year.  Our family has a tradition of going around the table after dinner and expressing what we most thankful for!   We do hear an occasional groan from my teenage grandchildren, but everyone participates.  The comments from the younger children almost always make us laugh, other moments bring tears to our eyes, but we always feel very blessed by the time everyone has shared what they are thankful for. 
Never be too busy to be grateful for the obvious good things in life which could include: your good health, your family, a happy relationship or marriage, your faith,  the people serving our country to protect our freedom, your children, your friends, your pets, your religions freedom and the list goes on and on. What about being grateful for the small things like the smell of fall in the air, a harvest moon or a song that brings you back to your childhood?    
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this Thanksgiving Holiday, you decided that expressing gratitude is going to become part of your daily routine.  I also invite you to share our family custom this year by going around your dinner table and having everyone express what they are most thankful for.  Personally, I plan to take my own advice and update my gratitude list to including my family, faith, friends, work, and you – for reading my blog! 
To your continued success,


Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS




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