Why gratitude is fundamental to better service
We can only give away what we have.
The disease of more is rife in our culture: more money, more time, more boobs, more lips, more sex, more love, more holidays, more recognition, more likes, more followers….when is what we have enough? When do we learn to appreciate what we do have rather than constantly casting our eyes to the distant horizon, seeking for what’s beyond it?
And what does all of that have to do with service?
When we love what we do, being of service to others is easier.
Not easy, but easier.
I make this distinction because service is a choice we make. Take a look around and you’ll see examples everywhere of people who are choosing not to be of service.
And to love what we do requires us to take time to pause and reflect on what we already have in our lives that we can give thanks for. Because when we task our reticular activating systems for what we already have that’s good, it goes looking for more! Like a heat seeking missile. It cannot help it: that is it’s job.
I can recommend a few different ways to reinforce gratitude:
ONE: Write down every day at least 3 new things to be grateful for and add them to your ongoing list.
TWO: Text your gratitude list to a small group of friends who share theirs as well
THREE: Have a gratitude buddy you call daily to talk about that which you’re thankful for
It’s the action that matters. Externalising what you recognize is important because it reinforces it and makes you consciously aware of what you have. From there we can see our growth, be better connected to our purpose and focus on what we’re receiving from being of service, rather than focusing on what we’re giving. It makes the decision to show up that much easier because the getting is beyond the material and that’s where fulfillment is.
Consistency and effectiveness. My clients know I drum these home because it’s not about a once off WOW. Nor is it about being consistently ordinary. We need to draw from our reserves to do Service well all of the time. It’s hard work.
And that’s what makes it so important.