I am pushing PAUSE in this very moment and I encourage every one of you to do the same....simply STOP, just as I did this morning.
I was walking my dog, Ben, who serves as my Thought Pondering Editor in Chief, and while on our usual route I suddenly stopped. There it was, a burnt dollar bill in the midst of the fall leaves. Who would burn money? It isn't against the law? Maybe there is some mysterious story behind this barely there bill?
Picking it up, realizing it wasn't the allusive treasure that we all are dying to fortune upon, but then I paused to look more closely.
The money was burned from every angle, almost to the point of no longer being a bill. What little there was left could not be salvaged, but the remnants of what used to be 1 dollar, 100 cents (or a daily wage for an unskilled worker in some countries) made me value what it represents.
It seems we are always striving to grow our individual businesses and find the next big client, or beating ourselves up because we haven't heard back from a prospect. This behavior doesn't allow us time to stop and be grateful for what we have already accomplished, the money we have made and the fact that we have the opportunity to flourish.
Having gratitude in our business lives means not burning the candle at both ends to the point that we don't recognize nor value what we have already made, the clients we have served, and the connections we have cemented.
The business client that has been blessed by our talents, skills and expertise has in return helped us to invest back into the business, pay a bill or has provided funds to put gas in our cars to get to the next meeting. He or she's business with us may have even contributed to dinner out, paid for a massage or a manicure or perhaps, contributed to funding a family vacation.
The human brain is wired to automatically reflect back to what didn't work in our past as a protective defensive mechanism when things don't go well. So the proposal that went awry or the client that didn't hire us consumes our time and thoughts.
So instead, in this moment, can we pause and pick up the tattered dollar and be grateful for it and what it represents? I want to encourage you to join me and stop now and think of a co-worker, customer or client to be grateful for; someone who has crossed your path or contributed to you in a positive way instead of burning the candle at both ends seeking more, different and faster. Let's quietly pause to send a note to someone who has already propelled us forward.
Yes, get up right this minute and find a note and a stamp and send your gratefulness to them today. Ask them how things are going and tell them how much you appreciate them. You will be so glad you did!