The Thanksgiving holiday affords us a lovely opportunity to acknowledge the things we’re grateful for. At some holiday gatherings, it’s a tradition to go around the table — or around the house, if the table isn’t big enough to accommodate all the guests — and actually give thanks to and about each other.
Of course, we can give thanks anytime we want, and the more often we choose to do it, the better off we’ll feel. (See Stress Less: Kindness and Gratitude from April’s Workplace Wisdom.)
How Do You Take Your Steak?
It turns out there’s another interesting angle to gratitude. Receiving thanks can be just as important as giving thanks — although we may have to ask to be appreciated. In a brief TED talk, Dr. Laura Trice, counselor and founder and CEO of Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food asks, “Why can I say, ‘I’ll take my steak medium rare’ and ‘I need size 6 shoes,’ but I won’t say, ‘Would you praise me this way?’” Think about how good it could feel to hear some appreciativeness coming back to you. As you’re sharing your gratefulness with others, could you incorporate some aspect of asking for what you’d like to hear? You’ll find the instructive 3 minute talk here.
If You Want to Clap Along…
To add a little extra spark and sparkle to your sense of celebration and affirmation, let me recommend Natalie Merchant singing her anthem of appreciation, Kind and Generous. I love this song and feel inspired whenever I hear it, and I particularly enjoyed this version below, also at TED. Kind and Generous starts at 20:31, but the whole clip is fascinating. Note Merchant’s personal appreciation and her ability to manage the TED audience and teach it something new — just fabulous!
What lesson could you share, and what appreciation could you accept this Thanksgiving?
Onward and upward,