The Coach's Corner

Being thankful is a state of mind

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #39

Living in a household where we give thanks before every meal, I sometimes wonder if I’ve become immune to the power of saying thank you. I bring this up because these two little words have been weaving their way through numerous discussions during the past few weeks.

In coaching and in conversation, a number of you have reached out to let me know that you’re feeling challenged to engage, work harder, even thrive – because you feel that whatever you do is unrecognized. You would appreciate hearing the words ‘thank you’ on occasion. Maybe even once.

I get it – and sadly, you’re not alone. We’re surrounded by people who don’t say thanks for a darn thing: working overtime, a meal, financial assistance, a ride, caregiving, tutoring, cleaning, presents. And the list goes on.

This is not to absolve these (ungrateful) folks. A word of thanks would be well received, I’m certain. But what I know for sure: focusing on what you’re not hearing from them will take you down a rabbit hole in your personal and professional life.

Here’s what I’m learning instead. The more I’m willing to acknowledge those external words of validation will probably not be uttered, the closer I get to finding other ways to experience gratitude within myself. I’ve discovered I can be thankful anyway – that’s my choice.

When you have a few minutes, I encourage you to read, The neuroscience of gratitude and effects on the brain, a brilliant and robust resource on gratitude on so many levels.

Thanking others, thanking ourselves, Mother Nature, or the Almighty – gratitude in any form can enlighten the mind and make us feel happier.

Is this really possible? Please keep reading 🙂


Being thankful is a state of mind

When Jean was laid off from her job this year, it took her by surprise. Just a few weeks prior, it appeared she was on track to move into a new level of responsibility.

Since that surprise rocked her world, Jean’s response has been nothing short of a 180-degree shift.

Meeting after the announcement, we talked about how she was processing this unexpected change and using this time to reflect, consider and plan. I recalled a vision board she’d shared with me last year and we wondered if it might be helpful for her to create a new one to reflect whatever might be next.

Fast forward – this week Jean has launched a new business while working on securing a ‘day job.’ Her enthusiasm for this opportunity is filled with appreciation.

I’m so grateful for this time to really immerse myself in what I know will make a difference in my life and the lives of so many others. When I put together the vision board, the images of what I wanted most seemed to flow directly from my brain and my heart. Now I’ve taken action to create a passion endeavor and find the work that takes my skills to the next level. I can’t believe I would ever have seen this unexpected turn of events as a blessing – but it truly is. I’m beyond thankful.

Jean chose to own those things she does control, and in doing so found that she has the energy and drive to create a business AND keep looking for work that will pay the bills.



No matter where you are

You get to take your thankful state of mind with you everywhere, as expressed here by executive educator, coach and author, Marshall Goldsmith.

He finds that maintaining a sense of gratitude in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive environment.

Here’s his approach, as found on

Goldsmith concludes,

Remember, gratitude is a choice. By choosing to focus on the positive and express thankfulness, we can maintain a sense of gratitude in the workplace.

You will most certainly encounter colleagues, leaders and team members with whom you disagree, who don’t offer the projects you work on their blessing, who dismiss your efforts and who show very little gratitude.

With these insights I’m reminded that even then I can choose to have a thankful state of mind. No one can rob me of that gratitude.

My takeaway

  • It’s hard to be thankful when you encounter loss.
  • It’s hard to be thankful when something you do for someone goes unnoticed.
  • It’s hard to be thankful when someone is angry.
  • It’s hard to be thankful when you feel empty.

These are the moments when gratitude matters most.

Take a moment to appreciate the sunrise. Thank someone who reaches out to you. Accept a kind word from your partner. Be grateful for another day to learn.

And thank you, for reading through to the end.

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.

Zig Ziglar


Table of Contents

Additional Articles

Are you ready?

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #53 If you’re connected in any way to small children you know that getting them ready to head out the door

Read More »