Three Things That Make You a Gratitude Super Hero 

    Heather Mylan-Mains

    I’d like to see a Marvel hero that is based on gratitude. This may seem lame as far as a super power goes; however, gratitude is so powerful it changes energy. Changes energy! That is amazing! Given that context the Marvel super hero idea takes shape. In this world, the need to influence, advise, and establish trust can all be accomplished with an attitude of gratitude. This is especially important to business analysts. Picture a super hero that accessorizes with a smile, gives compliments, and has ability to see the good in everything? Not just any smile and compliment, but a sincere one. Coupled with the ability to find the silver lining in any situation, now that’s amazing! Who would not want that person in their life? They would be powerful and mighty!
    
    Imagine you are part of a team with constantly shifting priorities, resources and deadlines. This is likely a reality for many rather than an imaginative exercise. In that environment there is a team member that expresses frustration in every team meeting, any time you speak to them, and is doubtful when a decision is made for some clarity. Those reactions and behavior are a choice. Now imagine having a team member that comes to work each day with a smile, a compliment for how much you are appreciated as a team member and expresses gratitude for another day to work on solving the problem? Who would you want to spend lunch with? Who is part of the solution rather than aggravating the problem? Imagine a person not allowing the negativity to overtake their thoughts, conversation and countenance. The team will change as a result. That is the super power of gratitude. The situation is no different. The facts are the same for both people; they do not have control over the situation. They do have control over how they respond to it. It is frustrating. It is a challenge. That is the reality, the choice to how to respond is where the energy is changed. Be generous with complements to build someone up!

    In our hectic lives with constantly changing dynamics, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless. I challenge you to fight this tendency and make a deliberate choice to be grateful. This simple switch creates positive energy. Positive energy generates happiness. We are drawn to happy people. The impossible seems possible when you are surrounded by people that see possibility. Consider these simple modifications in your daily life: Smile, be complimentary, and find the silver lining.

    Smile

    The delightful musical Annie offers this advice: ‘You’re never truly dressed without a smile”. How true that is! A smile is a simple way to brighten your day and anyone around you. Connecting with another human being with a smile is powerful. I am not talking about a plastic fake wide grin that looks more like a grimace. I mean a simple upward turn of your lips to indicate genuine appreciation for the moment you are sharing with another human being. The power of a smile is tangible. You can feel it. It indicates an invitation to engage. We need smiles to get through our tough days. Talking with someone who doesn’t smile and even worse, frowns or grimaces when we are near actually makes us want to retreat and be anywhere but near them. Be bold and genuine in your smile! A smile brightens the room, costs nothing and provides a high ROI. You have likely heard that it’s nearly impossible to not return a smile. Try it and see how this is a super hero skill!

    Compliment

    Armed with a smile, your next super hero gratitude tool is to share compliments. An unknown author gave us this saying; “If you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness.” Compliments are a way to express gratitude. A compliment can put us on speaking terms with happiness. Find something to compliment people about. It can be simple such as their appearance, appreciation for a treat they shared or a comment they made that made you think. It can be more specific about their work, their desire to be a good citizen or team member, or even their personality. I have received compliments on my smile, my positive attitude, or my laughing that has fueled my ability to do it more often. I appreciated the expression of gratitude through a compliment. I try to repay the compliment by returning it as an expression of my gratitude for them. Compliment someone’s ability to think logically in a tense situation, to play the devils advocate or to see the value in that viewpoint, to meet a deadline, to answer an email that you needed a response on. There are endless ways to complement someone. My mom says that no one is worthless; they can always be a bad example. Evan that is something that you can complement!

    Find the Silver Lining

    The saying ‘Every butt has a silver lining’ is familiar. It references finding the good in situations. Elvis Presley said “When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” See the good in the situation. Give people the benefit of the doubt. There is always a silver lining! It can be hard to see and be very faint, but it is there. During the winter in Iowa, it’s cold. It’s sometimes bitter cold. I have trained myself to see the good in that for me. The extreme cold prevents dangerous poisonous insects and snakes from living here in the summer. I can walk barefoot in the grass without the fear of a stumbling across a fire ant hill! That’s amazing! I love that so the cold winter has a purpose for me that I am grateful for. Although work can be frustrating, the silver lining is the opportunity to learn through the frustration. If there was not chaos, I would not know how to create order. Even worse, without some chaos, my skills may not be needed. Be grateful for opportunities to add to your tool kit. The silver lining is there, if you choose to see it.
    Be grateful. Be a super hero with your ability to change the dynamics of a group. See opportunities when problems arise. Seek solutions. Smile, compliment your peers, look for the silver lining and latch on to that. If someone mistreats you, choose to forgive and see them as an example of bad behavior and do not treat others like that. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” We choose how we respond. Choose to smile, compliment others, and to see the good in a situation!

    Heather, a BA Without Borders

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