It’s Thanksgiving this week. Even though you’re tired and stressed out from traveling to see family (or cleaning and hosting), battling crowds in what feels like apocalyptic grocery store raiding, and cooking more dishes in one day than you usually do in a month, it feels good when you pause to reflect about what you’re thankful for before diving into the meal. The older I get, the more I love Thanksgiving. (And it’s not just because it’s a holiday centered around food.) I love the emphasis on thanks and giving. It’s the recognition of the blessings and privileges we enjoy, and a desire to pay it forward to make sure others have enough food to eat and someone to eat with.
When you choose a mindset of gratitude and abundance, life is more beautiful and fulfilling. I support the trend to focus on gratitude year-round. Articles and experts tell us that expressing gratitude is a common characteristic of successful people and that adopting an attitude of gratitude will make you happy. There are gratitude challenges and gratitude journals, gratitude jars and gratitude jewelry (and I’m sure many other products I don’t know about). You can express your gratitude privately, publicly, over social media or through actions.
Gratitude — the acknowledgement of the good in your life — is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Consistently practicing gratitude at home and at work for the good and the bad, the spectacular and the everyday, the big and the small things, will likely make you feel more optimistic and experience positive well-being, which can improve your health and your relationships. There are always things to be grateful for, and reflecting on all past and present good gives us hope to weather rough times and the motivation to do more and to act selflessly.
#TeamMoonsail believes in the power and positivity of gratitude, and we have baked it into our culture. We begin each weekly team meeting with appreciations — creating a space to reflect on how each team member rocked it out the previous week — and we even have a #client_appreciations channel on Slack where we celebrate thanks and praise from clients. We make an extra effort to appreciate one another each day, and to consciously share our successes by donating to nonprofits throughout the year.
In the spirit of gratitude, our team wanted to share our personal thanks.
Sedora: my daily morning gratitudes have more or less stayed the same since childhood, and I add on to them as new people and experiences come into my life. Sometimes the order changes, given what’s salient at the time, but my typical daily gratitude goes something like this:
- I am thankful for always having a safe and warm place to sleep, access to nutritious, delicious food, access to clean running water, my (growing!) supportive family and friends, my health and the health of my family, always having enough, the opportunity to travel, all the adventures I’ve had and the things I’ve been able to try, a good education, a good job, living in a safe neighborhood with great weather, and not having to face war or daily discrimination or threats to my safety.
- Specific work-related thanks: I’m extremely thankful for a great team, a creative, flexible and supportive work environment, great clients and interesting projects, and the ability to work from home!
Katie: I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the creative, inspirational, hard-working, supportive members of #TeamMoonsail. Like most of my graduating senior friends, I was stressed about finding a full-time job for about half of 2016. Now, I learn something new each day in my role as a communications specialist at Moonsail North and continue growing my knowledge of communications. I am given responsibilities every week that challenge me and keep me on my toes. I am appreciated for asking questions and work with the team on professional development so that I ensure my future in communications is bright. I am beyond grateful to have a friend in each of my coworkers and that their work motivates me to want to do my best work each and every day.
Rose: This Thanksgiving, the most succinct way to express how I feel is that I am grateful for people, projects and opportunities. I start every morning with a cup of coffee and with my gratitude round: I am grateful for the incredible people I get to work with — our talented and passionate clients and collaborators, and the amazing team here at Moonsail North — and the incredible people I call friends and family. This Thanksgiving, I am a mother for the first time, and my 5-month-old son reminds me each and every day how much joy there is in this world. The client storytelling and strategy projects we have the opportunity to work on energize and inspire me every week — and looking ahead to 2017, all I can think about is how excited I am for the possibilities.
Scott: Nothing teaches you gratitude like the birth of a child. Since my son came into the world in June, I’ve found myself counting my blessings minute-by-minute. I’m grateful for the love he enjoys from family members across the country, for his health and happiness, and for the opportunities he will have to live a creative, purposeful life. Professionally, I am eternally grateful for a client roster of do-gooders—each of our collaborators seeks to leave the world a little better than they found it, in their own way. It’s a privilege to help tell their stories.