The Habit of Gratitude

 

running water with white text over reading "a habit of gratitude"Today was a stark reminder for me of the importance of developing the habit of appreciation.

As you likely know, my wife, Gimalle and I live in a high-rise condo on the west side of downtown Calgary.  With a few exceptions, we both have come to love and appreciate all of the advantages of living downtown and, with very few exceptions, love condo living.

Well, there is one thing that does cause us both angst, well actually more Gimalle than me – the rare occasions when there is an all-day water shut down.

As most Canadians, we have both come to expect that when we turn on the tap, water emerges. When there is disruption to this norm, our routines are affected.  This likely includes adjusting morning showering times, running the dishwasher and washing machine the night before.  Certainly not life altering, but definitely requires adjustment.

My wife always comments after the water has been turned back on how appreciative she is that the routine can return to normal and how she takes water for granted.

Tonight, at dinner we found ourselves on the topic of how a water shut down is an interesting metaphor for something that we have all come to expect, and what happens when it is taken away, albeit temporarily.

That raised an interesting question. What does water represent for us?

Is it the same, similar or different for all of us?

Is it family, knowing you can call your dad at any time just to pick his brain about a business problem, cherishing time spent with a child?

Is it knowing that your sister will always be her best friend, the joy you feels when she watches your family eating together each night at the dinner table, sneaking away for a few minutes to clear your mind so that everything in the world can fall back into place?

What is the water for a leader?  Is it knowing that their best employees are fulfilled in their work, all of the time spent building relationships with colleagues and employees is the best investment you can make, regardless of the economy, your future is secure?

Not to be the bearer of bad news, much as we know with water, it can be turned off at any time. That means all that you may have taken for granted could be gone in an instant.

While there are no guarantees what tomorrow brings, by developing the habit of gratitude, you can feel secure knowing that when the taps stop flowing -and make no mistake, one day they will stop- you have reached out to others to let them know they matter and taken time to develop relationships that will survive any shut down, whether temporary or permanent.

Till we read again.

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