The Power of Gratitude


I was in a meeting earlier this week, where I was told that as opposed to the paid members of staff, who were kindly prepared to give up some of their free time for an extra meeting, my attendance at this extra meeting was ‘expected’ because I am a volunteer. On top of that, at the end of the meeting we all left, as usual, without a word of thanks to any of us for giving up another evening of our time.


This encounter left me appreciating the power of gratitude…of course, anyone who has seen (or read) “The Secret” already knows all about gratitude, and how important it is to express gratitude for the things you are already have in your life.


I remember my mother telling me to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and that ‘good manners cost nothing’, so maybe I have inherited some beliefs around gratitude and politeness anyway. These beliefs are simply borne out further by various books that encourage us to be grateful for the things we have…and here was a perfect example.


Perhaps my unconscious mind has kindly used this example to highlight all the things that are not sitting congruently with me regarding this particular volunteer role…and I am grateful for that. I am also grateful for the range of NLP strategies I can call into play to help me reframe this and use to recognise the mismatched values …and most importantly I am grateful that I have a choice about what I can do next.


Time is precious, and the gift of time is incredibly valuable within the voluntary sector…so perhaps in future I will be choosing to spend my time volunteering for something that does better fit my values and beliefs…and maybe even acknowledges my gift of time with an occasional ‘Thank You’.

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