Yesterday I had a gratitude (and attitude) adjustment.
Autumn is by far my favorite season, but I’ve been feeling that I’ve missed out on enjoying the season this year, one that’s been spectacular here in Colorado. We moved into a new house that’s turned out to be a Money Pit–every time we turn around we find something else that needs to be fixed for $$$–and is taking all of our free time. And my accident/concussion has kept me from the long hikes I love this time of year.
I was in a pretty good self-pity spiral, which was impacting my overall attitude and energy.
Yesterday over lunch I took the dog for a walk. A “walk” at our new house means walking out our front door and 10 yards through our yard, into a beautiful open-space park with miles of trails and views of the Continental Divide.
We walked two miles, treated to a crystal-clear blue sky, swaths of aspens in peak color, and crisp yet warm-from-that-Colorado-sun air.
I accessed this by walking out the door of my new home and up a hill.
At one point in the walk I looked up (📸 👇) and was overcome with gratitude. Gratitude for living where I now do. Gratitude for the ability to live here. Gratitude for having the time in my schedule to head out mid-day. Gratitude for having the physical capability to walk these trails.
That gratitude adjustment spurred an attitude adjustment. The attitude adjustment shifted my emotions from self-pity to self-agency.
My energy shifted. My focus improved. My intention to live in equanimity reset.
Life, work–they’re certainly not always sunshine and roses. And when things aren’t going the way we planned (silly us to plan), we can let it impact how we show up in our relationships, leadership, and results.
The opportunity in these situations is to leverage our emotional intelligence to be aware of how we feel and the impact it has, and CHOOSE to find gratitude in what’s in front of us.
From there we can observe the shift in our thinking and behaviors, which will reinforce the benefits of an attitude of gratitude. And that reinforcement makes gratitude even easier to practice. (Complete coincidence that I posted about the practice of leadership earlier this week. Timely though.)
When you find yourself in a negative spiral of emotions, leverage your EQ to catch yourself. Name what’s happening. Then look for something to be grateful for in the moment. It might be small, but even a small moment of gratitude can inspire an attitude reset.