The headline on LinkedIn read, “Why I was glad when I got fired – again” and I found myself thinking what a wonderful perspective.

Real gratitude at work is just that. Being content if it’s a good day or a bad day. It’s being able to see being fired as transformative when the sting of taking it personally wears off. Gratitude isn’t just about being thankful that you drive a nice car of live in a large house. It’s surrender to what is. And knowing what is (like losing a job in this case) is temporary. Through pain often comes great realization of something much deeper than the surface of being uncomfortable, mad or sad. The layoff is merely a vehicle for you to dig deeper at who you really are. And, to learn you are not your job. You are much bigger than that.

Gratitude, especially at work, is something that is cultivated. It isn’t something that you automatically have as an employee or even as the boss. Gratitude for the small things add up over time and an entire attitude of gratitude and outlook emerges. The real test is not resisting what’s happening in the office.

You know what I’m talking about.

When you get the snarky email. When you ask for help from your boss and she shoves you off. When your co-worker has the flu and infects you. When there is no policy or procedure and it causes a big snafu. When you look silly in front of an important client. When a co worker throws you under the bus during the staff meeting. When the monkeys in your head rage war with poisonous thoughts that you mistake as real.

These are the real moments when it’s tough to muster up gratitude or the eyes to see the lesson.

Or the where with all not to recoil from the sting or the seething anger.

But if you can just catch it  – the feeling – before it gets too big and stop your thinking, what could emerge?

And, if you were quick enough and  brave enough to not point the finger outward and look inward at the situation and be thankful, who would you really be?

That’s the real question. Who could you be if this situation at work wasn’t happening to you?

That’s the key. Nothing is happening to you. Nothing at all. It’s how you perceive it. It may not be the truth. More than likely it is not the truth at all.

When you get right down to it your perception is nothing but a house of mirrors. The common denominator is your distorted version of the truth, which masks gratitude.

Gratitude begins in that small sip of slowing down, catching the emotion and sitting with it. Questioning it. Asking yourself, ‘Does this outlook help me at all at work?”

Gratitude is an inward process for all that is outward.

It’s an inside job.


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