Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays of the year. It brings together elements of family, community, and the opportunity to embrace a state of gratitude for the people and things that make our lives full.
Throughout the year, we carry on with our lives, going to work, doing our jobs, having good days and bad.
It can become somewhat of a mindless routine.
This auto pilot mode can have a degree of comfort to it too when it protects us from any negative dynamics around us.
It is more of a problem when tuning out becomes a permanent state of disengagement.
Every workplace is going to have its share of tension and personality clashes.
If those persist, work can become very stressful.
When constant change is added to that it is easy to get frustrated and critical of our employers and/or our co-workers.
Things just don’t make sense some days and people’s behaviour can be annoying.
How we respond to the dynamics around us is a very personal thing.
Some people have better coping skills than others; attitude plays a big role; and; everyone’s support system is different.
When work and life get difficult, finding positive ways to manage the day to day stress can help prevent it from becoming chronic.
Some people are genuinely optimistic and able to look on the bright side of any situation.
They truly do find the silver lining in any cloud and that is how they get through the dark days.
Other people have the blessing and the curse of a naturally critical mind.
Analytical thinking can add real value to problem solving however, it can also be a source of frustration for everyone when it is only used to find flaws in everything.
Being able to balance a realistic perspective with a positive attitude is a real talent.
With practise it can become a learned habit.
One thing that helps is to consciously assess – and accept—what is within our control and what is not.
Particularly at work, worrying about things that we cannot truly influence is an exercise in futility.
Better to save/use our energy for the things that are within our power to change.
If we are directly involved in real difficulties, we need to actively investigate our part in causing or feeding those.
There will always be decisions made at work that are dictated from the higher ranks.
We may not understand the reasoning for them nor will we necessarily agree with them.
However, to preserve our own sanity there needs to be an element of trust and acceptance that the leaders at the top are doing the best they can.
If we stay in our jobs by choice than it is fair to conclude that there is enough about it that is positive so why not focus on that more often?
Again, for everyone the payback is going to be different but as long as the good continues to outweigh the negative, that’s a reason to celebrate.
No family or partnership is ideal; no employer is without flaws; no team is always in sync; no job is completely satisfying all the time.
Life is a mixed bag. That’s why Thanksgiving is a perfect chance to reflect on what is good about our lives—at home and at work—and to accept the whole package with sincere appreciation and gratitude.