thank you note

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have had a word of the year for the past several years. One year, it was the word grateful. As is often the case (or always, so far in my limited experience!), the word starts the year out with one intent, but finishes the year different and more robust than I can imagine.

As one of the ways to steep myself in gratitude, I found the book, Living in Gratitude by Angeles Arrien which is a delightful month-by-month guide to exploring gratitude. The book has interesting tidbits from all sorts of history and traditions along with the seasons and what is happening in nature each month of the year. 

It helped to open my eyes not just to the obvious things I have to be grateful for (food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, etc.) but also connected me to the tradition of gratitude across time and cultures. It made my feeling of gratitude much more expansive as a result.

Gratitude can be especially powerful if you’re not completely happy with your current work situation, regardless of whether it’s the specific job, team, or company. Focusing on the things you’re grateful for at work can infuse you with some much needed joy and energy to forge ahead with your less enjoyable tasks. 

It can be as simple as remembering the special bond you have with one person at work. You know, the one person you tell everything! You’re lucky to have someone like that. Maybe it’s the great food in the cafeteria. More likely, it’s the fact that your company is located nearby to that amazing Mexican food place! It could be that you get to dress however you want. Or maybe the supply closet always has a stash of your favorite type of pen. These sound silly, but appreciating the little things truly makes bad days better and good days great.

If you’re located in the U.S., this is the week that we celebrate Thanksgiving. Some people prefer to breeze through Thanksgiving on their way to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Instead, I would encourage you to pause and reflect and savor a few of those things that fill you with gratitude. 

As for me, I’ll be spending the week expressing gratitude and sending notes to people letting them know what I appreciate about them. 

#PositiveAction Write a list of 5 things you’re grateful for at work. Bonus points for telling someone else what you appreciate in them!

 

Image by June Laves from Pixabay

I’ve been thinking about purpose a lot lately, maybe because I was able to witness an example of a life well-lived during the Honor Flight. Or maybe because I’ve been working on manifesting (making real) some big dreams, like writing a book! I’ve had several reminders lately to keep my focus on my purpose that were worth sharing.

My purpose is to educate and empower others to take positive action. I get to do that through my career coaching, where I help clients get unstuck, move forward, tell their best story, and find meaningful work. I get to do that when I’m speaking to a group. I also get to do that through my volunteer work with the Climate Reality Project. Interestingly, I also get to do that as a parent, friend, child, co-worker… really any relationship I have with another human is a chance to live into my purpose.

The challenge comes when life starts to happen all around. It’s easy to focus on all the tasks that need doing, without remembering the why (purpose) behind those tasks. Lately, I’ve been struggling with a few administrative-type tasks and finding ways to get them done sooner and better. When I think about the task itself, it makes me want to cringe or run away! But when I think about how it enables me to live out my purpose, the burdensome administrative task becomes easier. 

As another example, I have been enjoying a period of growth in my business and it’s been awesome, but it’s also made everything feel a lot more busy. That rushed, overwhelmed feeling likes to sneak in at times like that. I had mentioned how busy I was to a good friend and he immediately asked me, “Are you so busy that you can’t help one more person this month who is struggling in their job?” Hmm. Good question. When I listen to the busy, my brain wants to freak out and turn down opportunities. When I listen to my purpose, I can say with confidence, “Yes! I can help.”

I made a deliberate choice to start living life on purpose and it’s a change that’s been transformational for me. However, making the choice once doesn’t make it real. I have to consistently choose to be on purpose in order to live into it. I’m grateful for the reminders that keep bringing me back to that fact.

#PositiveAction Do one thing that brings you closer to working on purpose today. It could be defining your purpose, course correcting, or saying yes to an opportunity.  

 

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Hi! I’m Allyson. Most of my friends call me Ally. Welcome to the Authentic Ally (see what I did there?) blog where I share my thoughts on careers and life, partly because I’m interested in those topics and partly because we spend so much of our time physically at our careers (as well as worrying about them when we’re not there!) that it’s hard to separate them from our lives.

One of my favorite quotes on work comes from the comedian Drew Carey:

 “Oh you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”

It’s intended to be funny, but there’s a large kernel of truth in it. More than 70% of American workers range from unhappy to downright miserable in their jobs. There are a lot of reasons for the disengaged feelings so many people experience and we’ll explore a lot of those reasons here on this blog, but first let’s all agree that the embarrassingly high number of unhappy workers is not ok. It’s bad for people and it’s bad for companies. 

So I’m here to change that. I want to increase the number of happy workers because happier people are healthier people. They’re better partners, parents, co-workers, friends, leaders, and volunteers. And just imagine how our world changes when the majority of people are doing work that they love, that excites them, and that brings about high levels of creativity!  

Who’s with me? *Collective cheer rises up… or at least a nodding of heads in agreement* Great! Let’s get started.