3 Ways Gratitude works

Sections of this topic

    I’d like to continue the theme from Janae’s post last week on gratitude, to explore more applications at work and highlight three ways it works.

    Focusing on What you Have

    For starters, gratitude gets your minds off of all the things that worry you, annoy you, or challenge you. Instead, when you focus your attention on all that you have in your life, you channel your focus on all the ways you are blessed and supported.

    I’ve done meditations where I listed all the things that work in my house – that keep me comfortable and cozy- water for my shower, electricity, my warm bed, plumbing and pipes that work, my refrigerator that keeps my food cold and fresh, toothpaste so my teeth feel clean. You get the idea. You could do a 30 minute meditation on gratitude for everything in your house from the smallest light switch to your AC system. And while you do it, send prayers for all those on our planet who do not have that item or comfort in their home. By the time you get to work after doing a meditation like this, you’ll know you have many things that fill your life with goodness and comfort.

    You get to choose how you want to see things. You can focus on what you lack or you can focus on what you have. You will almost certainly feel better focusing on what you have than what you lack.

    You can be pissed off that you didn’t get the report you needed or you can’t find the tool you need, or you can choose to focus on what you were able to finish and how grateful you are for the people who help you with your work.

    Supporting What You Have with more Energy

    The second reason gratitude works is that when we focus our attention on something, we feed it energy. Or to put another way, what you give away you receive back (some would say you get back 3 fold what you give away).

    So you can either feed the thought – ‘I don’t have enough; I don’t have what I need” or feed the thought ‘I am bountifully supported; All that I need is available to me’. As I was appreciating a beautiful day last week, a guy who I had been meaning to call across town happened to stop by my office and give me exactly what I was looking for. How cool is that?

    Receiving Joyfully

    The last part of gratitude is that when we practice living and working in gratitude, we learn to receive with joy. How open are you to receiving? Can you receive joyfully? Can you accept goodness in your life? Or do you push away offers for help, people offering to pay for your lunch etc.? Pay attention to how you are blocking the flow of energy and support vs. receiving gifts and support from others – in large or small ways.

    As you practice receiving in joy, you recognize the abudant flow in your life. From that place of abundance, you draw in more abundance – of helpful people, of small acts of kindness, of physical things appearing in your life- rather than shutting them out.

    When you focus on gratitude, you shift your energy – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

    What have you seen happen in your life when you receive joyfully or express gratitude for what you have?


    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website www.lindajferguson.com to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” available on Amazon.