Happy Thanksgetting

Happy Thanksgetting Published on November 26, 2015

by Jay Perry Chief Talent Champion / Take Charge of Your Talent

On the last Thursday in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a harvest festival with parades, football games, and plenty of food. Many people use the Thanksgiving season to reflect on all they have to be grateful for. And most of us have a lot to be grateful for. With apologies to Martha Stewart, gratitude is a good thing. Wouldn’t it be great to be in the presence of that gratitude all year long?

And I think I know how we can do that. We have to celebrate Thanksgetting.

Thanksgetting is the skill of actually experiencing the appreciation and love that people have for us. Sounds easy but often it’s not. Take a moment to reflect on what you do when you are acknowledged? Do you let it in? Do you deflect it? Do you judge it? Do you compare it to your own valuation of worthiness?

“No, no. It was nothing” may be polite conversation, but it also restrains the universal flow of gratitude. Something magical happens when you truly accept another’s gratitude and esteem for you. It increases in value. It is a gift that people want to keep giving, because it is so well received. Think of it this way….. if you cooked dinner and set it in front of your family and guests only to find that they all thought it was impolite to eat, how would you feel? Certainly not like washing the dishes or cooking the next day.

I’ve been to plays that I truly loved and felt exhilarated by applauding at the curtain call. But only because the cast was truly accepting the applause, “getting” my thanks. And when they did I felt thanked for thanking them and back and forth and so on and so on until we were all virtually saturated with gratitude.

I’ve also been to plays where the actors didn’t seem to care at all that I was grateful. Maybe they knew (even if the audience did not) that something had been screwed up, or were impatient to be somewhere else…. I don’t know…… I do know that I wanted to express my gratitude and, in their way, they said “No thanks, not interested.” The flow of gratitude stopped right there.

Feel adventurous? Ask a friend to acknowledge you for something… anything. Uncross your arms and your legs, take a deep breath, and let it in. Notice what happens. Does it start getting uncomfortable? Do you want to make a joke or recross some body parts in a defensive posture? Keep trying until you really let it in. You’ll know when it happens. Energy will be released…. A big smile may come or maybe tears.

I think we humans are caught in a cycle. We want to love and to be loved. We actually do fairly well at generating the loving part…… but until we become experts at being loved the natural flow will remain dammed up.

Help break the cycle…. Celebrate Thanksgetting.