I made a discovery this week: gratitude can help drive the four building blocks of change.

Gratitude is on my mind in part because a board that I serve just said goodbye and thank you to an amazing and gifted long-time board member, Jane.  How do you say thank you – thoughtfully – in a pandemic?  Well I am grateful to another board member for this awesome idea: we all made signs!

Here is the insight: gratitude fosters conviction and understanding.  For me, I spent extra time appreciating Jane this week.  I thought about the impact she has had on our organization, our community, and on me.  This reflection helped me understand my role as a board member better.  A board member is a visible demonstration of support and commitment to the mission of an organization.

There are a lot of gurus that talk about the benefits of gratitude.  They typically tie gratitude to happiness. The theory is often that by practicing gratitude, we feel happier, connected, and more fulfilled.  For example:

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

“Gratitude works. Gratitude scales.” – Seth Godin

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around,” Willie Nelson’s A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart.

This rings true for me; yet, I’d like to add my own take to the mix: “Gratitude drives conviction & understanding.”  If you are trying to understand the bigger picture and ultimately effect change, then do some rumbling with gratitude.


Inspiration for this blog came from:

*Jane Steger, friend and board member who had the idea to make signs of gratitude.  Interestingly, she got the idea from somewhere else – a great example of Seth’s suggestion that gratitude scales!

*Brene Brown, whose book Dare to Lead helps me understand what it means to ‘rumble’ with something.

*A.J. Jacobs, who wrote the book Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey where he thanked the 1,000 people around the world who contributed in some way to his morning cup of coffee.