Happy thanksgiving!

As a European living in the United States, I have come to appreciate the North-American holiday of Thanksgiving. I treasure this time among friends and family, and savor Thanksgiving’s traditional dishes… My favourite by far: mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, absolute bliss!

Within my vocation (as a career and executive coach partnering with clients in their search for their “True North”), ‘thanksgiving’ in a literal sense is a powerful tool. In its broadest sense, it is an appreciation of ‘what is’, of what is good in the present and what has made it so. Research shows that there is a causal relationship between expressions of gratitude and mental and physical health: positivity builds optimism and resilience; fosters good relationships, and supports a healthy and thriving career and personal life[1].

Try this: Write an ‘appreciation letter’ to a colleague, a former boss, or any other professional contact to whom you owe a debt of gratitude.

Be specific about what they did for you and how it positively affected you and helped to develop your career. Let them know how often you reflect on what you learnt from them, and the effort that they made. Ideally, hand-deliver the letter and read it out to them.  If this isn’t possible, maybe give them a call or email your message.

In fact, research shows that even if you write but never send such a message, it will still help you to reflect and will have a positive effect on your life.

Having done this, get in touch with me at [email protected] – I would love to hear about your personal experience after you’ve expressed appreciation to someone!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

[1] Lyubomirsky, S., ‘The How of Happiness’, Penguin Group, 2007