Access the Power of Thankfulness and Appreciation

No Comments »

I am Thankful for... Mary LoreIn the mid-1990s, I was an executive officer for several companies in crisis and owner of my own growing business. I was working over a hundred hours a week, drained, unhealthy, and unhappy- and I felt there was no way out.After an “aha” moment, I realized that I was responsible for my world, that I created my world, and that the only way I could change my world was to change myself. I knew that my thoughts were the only things over which I had complete responsibility and accountability.So I started to look at what was going on inside my head. I decided to start managing my thoughts.

I wondered about it and woke up with the idea to start a thankfulness journal.Every night before I went to sleep, I took an inventory of my day and wrote down everything I was thankful for. Frankly, I was surprised at the length of the list because I thought everything was wrong in my world. I was also surprised to see the list expanded every day.

Then I noticed a shift in my thinking. I started seeing people and situations in a whole new light. I focused on what I wanted, not what I didn’t want and didn’t like. I turned fear into inspiration.I smiled and laughed. I felt as though a weight had been lifted. I started eating well and sleeping well. I accomplished much more, in quantity and quality, in less time.Those around me truly appreciated my transformation as I expressed how I valued and appreciated them. I received ideas on how to create even more that made me thankful. I couldn’t wait to start my day!I also changed how I was working in organizations and to this day, I start every strategic planning session with What are we thankful for? About our customers? Our suppliers? Our employees? Our investors and sources of money? Our products and services? Functional areas? Processes? The industry?

It is similar to focusing on our strengths, except focusing on our strengths is an intellectual process. As we practice being thankful, we become inspired and it’s when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

The Power of Thankfulness and Appreciation

Throughout my book, Managing Thought, I talk about thankfulness being one of the highest levels of consciousness.

As we practice being thankful and expressing appreciation, we invoke a power within. We become expansive, our world opens, we widen our view. Creative ideas emerge and we experience a dramatic improvement in our relationships, our creativity, and in our lives.

Studies show  that those who practice thankfulness are healthier, have a better outlook on life, and are more likely to reach important goals; that being valued, appreciated, part of a community, and having the opportunity to contribute are the key drivers to employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, and performance.I wrote the Companion Guide: How to Access the Power of Thankfulness to provide a toolkit for the practice of thankfulness, to make it a way of life, a way of being, at home and at work. It’s an audio book so I can be with you in your car :) and a PDF so you can print out the exercises — All in one!There are hundreds of activities (with facilitation guidance) for organizations, individuals, and families.

Here’s a fun activity from the Guide to use at home or at work:

  1. Give everyone a blank 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and a pen. If you have a large group, you may want to give everyone two pieces of paper paper-clipped together (You may want to splurge for nice paper and Sharpies of various colors.)
  2. Have everyone write their name at the top of the paper (or both papers if they have two) and then pass it to the person on their right. (If someone refuses to participate or is absent from the gathering, write their name on top of a piece of paper for them.)
  3. Give everyone a minute or two to write at least one thing they are thankful for about the person whose name is at the top of the page. It could be something about their personality, a talent or skill they have, how they touched you or helped you in the past or present (If you have young children at the table, you may want to allow more time so an older child or grown-up can write what they want to say for them.) Ring a bell to indicate they have about 30 seconds left and ring the bell to indicate that time is up.
  4. Instruct everyone to pass their paper to their right.
  5. Continue steps 3, 4 and 5 until everyone has the piece of paper with their name on it back in front of them.
  6. Give everyone a minute or two to read what’s been written for them.
  7. Invite everyone to read aloud what’s on their sheet of paper. Ask who wants to go first, and next and so on until everyone has shared.
  8. To conclude, thank everyone for sharing and thank them for the difference they make in your life and in the lives of others.
  9. You may want to provide a folder, an envelope or a plastic sleeve for them to put their paper in or a ribbon to tie around the paper rolled into a scroll.

This activity works great around the dinner table, around a conference table at work, in a circle in a classroom, in any group to which we belong.

When we invoke the power of thankfulness we tap into an incredible power within ourselves and others. We rekindle the spark of love, re-ignite our creativity, re-invoke our state of wonder and restore our sense of purpose.

We become inspired. And it is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, meaningful, long-lasting results.

I invite you to practice thankfulness and appreciation every day.

See what happens.

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

A Fun Way to Express Thankfulness During the Holidays and Everyday!

No Comments »

Here’s a wonderful way to express thankfulness, help others to know the difference they make in our lives, and create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

1. Give everyone a blank 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and a pen. If you have a large group, you may want to give everyone two pieces of paper paper-clipped together (You may want to splurge for nice paper and Sharpies of various colors)

2. Have everyone write their name at the top of the paper (or both papers if they have two) and then pass it to the person on their right. (If someone refuses to participate or is absent from the gathering, write their name on top of a piece of paper for them)

3. Give everyone a minute or two to write at least one thing they are thankful for about the person whose name is at the top of the page. It could be something about their personality, a talent or skill they have, how they touched you or helped you in the past or present (If you have young children at the table, you may want to allow more time so an older child or grown-up can write what they want to say for them) Ring a bell to indicate they have about 30 seconds left and ring the bell to indicate that time is up.

4. Instruct everyone to pass their paper to their right.

5. Continue steps 3, 4 and 5 until everyone has the piece of paper with their name on it back in front of them.

6. Give everyone a minute or two to read what’s been written for them.

7. Invite everyone to read aloud what’s on their sheet of paper. Ask who wants to go first, and next and so on until everyone has shared.

8. To conclude, thank everyone for sharing and thank them for the difference they make in your life and in the lives of others.

9. You may want to provide a folder, an envelope or a plastic sleeve for them to put their paper in or a ribbon to tie around the paper rolled into a scroll.

This activity works great around the dinner table, around a conference table at work, in a circle in a classroom, in any group to which we belong.

When we invoke the power of thankfulness we tap into an incredible power within ourselves and others. We rekindle the spark of love, re-ignite our creativity, re-invoke our state of wonder and restore our sense of purpose. We become inspired.

And it is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, meaningful, long-lasting results.

How could you express thankfulness at Thanksgiving?

For more on thankfulness, read or listen to my Forward Thinking Reminder: The Power of Thankfulness: How to be Thankful in Difficult Times

©2011 Managing Thought. All rights reserved.

What Could You Do With Your Extra Hour?

No Comments »

It’s that time of year, where many of us turn our clocks back and we find our selves with an extra hour.

As a kid, I thought it was so cool to get an extra hour and, with a sense of adventure, I wondered what I could do with this extra hour.

As I grew older, I kept the tradition wondering how I could enjoy this free gift of an hour. I have used the hour to pen thank you notes, treat  myself to a hot bath, take a nap, re-connect with friends and family, read a good book, sing and dance like crazy, wonder about my next adventure in life….

A few years ago, as  I was savoring my extra hour, I realized that every hour is a gift. Every hour is a gift! And I wondered what my life could be like if I approached every hour, every moment as a gift. How amazing could that be!

I became inspired to practice being fully present, making every moment a gift to myself and others.

When I practice being fully present, I find myself inspired by everything around me. And that is indeed a gift. I guess that’s why it’s called being present!

This year, I am using my extra hour to enjoy the company of some very dear friends.

Today and every other day, I am using my hours being on purpose, loving, thankful, wonder-full, creative, impactful,  inspired….

What could you do with your hour?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

 

Where Did That Thought Come From?

3 Comments »

What-was-I-thinking-Mary-LoreAs I boarded the plane, the gate agent said to me: You have to check your bag. I said: This is my purse and my brief case! She said: Then you have to check your briefcase. If you have a computer in it, take it out!  I took it out and said to her: I can’t believe you’re making me check my briefcase!

On the way to my seat, I told each flight attendant I met: She made me check my briefcase!

I opened the overhead bin and discovered room enough for both my bag and my briefcase! I showed the attendant and asked if I could get my briefcase, knowing full well that it was too late. As I seated myself, I said several more times: I can’t believe she made me check my briefcase. I then told the guy next to me, I have two million miles with this airline, I booked my ticket a month and a half in advance, I get a middle seat AND they made me check my briefcase! I’m seriously thinking about switching to another airline.

I wasn’t screaming. I didn’t even raise my voice. My heart wasn’t racing. My chest wasn’t pounding. In fact, I felt fine. The flight attendants and gate agent were all gracious and reassuring. I had full faith my briefcase was going to be just fine.  I was even thankful I didn’t have to lift it into the overhead bin.

I was also aware that many times before, when agents asked me to check my briefcase, I just smiled and said, I’ve flown two million miles with you guys, I guarantee, I can find room for it. They always obliged.

This time, it was as if I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t really in fight, flight or freeze, yet my brain kept delivering to me the victim thought I can’t believe they made me check my briefcase! And I went along with it  – at least for a couple minutes! :-)

So what was my brain doing giving me these thoughts? Answer: It was doing its job. My brain’s job is to follow my lead, helping me to create whatever I want. It brings to me thoughts and emotions I had in the past that are stored in compartments that my brain believes are circumstances similar today’s circumstances.

If I act on what my brain delivers to me, then I am no longer creating. I am reacting – re-acting past experiences.….which brings me back to the story.

My brain knows my feelings were hurt when this airline “lost” one million of my two million miles and with other policy changes, I didn’t feel valued or special any more. It knows I was considering not making this airline my primary carrier, that I took a few flights with another airline and really enjoyed the entire experience.

My brain, bless its heart, finds these circumstances similar to those in compartments I formed in my teens! My brain thinks I am “breaking up” with my long-time preferred airline! To “help” me make that a reality, my brain delivers to me the thoughts and emotions from way back then  – Point out everything that’s wrong with the airline, maybe start a fight, to justify breaking up and going with another carrier! LOL!

I consider myself pretty practiced in Managing Thought®. Had I not been so exhausted, those slides would not have made into my ViewMaster® and certainly not crossed my lips.

Do I criticize myself? No! I thank my brain for sharing! Chuckle at myself. I’m thankful that I’m aware of my thoughts and that I can choose the thoughts I want to rule my world. I acknowledge I am exhausted and I make rejuvenation a priority. I state my intention, my highest vision of myself, in bringing this relationship, any relationship, to a graceful conclusion which gives my brain a new slide to put in my ViewMaster. :-)  I thank the guy next to me for hearing me vent, smile at the flight attendants, put my tray table up and sit back and enjoy the flight.

What’s in your ViewMaster®?

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What Was I Thinking?

3 Comments »

What-was-I-thinking-Mary-LoreI made a post the other day on Facebook, which prompted a number of people to ask me what went through my head. As the “queen of” (lol) looking AT my thoughts, I thought I’d share what transpired between me and my brain during the course of just ten minutes.

To give it context, here’s my Facebook post:

OMG! My flight is boarding at the farthest gate. I go to the Delta club to get hot water & discover I don’t have my wallet! I run all the way back to my car, find my wallet, run back to the club, fill my thermos & make it to the gate just as they were closing the door! Thanks to the Delta Club women who let me keep my luggage at the club, to those who let me go b4 them at security, & to P90X cause the run was effortless!

So. what was I thinking?

My Brain: I have looked everywhere. I do not have my wallet. Oh my God!, Where’s my wallet! I don’t have my wallet! I need my wallet! I have no way to pay for my expenses!

Me: How can I manage without my wallet?

My Brain: My license is required to get the rental car.

Me: I wonder when the next flight is.

My Brain: Ask!

Me to ladies: When is the next flight?

The ladies: Not till tonight – 5:50pm.

My Brain: It’s a 3-hour flight. I have dinner with the chair and his wife.

Me:  I could cancel the dinner. (That didn’t feel right.) I want to go to the dinner. I wonder where my wallet is.

My Brain: I used it to use the new parking lot feature. It’s a new process. I don’t remember putting it back in my purse. I remember putting it in my lap. The last times I put things in my lap they fell on the ground or under the seat. On the ground! Someone could take it. What am I gonna do without my wallet?

Me: (Calmly and lovingly) Everything always works out fine.

My Brain: Yes! That time when I dropped my purse in the parking structure someone turned it in to the Delta counter and they tracked me down and got me my purse just in time for the flight. That was amazing! And then there were all the times the plane was delayed – something good always happened. I met a great contact. I got most of my book written because of flight delays!

Me to the ladies:  Is the flight on time?

The ladies: It’s boarding! You have to go back to the parking structure?  You’re NEVER gonna make it.

Me: How can I  get there and back the quickest?

My Brain: Without the briefcase I can run up and down the escalator to the tram and go quickly thru security.

Me to the ladies: May I put the briefcase  in the closet? I can go thru security quickly.

The ladies:  No we can’t do that. It’s not our policy.

Me to the ladies:   I know. I am asking you to trust me. How much time do I have?

The ladies: Ten minutes until the door closes.

Me to the ladies: Let’s give it a shot! I put the briefcase in the closet and ran out the door. I arrived at the tram just as the doors were closing.

Me: I am thankful I have the gumption to run thru the closing doors. I am thankful I can run and react quickly. I am thankful I left my briefcase in the closet. I am thankful I had the ability to help the Delta ladies go from “You’re never gonna make it!” to “Let’s give it a try!” and I am thankful they let me put the briefcase in the closet.

My Brain: Another adventure at the airport! Remember the time when I looked at my boarding pass wrong and I thought the departure time was the boarding time and had only fifteen minutes to get from the parking structure to the plane and I made the flight! And there was the time I missed the flight and I sat at the gate and the plane pulled back in for a technical difficulty and they let me on the plane!

My Brain: When I stand here, I am first out of the tram and first down the escalator.

Me:  I am thankful I know how to position myself so I am first out of the tram and down the escalator. I am thankful I chose these shoes for today! I am thankful that someone is already standing at the elevator and they already pressed the down button. I am thankful that my floor is first.

My Brain: I parked by the divider. If my wallet fell, no one else would have seen it. There’s no wallet on the ground. If it’s not in the car, go to Delta baggage check in first. That’s right off the elevator.  That’s the easiest place for someone to turn it in.

Me: I am thankful I assumed someone would find it and turn it in. In the old days, I would have assumed someone would steal it!

My Brain: Check around the seat. No wallet. Check the console. That’s where I put everything!

Me and My Brain: Yeah! Wallet found!

My Brain: Remember to lock the car! Remember this new parking process! Remember to put my credit card back in my wallet and my wallet back in my purse.

Me: I like the new process. No ticket to concern myself with. Here we go!

My Brain: Do we have enough time? Oh right – Don’t concern myself time.  Time expands when I stay present.

Me: Yes! Let’s glide through this! Quickly, smoothly, gracefully!

My Brain: Yes that has always worked in the past.

Me: I am thankful, the Monday morning priority line to security has shortened. I wonder how I can get thru security quickly.

My Brain: Ask folks if I can go to the front. People always want to help when I ask.

Me to man at the very front : May I go in front of you?

Man: Sure.

Me to man: Thank you!

My Brain: Wow! I didn’t even have to tell him I was late. He just trusted me.

Me: I am thankful that I am trust worthy.I get thru security quickly. I run up the escalator. The tram is right there! I am thankful I left my briefcase in the closet. I am thankful I had the ability to help the Delta ladies go from “You’re never gonna make it!” to “Let’s give it a try!” and I am thankful they let me put the briefcase in the closet.

Me: I reflect on the significance of vision and purpose, focusing on what I want, not what I don’t want.

My Brain: What if I miss the flight?!

Me: Everything always turns out all right.

My Brain: Remember the time when my parents and I missed the flight to get to Colorado for my wedding rehearsal dinner. We spent the day at the airport having a nice dinner, nice conversation. It was relaxing and a wonderful day. They routed us through Indianapolis! Maybe there’s a flight to Fort Lauderdale.

Me: (I’m smiling) Another adventure. Another story!

My Brain: When I stand here, I am first out of the tram and closest to the club. The reason I went to the club was to get hot water for the thermos. If  I hadn’t gone to the club, I wouldn’t have known I didn’t have my wallet.

I enter the club.

The ladies: You made it! I can’t believe it. You don’t have time. Get to the gate!

My Brain: It only takes a second to get hot water. The hot water on the plane tastes like chemicals. They have bottled water on the plane. That’s at the back of the club.

I get the hot water. I thank the ladies! We run out the door and down the escalator. I hear the announcement: Last call for the flight!

My Brain: A78 is the very last gate! I might not make it! It’s not possible! These shoes are not working! I want to walk. If I walk, I won’t make it. Oh well I did my best.

Me: That doesn’t feel right. Those are victim thoughts!

My Brain: Wait! This is that big moment when most people decide to give up. That happens in sports, that point of decision. It’s a shame, most people give up right before they succeed.

Me: Let’s see how we can succeed.

We round the corner and can see the gate. The agent asks: Mary Lore? I say yes!

Me and My Brain on the jetway: We did it!

My brain: I’m thirsty. We didn’t get water at the club.

Me to the flight attendant: Do you have any extra of those little water bottles? I am so thirsty.

Flight attendant: Here, take two!

I take my aisle exit row seat. I slide my briefcase under the empty seat next to me.

Me: I am thankful for the seat, for the empty seat next to me, for the water, for everyone and everything that contributed to me making the flight.

I look at my phone. All that happened in 10 minutes. I am amazed! I celebrate all that I accomplished in ten minutes.

I notice I am not out of breath! I celebrate my physical fitness. Way to go P90X!

I realize that I glided easily and effortlessly, gracefully and joyfully, the entire time. I acknowledge how far I’ve come.

I am thankful for all I am, all I have, all of my blessings.

My brain stores this in its Anything is Possible, Being Fully Present and Airport Stories compartments.

I sit back and enjoy the flight.

And that’s what I was thinking. :)

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.