This cool little paddle lives in my Dad’s car. After getting some feedback from certain family members about his tendency to get aggravated by other drivers, he decided he was going to shift in the opposite direction and focus on what people do well when driving. He keeps this next to his seat and flashes it when people let him in, let him pass or other nice things. It’s so much fun to watch him do it – especially watching the reactions of people as he flashes it in their direction. People are so shocked by being thanked (at least in such a strong way!) in situations like that. It’s no wonder – research suggests that our gratitude and positive thoughts about others only get expressed about 10% of the time.
Think about this for a minute: how many positive thoughts have you had about others today? How many of those did you express? You might also wonder about how many opportunities for gratitude may have been hiding in plain sight already today. Have others expressed kindness, help, or support to you in any ways? Did you notice? Did you say “Thank you”?
What is your rate of expressing gratitude to others? Are you on average at 10%? Better? Worse?
Now here is the big food for thought today: what might happen if you shifted your average up by another 10%? Would anything change in your relationships? Your mood? The cultures that you live and work in? I can tell you that driving with my Dad when he is flashing the Thank You sign at people is a lot more fun than listening to him complain about the other drivers.
Experiment with this a little bit and don’t forget to let us know how it goes!