THIS THANKSGIVING, USE GRATITUDE TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD

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One of my favorite things about our office is our gratitude wall. We have a metal board where we pin up awards, emails and letters we’ve gotten about how we’ve helped people unleash their performance and believe they’re “enough.” Above the board is a sentence all of us see every day: “Gratitude is the unyielding fuel for courage.”

We don’t have this board to pat ourselves on the back about how great we think we are. It’s about having gratitude for what you do and for how you can help shape others. In a lot of ways our entire company is built around the pillar of gratitude.

So you might as well call Thanksgiving an FPG-branded holiday, because we’ve got some serious rapport with the overall message around this time of year.

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The weekend before Thanksgiving I went with my two kids to a group painting event here in Fort Worth, and we had a blast. The assignment was to paint a turkey, what with Thanksgiving around the corner, and I was all too happy to dive in (even if my turkey looked a little bit like a cross between a stegosaurus and a fat cat). But what I decided was that my turkey would be an opportunity to reflect our values at FPG and really shine out a time of year that reflects the core of who we are as a company.

At FPG, gratitude is in our DNA. Our gratitude wall is the most evident part of that, but it goes deeper than that. We really practice gratitude on a daily basis, not just for the qualities our teammates bring to the table but also for what we’ve been blessed to provide. If you know your own strengths, and those are called out on a regular basis, you’ll have more gratitude for what you’re able to bring to the table as well.

So I brought my beautiful turkey painting back to the office and presented it at our weekly team-wide meeting on Monday. The point wasn’t to display my excellent painting skills (although that was a nice byproduct) but rather it was to provide a canvas for our team to express their own gratitudes. So we’ve been filling out our own FPG Gratitude Turkey (patent pending) and letting people know what we’re grateful for having learned this year and why we’re grateful for those things. It’s been a humbling experience.

The reason we think this is so important goes deep in psychology. There are numerous literal health benefits to showing gratitude, but I can think of none more literal than this. A study study published last year that followed people with Stage B asymptomatic heart failure found patients who did gratitude journaling showed “improved biomarkers related to heart failure morbidity.”

Can you imagine? Literally jotting down moments where you were grateful had benefits in elongating your life. Incredible.

The great thing for us at FPG is that Thanksgiving isn’t a noun, it’s a verb. We really believe that this time of year is a perfect time to draw attention to the greatest trait you can imagine; being grateful for who you are, the people around you and the ways in which you can make a difference. It goes beyond naming your blessings and really calling out how you can make a difference in your sphere of influence.

So here’s my challenge to you this holiday season. Make a list of things you’re grateful for, and then connect those to your strengths in ways that you can make those things actionable verbs. We’re at our best when we can essentially weaponize our gratitude and make it work not only for us, but for our team and those around us. Be proud of the things you’re grateful for and use them to fuel your drive. It’ll literally change your world.

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