Tag Archives: gratitude

I Hope You Like Your Job

Vintage Office Worker


I started the blog post I had set for this week. It was about using some of the creativity techniques I talk about to find joy in your workplace. I’ve decided to scrap it. No matter how I approached it, it felt inauthentic.

The truth is that I have never been so unlucky as to have to stay in a job I didn’t like. Over my career/s I have worked in theater and film, in retail (both enjoyable and not) and as a waitress. I’ve been a canvasser for an environmental group, a junior executive in a fashion company, and a skin care product demonstrator. I’ve worked in offices as a temp and as an administrative assistant connected with desktop publishing. I’ve been freelance, and I’ve been salaried.

The worst job I ever had was when I worked as telemarketer, setting appointments for the sales reps (horrible people at least in the office). Darkest two weeks of my working life! Best job? Not counting parenting, or my current life, it’s hard to say. My time as the Resident Designer and Technical Director of a small theater company in Sydney ranks right up there, as does every movie I ever worked on.

So other than that nasty two weeks, my working life has been pretty closely aligned with my core principles. It’s been either highly creative, or had a nice service orientation. I haven’t always been fabulous at my job, but I’ve never been miserable. Bored at times (the junior executive in charge of the mail order department was frustrating because it seemed like I never got ahead of the orders or returns – and it was just me, alone all day long.)

So I don’t really have a baseline of experience for giving anyone advice about how to bring creative thinking to bear in finding ways to be happy in work that doesn’t thrill you. I found articles about why people don’t enjoy their work, and strategies for quitting elegantly, or seeking new jobs.

Despite what people may believe about themselves, they DO have a wellspring of creative, original thinking inside that they can tap. We are all born enthusiastically keen to learn and discover, and solve our problems – babies are relentless experimenters, applying trial and error repeatedly, endlessly curious. That ability to make new connections that lead to insights is still inside all of us.

Creativity is not just for the arts. Creative thinking is problem-solving-thinking. One could argue that the “problem” in the arts is how to express ideas in emotionally engaging ways. It’s been a way of life for me, for so long, to design, to write, to make – and to know that even if someone was hard to deal with (that awful director that time!) it was only temporary.

I honestly don’t know how to help someone who feels endlessly trapped in their job, who doesn’t have the wherewithal to leave, perhaps because of their responsibilities like their family and home. I’ve always been able to escape, to find something better, to find work where I was truly happy. Indeed I continue to be truly happy as a writer, even if I do make wrong turns into literary cul-de-sacs every now and then.

Families are forever layout

Nothing to complain about.

So this week, no tweets with ideas for implementing anything in the theme – just tremendous gratitude for having followed a circuitous working path and generally having a great time.

Creative thinking Meditation Garden



Gratitude creates optimism

I’m not the only person who believes that Gratitude is absolutely the first key to the feeling of abundance, and a life state of general happiness. Gratitude is part of the foundation of many religions, and a fundamental tentpole in many recovery programs.

“I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion we can ever know.” ~ Bill W.

Here are some more quotes about Gratitude:

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love 

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ~ Maya Angelou

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love-then make that day count!” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth and Being Free

“The more grateful we are, the more we practice this in our everyday lives, the more connected we become to the universe around us.” ~ Stephen Richards

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ~ Epicurus

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure what I have received.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases. . . . When you focus on the things you need, you’ll find those needs increasing. If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have–and feel worse! If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose. But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.” ~ Andy Andrews, The Noticer: Sometimes All a Person Needs is a Little Perspective

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
 ~ Oprah Winfrey

How can Gratitude facilitate creativity?

  • Gratitude generates optimism, even in me who has always been a bit of a Black Hat Thinker – the person on the team adept at spotting incipient problems. The conscious and intentional pursuit of gratitude has made me into an optimist.

Fortunately, I have not had a serious struggle or tragedy in my life. Family members have passed away, but I have been so lucky as to have been at peace with them – I had the chance to say goodbye. We have brief periods of financial stress, but my gratitude for all I have, especially for the partnership I  share with my husband, has helped make even these times opportunities – the opportunity to practice mindful patience and trust – that all will be well so very soon. 

Optimism, for me “the belief that there is always another something wonderful to look forward to”, leads me to think creatively about solutions to my problems – such as what I can do to bring more prosperity into our household.

“Just an observation: it is impossible to be both grateful and depressed. Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth and Being Free.

  • Looking around with new eyes in search of gratitude, spills over into seeing other things with new eyes. Especially if you make a list, finding gratitude gets the brain working and primed.

When I enjoy the feeling of gratitude, when I express it to my loved ones and to the Universe, I get a sensation of abundance and safety. I can take risks of trying something new from this place of safety. My worries or concerns shrink through being crowded out by gratitude, so I have fewer distractions.

“To fight discouragement, remind yourself of the basics:
I can write.
I have the opportunity to do so.
I love what I write.
Now smile and be thankful.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

  • Gratitude opens the heart, so that the love there can be felt.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Click Here for a Practical Gratitude printable.

These three statements can help you turn the lovely internal feeling of gratitude into positive actions. 

 Our Family Gratitude Ritual

When we sit down to dinner at a table – which is not every meal, but certainly special meals – we each in turn express what we are grateful for in that moment.

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If anything turns out to be useful to you, please let me know in the comments.

 The Tweets from the Week!