Starting a New Year’s Gratitude List

Strrrrretch!!! Why You Should be Under Qualified For Your Next Job
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Starting a New Year's Gratitude ListThe envelope had a return address I didn’t recognize. When I opened it, I found an uncashed $300 check that I had issued two months ago. It was being returned with a post-it that read, “I wish you luck with the good work you’re doing with Latinos in College (LIC).”

My jaw dropped. The note was from Russ Haven, an attorney in Albany who my cousin Geoff Boehm (who’s been working pro-bono for LIC) had asked for help with the process of incorporating LIC as a not-for-profit organization. I was so moved by his act of kindness that, right after I sent him a big thank-you note, I made a mental list of the many small and big gestures of this kind that I had encountered during the past year.

There were many, in both my private and professional lives. From an anonymous nomination for an award, to warm introductions to high-profile connections, to a compliment at the right time, to flowers left by my door by a grateful friend.
From students and professionals who lent their time and energy to my causes, to invitations to exciting concerts and surprise tickets to the hardest-to-get Broadway shows. From friends who’ll do anything for me even before I ask, to strangers who amplify my message through their social media support. Many powerful new partnerships and new opportunities.

I’m sure you received similar gifts during 2011, but you may have been too busy keeping all the balls in the air to stop and thank the people who made your days more joyful or who made a difficult task seem easy. So I propose that, rather than continuing with the tradition of creating a silly New Year’s resolutions’ list, (which we all know nobody remembers come February), we create a Gratitude list. If you start a fresh list on January 1 and record every act of kindness big or small that someone does for you throughout the year, then next December you will have a wonderful list of people to thank with a card, a phone call or a gift.

Life being a two way street, this exercise helped me reflect about my own behavior toward others. Did I do enough? Did I help everyone within my possibilities? Did I turn a blind eye to someone who I could have lent a hand to? And, although inevitably there’s a limit to how many people each one of us can help, these questions will keep me (and you, if you chose to join me) on my toes, watching out for opportunities.

Generosity is the grease that makes the world go round. We should practice it daily and recognize when others are generous with us. So to all of you who have brought joy to my life and work in 2012, “Thank you.”

This article was originally published on Fox News Latino.

Strrrrretch!!! Why You Should be Under Qualified For Your Next Job
Social media do's & don'ts for professional mamás
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Award-winning, best-selling author, corporate consultant and international speaker on career success and women empowerment. Frequent media contributor on CNN, Univision, Telemundo and others. Her latest book "Find Your Inner Red Shoes" is the backbone of the Red Shoe Movement.

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  1. […] will I be doing just before the clock strikes midnight – thinking about my gratitude list (read about one here). What will be on my list? You will be – for all the hard work, support, interest, friendship and […]

  2. […] will I be doing just before the clock strikes midnight – thinking about my gratitude list (read about one here).  What will be on my list?  You will be – for all the hard work, support, interest, friendship […]

  3. […] will I be doing just before the clock strikes midnight – thinking about my gratitude list (read about one here).  What will be on my list?  You will be – for all the hard work, support, interest, friendship […]

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