Thanksgiving is a holiday that we focus on what we are grateful for. According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving is defined as, “… a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.“
In personal branding, reputation is based on cornerstone values — the values which guide your behavior, narrative, and reputation building strategy. If gratitude is one of your cornerstone values, then this week is particularly meaningful to you.
My personal brand is anchored in two key values: gratitude and generosity. I want to be remembered as someone who gave much more than she took. My actions, choices, and relationships intentionally support my ability to give to others, show thanks, and “pay it forward.” It’s no wonder I do so much work with the military – what a great group to express gratitude to!
Here are some ways you can express gratitude this time of year and always:
- Mentor someone. Is there someone in your network who is struggling to learn the skills you have? Maybe they don’t have access to colleagues who can help them develop their professional talents? Mentoring others teaches you about your own capabilities, allows you to help someone else grow, and can create a lifelong professional friend.
- Give cash to a charity. This time of year, non-profit organizations try to capture as much last-minute fundraising as they can. Shoring up for next year means the pressure is on to get funds in the bank. Consider financially supporting a charity you are passionate about. Love dogs? There are shelters who desperately need money to keep serving, particularly no-kill missions. Have a family member battling cancer? Why not make a donation to advance research in this area? Giving money to charities you feel connected to is a great way to share what you have with those in need.
- Give time or resources. A local animal shelter in my community recently requested blankets for the pets to lie on. What an easy and impactful way to help! Or, if you are a good writer, consider helping transitioning military veterans write their resumes. Great cook? How about working a couple of shifts at a low-income soup kitchen or senior center?
- Say thanks. When we get busy, sometimes we forget to thank those around us who help us get where we are. Whether by handwritten note, email, in person, or by phone, give a heartfelt thanks to those people in your life without whom you wouldn’t be able to do what you do. Personalize the message to be as specific as you can. This will be appreciated.
- Reflect. Admittedly, this is often the hardest one for me. Life is busy, and I move fast in my world! But this time of year I force myself to find time to be quiet and reflect on what I am grateful for, what lessons I learned, and what opportunities I earned the right to pursue. Make a list, start a journal, reflect to yourself; however you can, note what you have (not what you don’t have) to ensure you will continue to attract abundance in your life.
Gratitude is about embracing all that comes to you, not just the gifts. Learning from failure, celebrating success, sharing your gifts with others, and taking time to thank those around you are key steps in building a personal brand centered around gratitude.