By Steve Ring

I’ve had two prominent mentors in my life with regard to manners…my mother Julie and Letitia Baldrige. Mom made a point to educate me on proper meal place settings, table manners, and the art of a well written thank you note. Seeing the fruits of her labor, mom sent me off to college by gifting me Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to The New Manners for the ‘90s.

What ultimately captured my imagination regarding manners was a deep appreciation for the importance of expressing gratitude.

In work and in life we can at times be overly consumed by all things wrong or not going our way that we lose sight of our many blessings – perhaps taking for granted that which we should be grateful. The simplest things can often be overlooked: a colorful sunset, the laughter of children, having the means to donate time or resources to someone in need or a Sunday afternoon nap.

When my thinking isn’t working in my best interest, I’m likely to blame others for my lot in life and fail to recognize anything good. I spent many shameful years choosing to be a victim and blaming others, and I was grateful for nothing. However, with the patience and support of others, I eventually learned that I have the power of choice and that I need to be grateful for those people and blessings in my life. Expressing gratitude to those people can stimulate and maintain healthy green grass.

In his book, The Calling: Why Healthcare Is So Special, Quint Studer writes about the importance of expressing gratitude to those we serve alongside. “Don’t underestimate the impact appreciation has. It builds up that emotional bank account that’s so crucial for keeping people engaged and connected to passion and purpose. Here’s the bonus (of expressing gratitude/appreciation): Making life better for others makes our own life better, too. Even as we ignite the flame for others, we rekindle our own flame if we have lost it, or stoke it even more if it’s alive and well. Helping others connect to their calling also reconnects us to our own.”

Glenn Zevenbergen, Hegg Health Center’s CEO and one of my valued mentors, introduced our leadership team to a gratitude mindfulness exercise called 3 Good Things. This exercise increases happiness, resilience, and reduces burnout. Created and researched by Dr. J. Bryan Sexton at Duke University Medical Center, 3 Good Things is a positive psychology tool by which participants reflect and log three good things or good parts of their day for a period of time. By doing so, a habit of looking for good and having gratitude develops.

Our leadership team found the exercise to be quite valuable in becoming more mindful to the good things in our lives versus focusing on problems and challenges we deal with each day. The challenges don’t go away, but the focus shifts to recognizing the good of each day.

I invite you to learn more and give it a try by clicking on 3 Good Things.

Our grass stays green when we take responsibility to water and care for it. We can accomplish this by remembering and living our purpose, choosing to keep our day, and being mindful of and expressing gratitude for our many blessings. The challenges do not go away; however, the exercise helps us become more intentional in recognizing the good of each day. By doing so, we can make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those we encounter.

As I write this, I am aware of my gratitude:

  • To you reading this Wellness Wednesday, for the amazing gift that you are to others. Your hard work, sacrifices, selflessness, compassion, and caring EVERY DAY makes people’s lives better. You are needed right where you are. You are valued and appreciated more than you know. By remembering your purpose and staying focused on your North Star, you are a light for others to follow.
  • To Glenn Zevenbergen, Tammy Faber, and the Hegg Health Center team, for your mentorship encouragement and belief in Top 20 principles. We are building a culture of safety and trust. We are creating positive stories for people to tell and share. Every success is because of you and the choices you make each day.
  • To my bride, Molly, for your patience and persistence in knowing that I needed Top 20 in my life. You saw and continue to see what is possible. This journey towards “a better me” happened because of you.
  • To my dear friends at Top 20 – Paul, Tom, Kevin, and Willow – for the humbling opportunity to share with your audience. Your effective thinking, learning, and communicating gifts to me many years ago changed my life and saved me from myself. Your extraordinary work inspires the present and gives hope to the future.

Thank you, Steve, for the blessing you have been to our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…and for helping us keep our grass green.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training