Tony DeMeo

The Gratitude Rule

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and Veterans Day just past, I decided to discuss “The Attitude of Gratitude”- an easy way to increase the joy in your life. The following is an excerpt from my book: Common sense Rules for Everyday Leaders.

The Gratitude Rule
“If someone gives you a car for free; don’t kick the tires”

In 1979 we were moving to Philly and did not want to take an old car that we used to drive around town. We really didn’t think it was worth moving but it was still good to drive around locally. We were going to sell it but my uncle’s daughter needed a car to go back and forth to school so I decided to give it to him. Notice I said give it to him. For free. No charge. So my Uncle came over to pick it up and proceeded to do the kind of inspection worthy of a Jaguar XKE. Finally I said:”Kick one more tire and the car stays”. He decided to take the car as it was and left.

Some people don’t understand how to accept a gift or a favor. They over-analyze, inspect, dissect and make you sorry you helped them in the first place. If you are good at receiving gifts and favors, you will receive more of them. People don’t mind giving when it’s appreciated.

The same can be said about accepting praise or a compliment. Some recipients are arrogant about it and act as though they are owed it. Others are humble and are sincerely thankful for the gesture. The person who knows how to receive praise will be in that position far more than the person who is arrogant.
As a leader it’s important that you establish “the attitude of gratitude” throughout your organization. This is part of being likable and of being a team player. When someone is truly grateful for being part of your organization, they bring enthusiasm and energy to the team. Enthusiasm is contagious, and it infects the entire you organization. Others will feed off this energy, and it will spread.

The leader of any organization is responsible for starting the fire of enthusiasm. He is responsible for lighting the match and then the others who were leaders would spread it throughout the entire organization. Enthusiasm and energy evolve from gratitude for being a leader.

There are others that are never happy, regardless of the job. They are constantly finding fault with the company they are working for. People want to be around winners not whiners. They want to be around positive upbeat people who are happy to be there.

The attitude of gratitude is also absent from some athletes who forget how blessed they are to be asked by that youngster for their autograph. A great saying I once heard was: “Your talent is God’s gift to you; what you do with it is your gift to God”.

The attitude of gratitude is one of the easiest traits to adopt because it’s simply your choice. You can choose this moment to be grateful for all the joy in your life. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
1. Look around at all the wonderful blessings you have received in your life and give thanks. Smile.
2. Look around at all those less fortunate than you, the homeless, the sick, the poor and take every opportunity to give assistance. The greatest way to help yourself is to help another.
3. If you have a job, embrace it or move on. If the job is causing you to complain and upsetting you, either try to solve the issue or move elsewhere. Not every situation is a good fit.
4. Give thanks before sleep at night for all the good things that came your way that day. You’ll sleep a lot sounder.
5. Don’t get involved in comparisons. Don’t worry about what a peer is getting or getting away with. Focus on what you do.
6. Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Accept it, say thanks and move on.

The attitude of gratitude is simple but not easy. Showing gratitude is a sign that you are ready for additional blessings. I’m grateful you are reading this book.

A signed copy of Commonsense Rules for Everyday Leaders is available on my website and would make a great Christmas gift. If you purchase this book prior to 12/20/18 I’ll send you a copy of my Ebook as a gift.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Tony DeMeo