Michael – Zen Teacher of Gratitude

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Today I was sitting in our living room when Michael, our 3-year old, turns from his play and asks me a simple question. “Papa, did you buy Thomas (the tank engine) for me?” “Yes, mom and I did.” “Did you buy Percy (another Thomas character) for me?” “Yes, MIchael, mom and I did.”

“Oh, thank you Papa!”. The genuineness of this appreciation was clear. The amazing thing is, he regularly asks me these questions, and each time he express his appreciation as if we had purchased the toy just minutes before.

As I was considering this interaction, I realized what a teacher this little one is. How often do I take for granted everything in my world. Sure, I might appreciate something when it is new or when I specifically reflect on what I am grateful for. What Michael was showing me is that gratitude is a constant feeling.

Each time that Michael plays with his toys, it’s like the first time for him. He remembers how he received the toy. He remembers who gave him the toy. He then feels appreciation for the toy and for the giver. He is filled with joy and gratitude.

What would happen if I treated each moment like Michael? All that I encounter is fresh, and I appreciate it anew in that moment. What joy my life would be filled with! I am sure that I would not have room for anger or fear if I am living this way.

Until later,
Thomas

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Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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