Imagine receiving a phone call, where on the other line, you heard a friend of yours pay you the kindest, most genuine acknowledgement of the difference you had made in their lives.

A few years ago, on September 21st, I received just such a call from a friend of mine.  He ended it by wishing me a Happy World Gratitude Day – and immediately I was intrigued.  Of course, I knew we had days to celebrate licorice, butterscotch pudding, and bratwurst – it only made sense that gratitude would have a full day to shine as well.

Jeff and two of his peers standing with food and signage for the Workplace Resources monthly birthday party.

I am a big believer in gratitude and the art of living in gratitude.  That being said, I am not some ultra-zen, always cool as a cucumber, completely centered and composed at all times superhuman.  I’m just a regular guy who was born and raised in the Detroit suburbs and has lived in Raleigh for almost 20 years.

I get mad.  I lose my cool sometimes.  I get jealous.  I complain.  I display my “Detroit” attitude when I get pushed a little too far.  But, I always bring it back to being grateful as quickly as possible.  Things go wrong in this crazy world quite often, but I believe there is always an overwhelming amount of blessings to be found.

Here is how I try to show gratitude each and every day

1. Happier and Healthier: I’ve discovered over the years that the more time I spend being grateful, the happier and healthier I am.  But, I’m also human.  So, I allow myself moments of turmoil to release that steam from my engine, and then I quickly scoot myself back to the world of gratitude.

A selfie of Jeff with the annual RTP Family Day frestivities behind him.

2. The Ripple Effect: I have also learned that expressing my gratitude to others has a positive impact on them – possibly enabling it to then ripple throughout the world.  I find it doesn’t take a lot of energy to help a friend or colleague see the bright side and provide some perspective.  Then, they’re able to go throughout their day and interact with fellow co-workers, friends, family, and the world at large with a more positive energy.

3. Giving gratitude is getting gratitude: When we share authentic gratitude, like my friend did with me a few years back, it shines a light on our unique gifts as human beings.  It lights the person up.  It energizes them.  It fills them with joy, and it fills them with gratitude – the impact is amplified!

But, there’s a catch.  You have to give gratitude without expectations – expressing sincere gratitude to another person should be an altruistic gesture.

What’s great about gratitude, is that you don’t need to wait for a designated day to acknowledge someone or count your own blessings – be grateful and express your gratitude as often as you can!

A collage of Jeff and friends at the annual RTP 5k.

At Cisco, we will be celebrating World Gratitude Day on Friday, September 20th (ahead of the typical day of celebration on the 21st) – how will you participate?  Perhaps take this day to show gratitude to one, some, or all your fellow Cisconians that you interact with that day.  Say it in person, write a thank you card, ping them, email them, Webex teams them, call them, send them a message through carrier pigeon – you get where I am going with this!  Then extend those feelings of gratitude to your family and friends.

If showing gratitude wasn’t enough of a treat this week, be sure to also have a pecan cookie – September 20th is Pecan Cookie Day!

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Jeffrey Buck

Service Delivery Manager

Workplace Resources