Are you receiving thankfulness?

Are you receiving thankfulness?

By Mike Heffner

In 1621, Thanksgiving started as a celebration of the Pilgrims’ first successful harvest. Then in 1863, President Lincoln announced the nation will celebrate an “official” Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26 expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory of Gettysburg. That proclamation now has most families gather around a dinner table once a year to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s one of my favorite holidays because most businesses observe Thanksgiving and the day after. It’s a great opportunity to reflect, give thanks and express gratitude.

Gratitude can be defined as a positive emotion felt after receiving something valuable. It has been said it is impossible to be both grateful and angry at the same time. I don’t know about you, but anything that can point people to happiness is something we should celebrate.

Many people are unhappy at work these days. The negative vibe in the workplace has confused me. People have become disengaged and are leaving organizations in droves. It’s even created a phrase that has become popular right now – quiet quitting. I used to call it quit and stay. It is a phrase used for people that are disengaged at work. They are only willing to do the minimum that’s required and are psychologically detached from their job. I see the lack of trust with people as the biggest divisional issue and with social media, it has now become “cool” to rant or share their frustrations publicly. TikTok is where the entire quiet quitting phrase came from.

Given the challenges of the pandemic and the constant change we have seen over the last few years, why are more people not focused on gratitude? It seems like we have a gratefulness problem, and everyone has their own definition of what thankfulness in the workplace looks like.

I challenge you to think differently about thankfulness. Gratitude is a complex emotion, and everyone has their own perspective on expressing thankfulness. This year, start by focusing on how you “receive thanks.” Make it a point to tell someone you appreciate them whenever they do something for you. Now you may think, isn’t that just showing thanks? Yes, it is, but so often we are not looking for it and the person giving it does not feel that the other person appreciated what they were doing. Trust is built when people come together as they are trying to make an impact. And right now, most are spending their time focused on what they dislike or what they are missing.

Slowing down, expressing gratitude and showing thanks is a great opportunity to come together. When someone shows gratitude or tells you thanks, treat it like gold! You will help them feel valued and loved when you express it back. We can all reap the positive benefits of both giving and receiving heartfelt thanks. The best way to help someone feel good about giving gratitude is to become someone good at receiving it. Thanks for reading my article, and thanks to all the people who have mentioned they enjoy reading these. I am truly grateful for you, and I challenge you to pass this gratefulness on.

This article is written by Mike Heffner, the owner of the local Greenwood Express Employment Professionals franchise. Contact Mike at, @IndySouthMike on Twitter or visit


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