Thursday, September 13, 2012
Appreciating What We Have
I've written before about some of the research that's been done examining the most common attributes of happy people. Two of the attributes that consistently make the list are practicing kindness and showing gratitude. From time to time this year I've tried to remind myself to slow down and feel and express gratitude. Sometimes this is verbal and other times it takes the form of a thank you note. Today it was the latter.
I was enjoying playing golf on yet another spectacular September day and was appreciating the fabulous course conditions we have at my home course, Riverton Country Club. While most courses ought to be in great shape given the recent good weather, not all, in fact, are. It seems to me that Riverton is almost always in better than shape than most of the surrounding courses, regardless of the weather. And this is true despite budget challenges and issues we have with water allocation. I believe the credit for this goes to our golf course superintendent.
Being a golf course superintendent is often one of those thankless jobs. Everyone believes they're an expert on turf management and tree care, and they're not hesitant to whine and complain about why the course isn't one way or another. In contrast, I just enjoy what's there and appreciate the work that goes into making it so nice. Tonight, I sent a handwritten letter to our superintendent thanking him for his great work and letting him know how much I appreciate all that he does to keep our course in such great shape. I'm not sure how often he gets thanked, but I'm guessing not very often.
My anecdotal observations seem to confirm what the research shows: happy people spend much less time complaining and much more time being thankful than do unhappy people. The funny thing to me is that which we you see the world is entirely a personal choice. Why would you choose to see things in a way that makes you unhappy? I make happy choices each and every day.