It’s all too easy to moan isn't it: about the weather, about the state of the country, about our jobs and even our general lot in life?

But there are times when something happens to make you stop and think and realise that you have a lot or (or maybe just a little) to be thankful for.

That “stop & think” moment could be the loss of someone you care about, the news that someone you know has lost their job, seeing an advert or news feature on television that reminds you what suffering is really about or just a spontaneous realisation that it could be a lot worse.

But did you know that being thankful can actually have positive outcomes for your personal and professional life?

Two Professors of Psychology, Robert Emmons (University of California) and Michael McCullough (University of Miami), found evidence that the experience of gratitude leads to positive psychological, physical and social outcomes.

In particular, participants in their 2003 study, who were asked to spend 10 minutes each day thinking about what they were grateful for, experienced greater levels of optimism, positive mood, and feelings of belongingness over the period of the study than the control participants.

So if you want to be more optimistic and positive, perhaps enjoy better health and get on better with people then be a bit more thankful (every day).

Of course, being genuinely thankful opens our eyes to just how lucky we are and perhaps how much we take for granted. It is also a perfect opportunity to take a good look at ourselves, how we are proceeding through life in all areas, and what we can pass on to others or leave behind.

** Your Self...
As human beings, we all have self-awareness. Self-evaluation is the application of that self-awareness.

Truly understanding ourselves and what we want to achieve in life is something that many philosophic souls have pondered, and self-evaluation is the place to start, it does not only reveal who you are and what you want, but it can also reveal reasons you should be thankful – some you may not have even considered before.

Starting with self-evaluation shine a light inside yourself, one that highlights not only where you are and who you are but where you are headed.

** Your Journey...
Working out where you are headed, or where you want to be, in the future does not necessarily result in a journey from A to B.

The self-evaluation process is a circular one of understanding your current state and past achievements through self-evaluation, which leads to self-judgment and that leads to you creating a future vision of your self and your achievements.

As you achieve these new goals and through self-evaluation see yourself changing and improving, this will lead to increased self-confidence, which leads you to want to achieve even greater things and so the process is repeated.

Of course, your own particular journey all depends on where you start from – both objectively and subjectively.

You have control over both aspects but your subjective perspective and how closely aligned it is to the objective reality will have an impact on your journey experience and final outcome.

Or you can put it like this: the level of honesty you employ during your self-evaluation will have a direct impact on the decisions you make about your future and the goals you set yourself to get there.

As the old saying goes “honesty really is the best policy”. And when all is said and done, how you proceed on your journey, what you achieve and what you leave behind will be your final statement of the day.

** Your Legacy...
When you start the self-evaluation process, you are in effect creating and shaping your journey through life, both personally and professionally.

That shaping is also a continual and circular process and your journey will neither be straight nor straightforward. But as with all journeys it will have an end.

And finding out what your end will be is a process that naturally starts at the beginning.

Therefore, your self-evaluation, which started with thinking about being thankful for what you have and involves thinking about what you would like to have and ultimately achieve, should also include what you would like to give back and leave behind.

After all, there is much to be thankful for…

Not only in terms of what we have and are blessed with; what we have inside to take ourselves through our own journey and get to the finishing line – whether that be in a business career or indeed in life itself, but also with what we are able to share, impart and “pay forward” to those around us and those who come after us.

Author's Bio: 

Eugene Whelan is a qualified business and life coach and is the owner of One To Ten Coaching.

He has over 25 years experience at senior management level in the manufacturing and distribution industries.

Eugene has worked in various senior roles including, sales, manufacturing and commercial.

During this time he has gained an invaluable insight into the day-to-day pressures that go with such leadership roles and the expectations to be met.

Eugene is a direct and enlightened business consultant, able to see the practical side of people and situations as well as the more intangible qualities and potential of both.