Power of Gratitude

Thank you all for joining us this month as we encouraged the LeaderShape communityGetting behind the movement to get behind the movement. One way we put this idea into action was through the practice of gratitude.

We believe in the power of gratitude and its positives contributions to our well-being, mood, and self-esteem. It’s so important that we hope living in gratitude becomes a way of being for all of us.

To help cultivate an ongoing sense of gratitude in the LeaderShape community, we have a few ideas we hope are helpful to you.

Demonstrate gratitude for those in your life

Supporting others through gratitude is uplifting for you and for the person on the receiving end. We talked about Getting Behind the Movement on social media this month and showing your gratitude for the work that another is doing is a great way to get behind their goals and vision.

This act of gratitude will have at least 6 benefits for you as well; feeling happier, being more optimistic, increase energy levels, being friendlier, increase self-esteem, and increase your productivity levels.

When we feel better, we do better! And we are counting on this LeaderShape community to go out and make the world better.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

Be grateful for all things big and small

The more you practice gratitude, the more you will find to be grateful for. It doesn’t matter if our gratitude is in recognition of something massively significant or through a small expression like a note or a hug. Big or small, each moment of gratitude felt and shared can move us from a place of hurt and ego to a place of love and humility.

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Be the ripple

The Ripple Effect: the continuing and spreading of results of an event or action
In our Institute program, we end the week with an idea that each person is a pebble and has the opportunity to create positive ripples as they continue their leadership journey. Creating a ripple of gratitude in your life and in your corner of the world can have lasting effects that you will probably never be aware of. Focus on those feelings of gratitude for what your life holds! Find opportunities to demonstrate your gratitude for others and their contributions. Your pebble of gratitude will go on.

An Institute State of Mind

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This month we’ll be partnering with campuses and organization all around the nation to host over 30 sessions of our 6-day Institute program! We anticipate that over 1,300 participants and facilitators will be joining the LeaderShape community in May alone. And we are ready to invite them to join us as we work to make our vision of a world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible a reality.

For our friends who are heading to a session of the Institute this month, we hope that it is an experience that inspires you to commit to something bigger than yourself. That the week propels you forward, giving you the tools and encouragement to go out and contribute to positive and equitable change in the world. And we challenge you enter the program with the mindset to…

  • Embrace a healthy disregard for the impossible – be open to what could be, even if it seems implausible.
  • Challenge yourself – to connect, to reflect, to learn, to share, to grow.
  • Be “all in” – it really is true that you get out of an experience what you put into it.
  • Take what you started there and use it to create ripples of change on your campus, in your communities, and in our world!

We’ll also be sharing tips from the LeaderShape staff over on our Instagram account. Follow us there to see what they have to share.

Reflections from an Institute Grad: One Year Later

On the 7th day of each month we pause to reflect on the Institute program and celebrate #Day7. Yesterday we highlighted Vincent and today we are sharing Clivane’s experiences as part of our three-part series.

Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you c14454624_10202111450625326_506103449_nan only connect them looking backwards…” Let’s look backward, shall we?

It’s been one year since I graduated the 2015 Institute at York University. I’ve had 365 Day 7s since then. I’ve kept in touch with 1-2 members of my cluster family, and a couple of other individuals as well. My core values – empowerment, loyalty, creativity, hard work and leadership – remain the same.  My GAG, to embrace vulnerability, became my #OneWord365 for 2016.

I also became an intern at LeaderShape. As a LeaderShape Intern, the marketing and community engagement work I do keeps me connected to LeaderShape’s vision, mission and daily work. And when I had the opportunity this past July to help prepare for one of the national sessions of the Institute, everything hit me full circle.

Now I wish I could tell you that the dots all began to connect… but they didn’t. In fact, after spending a week in Champaign preparing for the national sessions, it was like my first Day 7 all over again!

It was like Day 7 all over again.  

I started to think about my cluster family, my vision, my stretch goals, the risks I have taken,  the vulnerability I have shown, the things I have learned about myself and others since my first Day 7. While the momentum after the Institute may have waned, the importance of living in possibility and creating real, positive change has not.

My year after the Institute has been the most emotional, eye-opening and challenging year of my life. But now I can begin to connect the dots going backwards. The Institute was the catalyst I needed to embrace vulnerability. I struggled with it over 6 days (hence, the reason vulnerability was my GAG), but little did I know what a vital tool it would be in the months afterwards. With vulnerability, I found the courage to share a story about a loved one and mental illness. Sharing that story created positive change for others. Talk about a ripple effect – and it had nothing to do with my vision created at the Institute!

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So here’s what I have to say. If you’re an Institute grad and you’re having a rough year in your personal life, your vision has become unclear, you’ve lost connection with your cluster family, or accomplishing your manageable goals is taking longer than you anticipated – it’s Day 7 again.

Live each day with a healthy disregard for the impossible. Read through your Institute manual. Check in with your cluster family. Celebrate your small victories. Reevaluate your goals. Get that ripple of positive change re-started.

There’s a final line to the Steve Jobs quote that began this blog post. Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards…So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Let’s look forward, shall we?

Let’s live in possibility, my friends.