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Cheerful young businesswoman having a coffee meeting with a female colleague in a cafe during national gratitude month

Source: jacoblund / Getty

There is always someone or some circumstance to which we can be grateful for everything we enjoy in our lives, which is why National Gratitude Month is so important. But many of us walk around with blinders, taking for granted the things we delight in and utilize every day.

It doesn’t make us “bad” people – it’s just the nature of this go-go-go society. It’s hard to find moments to focus on gratitude. However, if you do – and on a regular basis – it can pay dividends.

Berkeley University’s Greater Good Science Center put out extensive research on the benefits of practicing gratitude, from benefits in the workplace, to benefits to physical health and more. The paper really shows how practicing gratitude can actually improve nearly every area of our lives. But what does it mean to practice gratitude? That word “practice” implies action – not just sitting and contemplating gratitude. National Gratitude Month is the perfect time to take on a more active approach to gratitude, which is why this month MADAMENOIRE is doing a weekly series about paying it forward in every area of your life. We all have people who have done things for us, for which we could never properly repay them. What we can do is pay that kindness forward. We kick off this National Gratitude Month series with ways to pay it forward in your career, honoring those who helped you get where you are today.


Keep A “Who Can I Help” List

Smiling middle-aged businesswoman sitting in the office having a conversation with a female worker.

Source: COROIMAGE / Getty

This is an ongoing project that you’ll always be chipping away at. Keep a small notebook with you, and when you become aware of someone who needs something professionally – like to hire someone, or to get a job – write it down. Keep a running list of professional contacts, their expertise and their goals. Over time, you can start to connect the dots between people on your list who should know each other.

You might consider keeping a live copy of the list on a digital platform like Google Docs or a spreadsheet. This way, you can search the document with a simple click for a certain word and rapidly spot people who would benefit from knowing each other.

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