Norton: Murmurs of disappointment, shouts of gratitude |

Norton: Murmurs of disappointment, shouts of gratitude

Many times, it seems like just the opposite, doesn’t it? How often do we find ourselves shouting out about our disappointment and then only quietly murmuring about our gratitude? Although Elton John sang, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word,” for some of us, saying “thanks” seems to be the hardest word.

Sometimes it feels like we are stacking up our frustrations, building up our resentment, and justifying our case for anger just so we can unload on the first person or company that doesn’t give us exactly what we want and when we want it. Our immediate gratification thermometer bottoms out as we are blinded by a perceived need for something that we feel like we must have and have right now.

Think about it for just a moment: Has that ever been you? It certainly has been me, and I am never proud of myself when it happens. And yet when someone does finally get us what we thought we needed or wanted, we can barely utter the words, “thank you.” It is most often a mumbled murmur and under our breath, “thanks.”

Why does that happen? Is it because we want to hold onto our anger and disappointment for a little while longer like it’s a trophy of some kind? Or do we let our pride get in the way and feel like we need to stand our ground, drawing a line in the sand between our expectations and our appreciation?

There is no doubt that we will read several columns about gratitude and thanksgiving this week. After all, it is the week of Thanksgiving. And we will see hundreds of posts and memes on social media and on our phones celebrating the spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving. We will gather together as families and friends and share what we appreciate the most as we eat, drink, play, and pray together. We will be reminded of all that we have to be grateful for in our lives.

This week our sense of gratitude and our awareness of appreciation will be heightened. And during this week, especially on Thanksgiving, we will typically only murmur thoughts about our disappointments, and instead, we will shout out our feelings of love and gratitude.

In those moments of shouting out our gratitude, something happens inside of us. We begin to feel better, our frustration levels go down, our wall of resentment begins to crumble, and our anger is abated as we see, hear, think, and feel gratitude all around us. It’s been said that gratitude is one of the healthiest and strongest of all human emotions. And this is not just when we are shown appreciation, but also when we share our own gratitude and appreciation with, and for others in our lives that we begin to feel better in so many ways.

It’s kind of like going to the gym or maybe taking a walk. At first, we may not really be in the mood to go, but as soon as we start, as soon as we get moving, we immediately begin to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally, appreciating our decision to get in some exercise. It’s the same with gratitude, once we start, the feeling is truly amazing.

Some of us are very effective in sharing our gratitude verbally while others do a good job of expressing their appreciation through writing in the form of an email, a text, or a card. Then there are those who know how to give a great hug or handshake when sharing their gratitude. And if you are the kind of person who loves to give or receive a hug, just remember that HUG stands for Having Unbelievable Gratitude, so give those out as often as possible.

How about you? Are you murmuring disappointment and shouting out gratitude? I would love to hear your appreciation story at and when we can give a shout out to thanksgiving on Thanksgiving, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

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