The simple act of giving thanks tends to be so overlooked, in particular in business. There is a veil that seemingly masks our perception of how business works, in that we tend to think that when we are with family, friends, and our religious or spiritual communities that there is one way of being, and then when we enter our work mode we have entered an entirely different world.

So it is that we tend to have conversations in which we acknowledge the importance of such things as vision, passion, purpose, and service, and then end with, “but of course our focus is profitability first and foremost.”

It is almost like listening to a broken record, that there are these deep-abiding feelings wanting to come out and integrate with our working world, that we want to feel the sensations of vision, passion, purpose and service, and yet are afraid to admit it. We want those values to take the front seat, yet are afraid that we will be called out, that we’ve “gone off the reservation” or “have our head in the clouds” or aren’t focusing on “business objectives.”

So when it comes to our value systems we continue with the illusion that there is any real or actual separation between our personal and professional lives, that we are disconnected from our desire to live meaningful lives in which we feel fully engaged and passionate about everything we do.

It is easy to look at our families, our hobbies, our personal pursuits and our religious and spiritual practices and give thanks. Dropping the veil of separation between personal and professional can be as simple as starting with “Thank you.”

A simple act of gratitude can change one’s whole day. It can be as simple as thank you for my desk, or my phone that enables instant communications with people anywhere, or my computer that enables me to create, store, retrieve and communicate the world over, or my car that enables me to travel to and from the places in which I do business, my tools, my education, and so on.

It can also be thank you for the people I have the opportunity to work with, thank you for my experience, knowledge and talents, thank you for the freedom to create and prosper. It can also be thank you for those people, places and situations that cause me emotional and mental suffering, for they provide such great opportunities to learn even more about how to live creatively and enjoyably.

It is through living and working in a state of continuous gratitude that we begin to change our perceptions towards our lives and the world in which we live and work. And by doing so we will also carefully and gradually remove the veil of separation between the personal and professional, and live an integrated life.