SAM Bear discovers the transformative power of gratitude through an encounter with Catharine Yong at SGH. Through her initiative, ‘Our Gratitude Journal,’ they explore the resilience and joy that comes from spreading positivity.

Dear Diary,

I personify Staff Appreciation in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) but I do need to refuel from time to time. So I was recharged to discover a source of positive energy from chatting to colleague Catharine Yong today for the International Day of Happiness.

Catharine, Senior Nurse Educator with the Institute of Advance Nursing, must be the most active contributor to “Our Gratitude Journal” on our staff Workplace portal. She not only posts but is also super engaging by commenting and responding to other contributors.

She had started by sharing inspirational quotes on the staff notice board. When COVID-19 surfaced in December 2019, she noticed the fear and negativity among her team. She decided to fight that with gratitude, taking to Workplace to spread positivity amidst the uncertainty through “Our Gratitude Journal”. Today, four years later, the group is going strong with almost 200 followers.

As we spoke, Catharine's insights resonated deeply with me. Her steadfast commitment to spreading positivity, even amidst the most challenging of days, spoke volumes about her resilience and determination. She shared that as she posts, it fills her cup as well and encourages her to be grateful.

She inspired me with a story about an unexpected instance of gratitude.

Even amidst challenging circumstances, she consistently showed appreciation and respect towards her colleagues, which ultimately led to a rewarding outcome when they provided full support for her decision-making.

 Before parting ways, Catharine shared with me her favourite quote—a beacon of hope in times of darkness:

"Keep smiling and doing things that make you happy, your mind will always believe everything you tell it, feed it with hope, feed it with truth, feed it with love."

She also shared a delightful anecdote, revealing the most unexpected thing she felt grateful for recently:

"My 5-year-old nephew drew a Birthday Card and Anniversary Card for me during our vacation at Club Med Bali. It was an unexpected gesture that filled my heart with joy and gratitude."

 Finally, Catharine offered invaluable advice for those struggling to find happiness and gratitude in their lives:

"When a negative thought enters your mind, think three positive ones. Train yourself to flip the script. You will never know until you try."

 Reflecting on my encounter with Catharine, I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose. Her journey with “Our Gratitude Journal” serves as a reminder of the impact we can have when we choose to spread positivity and gratitude in our daily lives.

As I conclude my diary entry, I am reinforced in my conviction of the profound impact that spreading positivity and gratitude can have on our workplace community. Let us all take a moment to reflect on Catharine's journey and the power of gratitude in fostering happiness. Let's make a conscious effort to think #happythoughts and engage in #happytalk, spreading positivity and #kindnessatwork.

Together, we can create a culture of #wellbeingatwork where each member feels valued and supported. With each small act of kindness and each positive interaction, we contribute to a brighter and more uplifting workplace environment.


Yours in gratitude,


(Staff Appreciation Mascot)