If I could offer you a magic potion that would
make you happier, healthier, more optimistic and
more productive, and tell you that potion would
cost nothing and will require very little effort
to use, would you be interested?
Let me ask the question differently.
If this potion existed would you want some?
Of course you would! Unfortunately, I don’t have a
potion that will do these things. But each of us
has something even better than a potion that will
do all of those things and more…
Science tells us that an “attitude of gratitude”
is a good health choice. Being more grateful more
often makes us happier and more optimistic. But
gratitude also adds to the bottom line – in very
real ways. And the best news about gratitude is
that it requires little time and no money.
Here are five reasons gratitude improves your
productivity and results:
Gratitude attracts what we want. The universal law
of attraction says that we will attract into our
life the things we think about and focus on.
Since this is true, wouldn’t you want more of what you
are thankful for? (I think I know the answer to
that!) Remember that when you are consciously
aware of your blessings, and are grateful for
them, you are focusing more clearly on what you do
want in your life – and are attracting more of
those things into your life.
Gratitude improves relationships. We learn the
importance of saying “thank you” as little
children. We are taught that habit because it is
“good manners.” This childhood lesson is extremely
powerful. Think about those people that you know
who are most appreciative of you – and let you
know it. How do you feel about them?
Does their appreciation positively impact your relationship
with them? Of course it does! Be grateful for
people, their contributions, their talents and
their actions – and make sure you let them know
how you feel.
Gratitude reduces negativity. It is hard to be
negative about your situation when you are
thinking about things for which you are grateful.
One of the fastest ways to improve your mood or
outlook is to count your blessings.
Gratitude improves problem solving skills. Too
often we look at problem solving with a very jaded
view. “Something is wrong. We have barriers in our
way. Then, we have to put in effort to fix it.”
Conversely, when we think about what we are
grateful for we open our minds up to new
possibilities and connections. We also enter a
problem solving situation with a perspective of
improvement and opportunity rather than challenge
Gratitude helps us learn. Every dark cloud has a
silver lining. Behind every problem lies an
opportunity. Being grateful for our situation –
even if we don’t like everything about it – allows
us to be thankful for the opportunity to learn
That’s Fine, But How?
At this point you may be thinking, OK, sounds
great, but how can I really be more grateful, more
It’s really very easy.
Let’s practice right now.
- Make a list of five things you are grateful for
right now. These can be big things (like your
family) or little things (like the fact that
someone held the door open for you this morning).
This can be a mental list or written down. Do it
- Reflect on your list and allow yourself to feel
good about these things.
- If there is a person you can thank or show your
appreciation to, do that now too (a quick call or
email is a good start!).
You can do this exercise anytime, and you don’t
have to stop at five things. In fact, it is a
great idea to keep a running list in your Journal,
planner or notebook – this way you can return to
your list anytime you wish, reinforcing your
But at any moment you can make a list, bask in
those thoughts, and share that thankfulness with
You’ve probably thought of being thankful as a
good thing to do or the right thing to do. But now
hopefully you see it can be even more powerful
Gratitude is an attitude. Gratitude is a choice.
And gratitude is a habit. When we consciously
practice being grateful for the people, situations
and resources around us we begin to attract better
relationships and results. The habit will be
strengthened as you make the choice each day.