“We think we have to do something to be grateful or something had to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being.”
~ Iyanla Vanzant
What this quote means to entrepreneurs:
“Gratitude defies easy classification,” wrote Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough in their research paper “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life” published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377-389). “It has been conceptualized as an emotion, an attitude, a moral virtue, a habit, a personality trait, or a coping response.” Their research sought to discover the link between gratitude and happiness by looking at the effects of a “grateful outlook” on psychological and physical well-being.
Although inconclusive, their research did show that people who cultivated an attitude of gratitude by being consciously grateful for their blessings were happier. They also found that listing what you are grateful for on a daily basis is more effective than doing the same on a weekly basis. Participants in their study who focused on gratitude were more likely to sleep well, exercise more, help others more, and experience greater optimism and a sense of connectedness to others.
There is a lot of research conducted about gratitude, and although there is still no hard, black and white proof that gratitude causes happiness, there is plenty of evidence that the two are associated.
Being grateful for something specific … an object, an action, a person … goes a long way toward increasing your vibrational energy and optimism. But bringing that feeling of gratitude into your way of being does a lot more.
As I’ve said before, the more you appreciate, the more you have to appreciate. Your life, regardless of where it may be right now, is filled with blessings. You only need to open your eyes and look for them.
There is the sun in the sky. The rotation of the earth (so we don’t “fall off’!). The water you drink. The food you eat. Your family. Your friends. Your clients. Your ability to read this post (which probably contains within it a multitude of things to be grateful for).
I challenge you to make gratitude an integral part of your being. Here are a few ways you can start to do so today:
- A gratitude journal. I love using a composition notebook for my morning “gratitude work,” which includes more than just writing down what I’m grateful for. But to start off, when you get up in the morning, start the day by writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for. If you want to take this up a notch, before you go to bed write down one thing you are grateful for and why you are thankful for it. This puts your mind in a very positive state that will carry over into your dream time.
- Say thank you. When someone compliments you, say thank you. Don’t minimize their appreciation of you. Accept their kudos and respond with a simple two-word phrase of appreciation in return: Thank you.
- Appreciate what you have. Take a moment … maybe once a week … to take stock of the blessing you have in your life. They can be the people, places or things that fill you with joy … from a treasured heirloom to a family pet to the person who held open a door for you. You are blessed and when you acknowledge that, you open the door to receiving more blessings.
Now It’s Your Turn:
What do you think of my interpretation of today’s quote? Agree? Disagree? Please comment below! Do you have a special way of cultivating thankfulness in your daily life? Please share your tips below! Is there something — or someone — you want to appreciate publicly? Proclaim your thankfulness in a comment below!