Being in a state of gratitude actually creates magnetism, and of course, a magnet draws things to itself. By giving authentic thanks for all the good you now have, as well as the challenges, through this magnetism you’ll start the flow of more good into your life. Every successful person I know is grateful for everything they have.
November: A Month of Gratitude
November is one of my favorite months. Not only is it pleasant outside here in southeastern, coastal Texas for most of the month, it's also National Gratitude Month. In addition to autumn and Thanksgiving, it nourishes me to know that we have an entire month devoted to gratitude. It's one of my core values, second only to love.
Why Practice Gratitude?
It's good to celebrate and practice gratitude. Why? Start with money, success, and happiness. The research on money, success, and happiness is quite clear: Money and success do not lead to happiness rather; it is happiness that leads to success—in every major life domain. So if happiness leads to success and it isn’t necessarily money that leads to happiness, the question then becomes, “What does lead to happiness?” Gratitude. Consistently practicing gratitude leads to greater happiness (subjective wellbeing) and fulfillment.
At the risk of sounding a bit too academic, I define gratitude as a cognitive-affective state characterized by the recognition of having received some good or benefit—a gift—from a benefactor, whether distinct or more ethereal.
What's really amazing about gratitude is that it's actually in the middle of a positive cycle or spiral. It starts with a benefactor who feels empathy or concern for someone else. We often associate empathy with someone else's negative feelings and experiences and that is true. Empathy can also be expressed during positive states and events; with someone's joys and triumphs.
The benefactor then offers a gift. Remember, these types of gifts can be verbal, written, and simple acts of kindness.
Gratitude also fosters a desire to ‘pay it forward.’ The beneficiary often has a sense of indebtedness that is felt towards the benefactor that motivates further giving toward the benefactor or someone completely outside the loop. This then creates a spiral of giving, receiving, and repaying.
Another interesting finding from the research is that you can amplify the power of any gift or act which you are hoping will generate gratitude. More gratitude is created when the act or gift meets three criteria:
The research also shows that unexpected benefits or gifts appear to generate the most gratitude. Some of the best benefits and gifts we receive on our life journey are the ones that come as a surprise and are least expected.
One of the best ways to practice gratitude is with a gratitude journal. Simply write down 3-5 things you're grateful for at the end of each day and the reason why. In a series of studies, people who daily practiced this reported being more attentive, determined, energetic, enthusiastic, excited, interested, joyful, and strong than the other participants. They were also happier and were also more likely to report that they helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support to someone that day.
The Morning Cuddle
I know a lot of teams that have the practice of a Morning Huddle. My team practices the Morning Cuddle. A major part of what we do during these cuddles, is to identify a few things that we're grateful for to start the day. We have some staples like the gift of life or a new day, Mommy getting things ready downstairs, our pet love birds, and a warm cuddle with Daddy.
We also have an evening version. In our Night Cuddle, we share gratitude for those things that happened during the day that we are most grateful for. It's our audible version of the gratitude journal.
FREE GIFT! The Benefits of Gratitude
Download my free The Benefits of Gratitude guide where I explain how to conduct the two strongest practices from the literature that boost gratitude and happiness:
You'll also discover the benefits of practicing gratitude and other bonus material. You don't have to enter your email. No irritating pop-ups. No junk mail. It's simply my way of expressing gratitude to you for visiting my site and reading my blog.
Celebrate National Gratitude Month! We have so much to be grateful for!
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a coach and leadership development consultant with 15+ years of experience. He is passionate about helping leaders transform their leadership, their teams, and their organizations. Impactful, professional approach driven by a passion for meaning and purpose, a growth mindset, and a commitment to excellence and service in order to drive change and results.
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
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Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Free Discovery Conversation!
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email: Contact Page
In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.