+ MINDSET SERIES: GRATITUDE
Forget about your complaints, focus on your gratitude.
When times get tough, everyone has to make a fundamental decision: to complain or to be grateful. In an environment where negative sentiment is rampant, the consequences of this decision are much greater. Complaining only attracts negative thoughts and people. Gratitude, on the other hand, creates the opportunity for the best thinking, actions, and results to emerge. Focus on everything that you are grateful for, communicate this, and open yourself each day to the best possible consequences.
Our brains are hard-wired to focus on negative stimulus. Our operating systems evolved this way for good reason: to keep us out of harm’s way. After all, a tiger hiding in a bush is more important to take note of than the beautiful landscape around it. But in a world where our brains react to (and retain) the negative, our society has organized itself to capitalize and magnify the bad. Negative news sells. Social media loves to spread things that went wrong. No one likes to share gossip about things people did right.
Succeeding in the midst of this reality requires intentionally retraining our brains to pay attention to the good in our lives. Typically there is much more of it than we realize, and the simple habit of writing down the good things we are grateful for can retrain our eyes to see the world through a different lens.
Focus on your gratitude: Action Steps
Each day when you wake up, write down three things you are grateful for.
Start now by writing down three things you are grateful for and why.
You can also download our free ‘Focus on Your Gratitude’ worksheet. This exercise will help you start the process of thinking about the things in your life that you are grateful for, including other people, your own unique abilities and your opportunities.
Resources to consider
Check out ‘The Happiness Advantage’
by Shawn Achor. Shawn’s book about positive psychology and how happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
Watch “The Happiness Advantage” TEDTalk on YouTube. Shawn’s TEDTalk argues that rather than working hard in order to be happy, happiness inspires us to be better and more productive workers.
In times of uncertainty and anxiety, it’s important to remember what you’re in control of and how to take care of yourself, your business and your mindset. The Positive+ Mindset series is designed to offer you 10 tangible ways you can maintain a positive outlook, express gratitude, lead with compassion and empathy, and turn negative thoughts into positive ones that will improve your thinking, actions and outcomes.
Adapted from Dan Sullivan’s “The ‘Scary Times’ Success Manual.”