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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 or issue.
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 something new.
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services.
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