The Outperformers Way of “Giving Thanks”

Gratitude and Motivation

For those of you Outperformers reading this in the U.S., I hope you had a happy and blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends and great food!

I worked out hard, then ate myself into a minor food coma. Standard Thanksgiving 🙂

After yesterday’s day of “giving thanks,” it’s the perfect time to talk about the importance of gratitude (many of you have heard me mention it in speaking). It’s not something we should do casually, or once a year.

It should be done consistently, with purpose. 

Gratitude is defined as “the appreciation of what is meaningful or valuable to oneself.”

What do you appreciate? Family? Friends? Great food? 

D) all of the above?

Here’s why it matters:

We get what we focus on in life. To put it bluntly, we cannot be simultaneously grateful and pissed off. It doesn’t work. And the more we choose to focus on appreciation in our personal and professional lives, the more we will continue to receive the things we appreciate.

“Sounds good, Scott, but how do I know this will really help me?” 

Here’s the proof in the pudding (only a fraction of the research that is out there):

Huffington Post on why Gratitude makes us healthier

Forbes on 7 scientifically proven benefits of Gratitude

Harvard Medical School on Gratitude and greater happiness

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Outperformers, once they know that something can benefit them, they do it. They don’t wait. This “speed of implementation” is a key component to their success. 

3 simple ways to implement gratitude, personally and professionally:

1. Start every meeting by having people name one thing they are doing incredibly well RIGHT NOW. Then, watch what happens to the tone of the entire meeting afterwards. Game changer. 

2. Assess your relationships. One piece of research I read is that successful marriages have at least a 5:1 ratio of positive (or grateful) acts for every negative (or critical) one. What is your ratio? I think about mine too. 

(NOTE – this is not altogether different than giving feedback to employees or direct reports, where the overwhelming type of feedback should be positive…particularly for us high-maintenance Millennials :)).

3. Keep a gratitude journal. Wake up every day and write down three things you’re grateful for that day. Be specific and focus mostly on experiences. Not only does this force you to wake up on the “right side of the bed,” it also becomes a reservoir of strength that you can look back on about everything that is good in your life. 

I had a speaking engagement in CO last week and a lady came up to me afterwards, crying. She told me that she’d had cancer a number of years ago and, during her toughest and darkest time, started a gratitude journal. She still looks back on it today and says it has been one of her biggest sources of inspiration and strength. 

Powerful stuff. 

Lastly, thanks for being here. I’m grateful you’re joining me in the Outperforming movement. 

Wishing you a great weekend!

– Scott

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