Please forgive me if this email is a little scattered. I’m writing it from a coffee shop in Anthem, AZ, and I’m at peak caffeination after a 16-ounce nitro coffee…
I've seen a lot of posts this week on gratitude. And rightfully so - it's one of the most powerful performance enhancers for our lives and is something I mention often.
But I also like to go a step beyond what everyone else is doing.
It's easy to say,
Ya know, gratitude is good for you and you should have more of it.
Broccoli and brussel sprouts are also good for me. It doesn't mean I want to eat them all the time!
So, I started doing a little research on gratitude, why it is beneficial and how we can have more of it.
I came across the following white paper of research done at Berkeley.
It's a beast. 72 pages on the science of gratitude.
(thank God the caffeine was flowing!)
Now, you're busy and I don't expect you to take the time to comb through it but, in unison with a post I had a couple weeks ago on "clearing the path," sometimes the best way to get more of something is to identify what's preventing you from getting it.
They identified four traits that act as barriers to gratitude: envy, materialism, narcissism, and cynicism.
Envy: wanting someone else's qualities or possessions
Materialism: materials are more important than values and virtues
Narcissism: feeling of entitlement or self-centeredness
Cynicism: belief that other people are selfish
I could drink another nitro coffee (scary) going into each of these traits more in-depth, but I found the aspect of Envy to be the most interesting.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't envious of what other prominent people in my speaking / coaching / authoring space are doing.
I even find myself using the language, "I really envy the platform they have, the stages they get to speak on, the people they get to help..."
I hear similar things from many of my coaching clients. It's not that envy is necessarily wrong or bad...
Like a lot of things in life, where it becomes problematic is when we fall out of balance.
The reason Envy (and Materialism, for that matter) are barriers to gratitude is because they involve dwelling on what we don't have.
If that's ALL we're focusing on, where do you think that leaves us?
Seeped in ingratitude. And that's not a good place to be. We can't Outperform from there.
Yesterday many of us came together and shared for what we are thankful. This sharing of gratitude gave us a nice, short-term emotional spike.
But the way we build it into a sustained, lasting benefit is to shift our mindset away from envy, materialism, narcissism and cynicism.
We'll all be better for it.
I hope you had a very blessed Thanksgiving,