“The more gratitude you have, the more you have to be grateful for.”
~ Elaine St. James

Have you ever noticed that truly grateful people – people who always seem to be counting their blessings or looking on the bright side – seem to be unwilling or unable to be ungrateful. They seem to always find something to be grateful for or about, even in the toughest times. And they seem to always, or at least almost always, have a sunny disposition.

At times I’ve wondered if their “always grateful, always something to be grateful for” attitudes were a farce so I experimented with upping my gratitude, to see what would happen. Strange thing was, as soon as I started counting my blessings and becoming aware of, and calling out (and expressing thanks for), all that I had, I seemed to have more. Or at least I noticed more. The leaves on the trees seemed greener. The budding flowers and flowering trees seemed more beautiful. I really appreciated my morning cup of tea (and coffee) and a snuggle with my son. I enjoyed my sessions with clients more (yes, a coach is allowed to enjoy sessions with clients). I realized – and was grateful for – the colleagues, clients, family members and friends who graced my life.

I offered this experiment to my clients. Their results were similar. I’m guessing there’s brain science behind this phenomenon. We train our brains what to look for and how to interpret situations, people, and experiences. By molding our brains to notice and call out the many (often simple) blessings around us – the fact that we can breathe and see and walk and talk and hear, just to start – we seem to have more to be grateful for. Research has proven this. By simply, consciously, actively writing a “gratitude list” every day or starting a gratitude journal, we end up feeling better about our lives (even if our lives are tough) and more optimistic about the future. We end up feeling more grateful and feeling like we have more to be grateful for.

I don’t mean to preach. I just encourage you to give this a try. (And let me know how it goes.)

What do you have to be grateful for? Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For guidance in practicing gratitude, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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