One of the things his work has taught me is the secret of balance.
That secret is gratitude. Gratitude balances out our constant need for achievement. It helps us manage our anxiety and remember what’s going right, rather than just focussing on what’s going wrong.
As you go home tonight, I’d like you to reflect on your day. What you’ll probably notice is that you’ll hone in on everything that went wrong, or was stressful.
I want you to deliberately turn your thoughts to what went well. What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful to?
Simply put, for every ten things that happen to us, one thing may go wrong, but we’ll forget everything that went right, and make ourselves crazy over-thinking the one thing that didn’t go to plan.
Also, there are always people around us working hard to make our lives better. Unfortunately, we forget to recognise them. And this makes them less likely to extend discretionary energy for us again.
Think about it:
- We don’t truly recognise what we have until it’s lost.
- We don’t appreciate our health, until we are sick.
- We don’t appreciate our relationships until we have relationship issues.
- We don’t appreciate our jobs until they are jeopardised.
Gratitude helps us to overcome anxiety, but it also helps us to keep what we have whilst we’re aiming for what we want.
My hope for you is that you learn this lesson early in your life and feel the full benefit of the practice. It will help you with both your career and your personal life.
How can you put this into practice?
- Build in reflection time at the end of each day to recognise what you’re thankful for and who you are thankful to
- Thank people. A quick email thank you, or even a quick thank you at the end of a conversation makes a massive difference to others
- When you’re feeling anxious, angry, or going through any other negative spiral, take a moment to remind yourself what you’re grateful for. (Even simple things like coffee, the newspaper, or Netflix will do. There’s always something to be grateful for- most of us are not living in war torn countries and are all incredibly lucky)
What to know more?
Read about Gratitude Research
Watch this great Ted Talk about Happiness and Success by Nic Marks
Check out Tim Ferriss (I recommend his podcast)