Making Gratitude a Daily Practice

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step but for some, it’s a journey never taken. Maybe you lack clarity of purpose and fail to envision the outcome. Perhaps fear holds you back from taking calculated risks, so you forfeit potential growth. To consistently move forward and build momentum, you need to keep your motivation levels high and create a positive self-image. Practicing more gratitude every day can help you do all that.

 

It may sound unbelievable, but gratitude can change your entire life, allowing you to shift your perspective and see through a lens of abundance. Pause and ask yourself what you are most grateful for. Everyone has a reason for getting up each day to make a difference in the world. For me, it’s family that provides a constant source of gratitude and the motivation to work hard, provide for their needs, and help them achieve their dreams.

To better understand what fuels your gratitude, let’s see how gratitude works by taking a look at how it impacts your ability to build momentum through motivation. At the heart of motivation is your purpose, your Why, the inspiration that pushes you forward and makes you feel good about yourself and your work. The more motivated you are, the greater your drive, determination, and even self-awareness, your tasks will take on a deeper meaning, and you’ll discover a more resilient and positive outlook on life.  

Previously viewed as a nuisance, recent research sheds new light on the many benefits of motivation. For starters, motivation spurs you to embrace a growth mindset and helps improve your ability to learn new skills more effectively. Research also indicates that gratitude fuels motivation and leads to positive behaviours in self-improvement. Put simply, gratitude begets more gratitude and ultimately leads to a greater sense of satisfaction. 

Happy people experience 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, 3 times greater creativity, 23% fewer fatigue symptoms, they are 10 times more engaged, 40% more likely to get promoted, and 39% more likely to live to age 94. Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage

To see how gratitude and motivation work together, grab a copy of Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage. Achor explores how you can rewire the brain and start thinking more positively by expressing gratitude and suggests that forming a gratitude habit for 21 days can help the brain change and respond more positively to its environment, impacting your outlook, relationships, productivity, and overall satisfaction, both personally and professionally.

You can apply this habit to building motivation. Try developing a what I did list rather than a to-do list. Instead of staring down a long list of incomplete tasks, look at all the tasks you’ve accomplished, identify any obstacles along the way, the required skills, and the inspiration that makes that first step possible. Whenever you look at that list, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude, and that just fuels more motivation.

All that gratitude and motivation will do wonders for your self-image as well. Remember, it’s not just your work that matters, you matter. Your what I did list will drive a greater sense of purpose, you’ll be able to better focus on your contributions at home and work, and look inside of you for intuition without ruminating over uncompleted tasks. 

You’ll also learn to manage your inner voice more effectively, and prevent worry and any perceived shortcomings from creeping into your mindset. You’ll get better at defining boundaries that allow you to shut down your mental hard drive when the workday is done and tune into your own time, something we could all do better in this next normal. 

Finally, remember that you’re not alone, seek constant feedback from a trusted network of colleagues and family and remain receptive to feedback so you can grow. As they say in Toastmasters, find the glow and the grow points, get out of your comfort zone, and turn shortcomings into opportunities to learn something new.

Bringing it all together

Gratitude and motivation are a state of mind, so reflect often on your accomplishments and find reasons to feel good about yourself. With clarity and a positive mindset, you’ll be able to take that first step on your journey to becoming a better version of yourself every day, you’ll get more done and feel better about what you’re doing.

Ask me how I can help you develop more gratitude in your life

Developing more motivation and gratitude is critical to becoming a more emotionally intelligent leader. Ask me how the Leading with Clarity coaching program can help make it easier to build consistent habits and develop clarity in your life, take action to achieve your goals, and lead with humility and confidence.

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