Thankfulness: The Key to Success and Happiness
- December 1, 2021
- Posted by: April Hilbert
- Category: Best Practices
Last week, over the Thanksgiving holiday, we carved out time for our minds and hearts to take note of what we are thankful for. Maybe you too went around the table with your loved ones and shared something you are thankful for.
But what if you kept that up all year long?
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can actually affect every area of your life. Grateful people are happier and more successful and the research backs it up.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that athletes who were more grateful had higher self-esteem, which also has been linked to higher job performance.
Research shows that gratitude makes you happy. “Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”
Grateful people achieve more. Research reveals that gratitude can lead to increased determination, energy, enthusiasm, and academic achievement. Being thankful will give you greater job satisfaction and performance.
Some of the most successful people have developed habits of gratitude. Oprah Winfrey has long touted her belief in the power of keeping a gratitude journal, writing 5 things she is grateful for every single day and she is not alone. It takes a little discipline to develop the habit of taking note of even the little things that you are thankful for. But it’s worth it. Consider starting a gratitude journal and see how your life changes.
Here are some quotes to inspire you from those who’ve chosen to count their blessings and be thankful every day:
“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” Oprah Winfrey
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” Tony Robbins
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, oh which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
“Gratitude is a choice, not a result.” Jennifer Cohen
That last one, “Gratitude is a choice”, means that you get to choose if you will be happy and successful. Wow. So why don’t you put it to the test. Start being thankful every day. Even a day when everything goes wildly wrong and you feel terrible about everything. Find one thing, even the smallest thing, to be thankful for and write it down. The next day, try writing two things you are grateful for. Keep it up and see if you become happier and more successful.
If you need more convincing, here are the top 13 TED talks on gratitude.
From all of us at AE21 we hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving that will last all year long.