Is gratitude a reflex or can we cultivate it?
Like many actions that require routine attention and practice to become habitual, gratitude is no different. Conscious recognition and appreciation of one’s privileges is a demonstration of gratitude. There is tremendous wealth in character to be satisfied with your fortune of abundance and to demonstrate that gratitude by contributing to the enhancement of the lives of others.
“Science shows we can train ourselves to experience thankfulness more often simply by paying attention to our lives differently. Attention is like a spotlight in the brain, as whatever we repeatedly bring attention to becomes stronger and brighter over time.” Thankful - A social enterprise.
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Creating a practice of appreciation for your fortunate circumstance and becoming an enabler in enhancing the fortunes of others is a selfless and very humbling experience. We have all required the assistance and guidance of others to achieve our goals, yet we often find it very difficult to offer support to others.
“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”
— Alfred North Whitehead - Mathematician and Philosopher.
Gratitude is fantastic, but what does it actually look like in everyday life?
There is a lot of wise words on the power of practicing gratitude, but relatively little advise on how to practice this phenomenon.
Read this fantastic article that demonstrates a simple daily routine to practice gratitude
The Problem Is Not the Problem
Sometime in the mid-twentieth century, as high-rise buildings sprung up around New York, several of the occupants of one multistoried office began complaining about the long elevator waiting times.
An engineering firm that specialized in elevator system designs and operations was hired to assess the problem, but their findings were bleak. Due to the age of the building, no fix with economically viable. To brainstorm a feasible solution, the building manager called a meeting of his staff, which included a young, recently hired psychology graduate.
When asked for his input, the graduate reasoned that the occupants’ complaints weren’t a result of elevator waiting times, but rather, a result of boredom. Furthermore, he suggested that if mirrors were installed in the elevator lobbies, rather than a costly refurbishment, the occupants would have something pleasant to do.
The building manager took the graduate up on his suggestion, and to his surprise, the complaints about waiting stopped overnight.
And that, kids, is why elevators and waiting areas have mirrors.
Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...
By Seth Godin
This is a book for people who seek to teach, to innovate, and to solve interesting problems.
Creative work doesn't come with a guarantee. But there is a pattern to who succeeds and who doesn't. And engaging in the consistent practice of its pursuit is the best way forward.
“Consistency is far more important than authenticity”
This book will show you what it takes to turn your passion from a private distraction to a productive contribution, the one you've been seeking to share all along.
An extract from the book:
The Pattern and the Practice
Our lives follow a pattern.
For most of us, that pattern was set a long time ago. We chose to embrace a story about compliance and convenience, the search for status in a world constrained by scarcity.
The industrial economy demands it. It prods us to consumption and obedience. We trust the system and the people we work for to give us what we need, as long as we’re willing to continue down the path they’ve set out for us. We were all brainwashed from a very early age to accept this dynamic and to be part of it.
The deal is simple: follow the steps and you’ll get the outcome the system promised you. It might not be easy, but with effort, just about anyone can do it.
So we focus on the outcome, because that’s how we know we followed the steps properly. The industrial system that brainwashed us demands that we focus on outcomes to prove we followed the recipe.
That priority makes sense if the reliable, predictable outcome really matters and the payoff is truly guaranteed. But what happens when your world changes?
Suddenly, you don’t always get what was guaranteed. And the tasks you’re asked to do just aren’t as engaging as you’d like them to be. The emptiness of the bargain is now obvious: you were busy sacrificing your heart and your soul for prizes, but the prizes aren’t coming as regularly as promised.
“The practice” is the game.
The practice is what you and I do every day when we enter our workspace, close the door, and sit down to pursue our dream.
The important work, the work we really want to do, doesn’t come with a recipe. It follows a different pattern.
This book challenges conventional thinking that has trained us to follow a predictable path to productivity and replace it with creative thinking and consistent practice.
Put yourself on the hook!
By putting yourself on the hook, you’re performing a generous act. You are sharing insight and love and magic. And the more it spreads, the more it’s worth to all of those who are lucky enough to experience your contribution.
Seth Godin is the author of 18 international bestsellers that have changed the way people think about work, among them Unleashing the Ideavirus, Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, Tribes, The Dip, Linchpin, Poke the Box, and All Marketers Are Liars. He writes the most popular marketing blog in the world and speaks to audiences around the world.
He is the founder of the altMBA. Seth is arguably one of my most favorite authors.
I read his blog daily : https://seths.blog
Widget of the week...
"THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU LIVE."
The Small Changes That Change Everything
Now that the new year is here, you’ve probably recommitted to your goals with conviction. Maybe you’ve vowed that this is the year you get your productivity under control, or finally achieve the work-life balance you have been craving.
Beginning in January 2021 and running until the end of the year, this planner gives you plenty of room to keep track of all the events, reminders and creative thoughts that fill each day. This Expresso. 2021 planner made with 100% recycled paper and diligently handcrafted with an artistic canvas cover will remind you of your generous contribution.
Be a part of something bigger.
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