Active Gratitude - How to create more good stuff in your life

03 Aug Active Gratitude

I’ve had a daily gratitude practice (on and off) for over 5 years and can honestly say that it’s re-wired my brain and changed my life for the better. Gratitude is so important that I have devoted much of my professional work to empowering others to harness its power. (you can read more about gratitude here, here, and here) So, I was surprised and delighted today when I was shown a new approach to gratitude. First, a little background that will give you context…

I’ve been a certified coach for a couple of years and I absolutely love it. I initially went through The Flourishing Center’s Applied Positive Psychology Coaching program with no particular intention other than to become a better listener and workshop facilitator. But not long into the course, I realized how powerful coaching can be as a tool to get unstuck, shift perspectives, and get things done. Now, I regularly coach entrepreneurs, leaders, and ‘regular folks’ to help them move from where they are to where they want to be in any area of their lives.

OK, back to the story…

I’m always looking for things in my daily life to be grateful for. As I go about my day, I look for things that spark a sense of appreciation (currently, I’m posting a gratitude photo once a day on Instagram). It’s a great process that builds my resilience and really helps me tune into the good stuff in my life. It’s served me well for years.

But this morning as I was in a session with one of my coaching clients, I was blown away by her different approach to gratitude. Instead of waiting to notice things, Nanci actively works to create situations to be grateful for. That may seem like a subtle difference, but it totally blew me away. She’s created a list of things she can do that inspire her to feel gratitude. She’s printed it out and keeps it in plain sight on her desk.

scan of Nanci's gratitude list

The ones that stood out to me are:

  • Write a thank-you note
  • Call a family member (or friend)
  • Buy something local
  • Set up a walk/visit with a friend (or family member)
  • Give something away

Each morning, she chooses something she can do to spark thankfulness and appreciation.

Here’s an example she gave me:

There’s a little locally-owned restaurant in her neighborhood and it has struggled with covid restrictions all year. They weren’t allowed to have their dining room open, so they started a curb-side market where they sell meats, cheeses, and wine. Supporting local businesses is important to Nanci, so she makes an effort to go shop at this restaurant’s market once a week. By doing so, she’s actively cultivating an experience that makes her grateful. She’s grateful to have this restaurant in her neighbourhood. She’s grateful that she’s in a financial position to support them. She’s grateful for the relationships she’s building with the staff. And there’s a bonus – she’s increasing the total amount of gratitude and positivity in the world. When she shops there, not only does she gain gratitude, the owner, manager, and staff are grateful that they have loyal customers that help them remain in business. It’s a win-win-win situation.

I’m really inspired by Nanci’s active approach to gratitude. I’m going to create my own list of types of things that I can do to spark gratitude in my own life. I’ll still be on the lookout for the good things that passively fall in my lap, but I’m excited to take a more active role in my own sense of gratitude.

So, I’m curious, what can you do to create more gratitude in your life? Let me know in the comments or by sending me an email.

– – –

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about coaching, take a look at this page, then reach out to me to schedule a free coaching consultation. I love working with people to empower them to get unstuck and push past their perceived limitations.

 

Gratitude icon in title image from https://www.freepik.com

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2 Comments
  • Kathryn Louise Aebig
    Posted at 11:05h, 04 August Reply

    Nice article. I’m going to send md my neighbor a get well/thinking of you card. Love you Dan.

  • Barry Gene Stearns
    Posted at 21:04h, 04 August Reply

    Hi Dan. Just a note to say how much I enjoy and respect your work. You are a blessing in my life and I am always grateful to be your friend and student. Barry

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