How Gratitude Makes You a Better Example

    14 December 2018

    When it comes to being a good example, we often think of qualities like strength, determination, and tirelessness. Gratitude doesn’t always make it on the list. But it should, and here’s why.

    In the book Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, psychologist Robert Emmons writes that keeping a gratitude journal can increase well-being and help you feel more satisfied with life.

    Gratitude can also help you become a better example—one with greater perspective, positivity, and inclination to focus on others.

    Looking at the past, an attitude of thankfulness can help you see the good you have accomplished as well as what you can learn from mistakes. This perspective allows you to recognize your progress and face the tasks ahead with confidence.

    So throughout the day, pause and be grateful for something good. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, and for 30 seconds let yourself feel grateful for that one thing. Or try making a habit of saying, “I’m glad to be here!” You’ll be surprised how little attitude shifts like these will help you accomplish the tough tasks in a day.

    An attitude of gratitude also keeps your mind clear, positive, and less stressed. You can build up that positive energy every day, starting with your morning routine. On the way to work or over breakfast, make a mental note of the things you are grateful for. This mental health nourishment will get you started off right, and the positivity that flows from it will help you lead at work, at home, or in the community more effectively.

    Perhaps most important, gratitude helps you focus on others. The people you work with are all struggling with something, and showing them a little appreciation can boost their day. We all need the validation of knowing we are needed. Look for the good in others, and express gratitude for it.

    When thanking others, use specific details about what you appreciate—a character trait, a job well done. And express your thanks often.

    Gratitude helps you connect with fellow workers and employees, which can lead them to be more productive. When you express gratitude, you gain trust. People will follow your lead more readily as they learn that they can trust you.

    One worthwhile activity may involve writing a gratitude letter to someone who has had an impact on you but who you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.

    To be truly grateful, remember to thank God. Recognize that all blessings come from Him. You’ll be surprised how this improves your outlook and encourages you to be a better example.

    Start being grateful every day, and see what a difference it makes.

    Thank you for reading!