Enjoy this informative guest post by nationally recognized life strategist, Randi Levin.
The #1 secret to understanding and effectively living a grateful life is in your acceptance that gratitude is not a one-and-done fleeting thought fueled by Thanksgiving. Instead, it is an actual state of mind and a lifestyle habit that exists in your daily life, unrelated to whether you have had the best or the most disastrous year.
This may seem difficult, yet a mindfulness practice of gratitude is rich in rewards, costs you nothing to develop, and keeps fears and energy in check. The overall benefits to your physical and mental health are sound. Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at UC Davis, is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is the author of the book Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. His findings are based on studies and research done around the globe revealing that happiness levels increase by approximately 25% when we practice gratitude!
We essentially train ourselves to reset to a thankful ‘set-point’ allowing ourselves to feel good even when things are not going our way. Dr. Emmons further points out that those who are appreciative tend to have stronger immune systems, are more creative, and may even have closer relationships. Listen to his point of view and amazing tips on how to feel gratitude in the video below or got go the link here.
Dr. Robert Emmons of UC Davis talks about Gratitude from Character Lab on Vimeo.
Have you ever longed to have more balance in your life? You may have noticed that life does not play out in a straight line! There are curves everywhere! Some years are more abundant and joyful than others.
Cultivating an active gratitude practice is the link to balancing the good and the bad, the highlights and the low points, and is a great connector to the gaps in evaluating your own sense of purpose. When you are thankful, you make decisions from your heart and your mind, working together in life-balance and accountability.
Here are 3 essential benefits and action steps of thinking thankful:
You fear ‘less.’ Gratitude bypasses fear. When you focus on what you are appreciative of, it becomes difficult to let negative thoughts in. Think about gratitude as a lamp that is turned on in a dark room. When you flip the switch, you shine a light on that which was previously scary, allowing you to take a small step toward a larger goal.
Try this now: Write yourself a permission slip to do something that previously intimidated you. Then write down all the things that stopped you from doing this one thing before. Say them aloud; dump them in front of the mirror. Now that your fears and limiting beliefs are aired, rewrite that list as if you successfully completed what previously held you back. Now say this new list out loud. See the shift? Great…now what part of this fear can you bypass today?
You take action in the NOW. A gratitude attitude grounds you in today and allows you to control not only the moment but also yourself within it. This opens up opportunities and choices that are closed to us when our focus is only on tomorrow’s goals or yesterday’s failures. When you are focused on today, your energy soars.
Try this now: Create a success jar or a success wall to post your daily successes. Yes, DAILY successes. If you are reaching for resolutions, promises, or goals, what often happens is that in your quest for the finish line you miss the process that led you there. Keeping a jar, or accessible wall filled with small notes about even the tiniest things that went right in your day keeps you mindful of your own growth and success and along with that your gratitude. Review your notes weekly or monthly, when strung together they will begin to weave a tapestry of positive reinforcement and abundance.
Manifest into your life what you most desire: You attract what you want because you are focused on the possibilities in your life rather than on the limitations. It is common to feel small and limited when you have had a run of failed results. Yet this is the stuff that resiliency is made of. We need resiliency and flexibility as part of our stories. Sometimes figuring out what you don’t want supports you in understanding what you do.
Try this now: Reclaim your bucket list! Your new abundant thoughts can help you to pivot toward the things you most want to achieve this year! What shifts if you simply change the vessel? Instead of a large, amorphous bucket, keep your list in a beautiful box or glass bowl. Bring it down to the items that you really want to welcome in. Now…here is where the fun begins! What can you do RIGHT NOW in regard to each and every item on this list?
We don’t always hit our goals because they are too large and abstract. If you take the opportunity now to decide on your first action step for each one this list comes to life! Here is an example: Your bucket list says that you want to travel the world. Yet, you have little cash and time. What can you do? Where can you combine a business trip and a pleasure trip? Do you know anyone who lives in a city or at a beach that you have wanted to visit? See where this changes the action steps?
Now, book that trip! Begin.
“Gratitude is the soul of balance, realigning all aspects of your life.” ~ Randi Levin
A Bonus Step To BEGIN TODAY:
Many people love to keep gratitude journals to record their thoughts and activities. While I support this idea, I don’t like how often our words just remain on the page and never make it into real life! What I love instead is a 365-day in-action approach to feel gratitude that you can begin today!
START THIS NOW: Every day, for a year mindfully reach out to one person, one business, one old friend, one ex-lover, your mom, somebody you have not spoken to in years, or one burned bridge and share your gratitude with them! In your email, phone call, or text you are going to express why you are thankful that they are, or were in your life. You are going to shed light on what they have brought into your life, why you support this business, or what you appreciate the most about the lessons you learned from an old friend or ex-lover!
When you share these thoughts, be present about how this makes you feel. Are you happy, angry, sad, or overjoyed? Is this freeing you to do more in your day, to take forward action, to reach for more? Are you more mindful of your current energy and are you using that energy to create a better you and a more stellar future?
Think about your conversations with those you have thanked. How have they responded? How is this changing your every day, and shaping and reframing your perspectives? Are you manifesting new enriched opportunities and connections?
Now, take this one step further! Once a quarter, reach out in person. Write and read a letter of gratitude to someone in your life. Savor the moment. What are you feeling? How are they responding? How is your life enhanced or changed by this experience?
What can you do now?
What can you do next?
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
I love shopping. Not for clothes, handbags, makeup, shoes or jewelry, but for products that make me more efficient. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a quality outfit. However, nothing relieves my stress more than finding a tool that boosts my productivity. Okay, maybe yoga and wine are also on my list for anxiety relief, but I’ll keep my focus on organizational tools for now. After all, time is our most precious commodity. If there’s a system or technique that will help me manage my work and avoid anxiety, I’m all over it. In my never-ending search for the latest and greatest, I’ve found 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business from this day forward.
Grammarly – I’m telling you, this tool saves my bacon. I started using it when I wrote my first article and have been relying on it ever since. The basic features are free, but I paid the nominal annual subscription rate for the upgraded version. Grammarly checks for spelling and grammar errors as well as correct sentence structure in my blog posts, emails, social media messages, and Word documents. I also use the browser extension when I surf the web. This impressive platform can also be used for cover letters, term papers, business proposals and works within Microsoft Office.
DialMyCalls.com – This business began in 1999 as one of the internet’s first wake-up call services and evolved into a mass online notification company with over 80,000 clients including Fortune 500 companies, schools, and government agencies. With this service, you can send voice or text messages and emails to groups of customers, coworkers or family members. You can send a 30-second message to up to 25 contacts once per week at no charge. Beyond that, you can use a pay-as-you-go package or subscribe to the economical and unlimited monthly plan. DialMyCalls is available on Android and iOS mobile devices.
WorkFrom – I recently started using this site because I was tired of working from the same old haunts I had been visiting for months. I desperately needed a change of scenery and some better amenities. If you are a remote worker and long for unique, new spaces with available wi-fi, then WorkFrom is for you. After you create your free account, you’ll gain access to the listing of public and private spots that will allow you to get stuff done more efficiently. Each location is rated by you and other Workfrom community members for high-speed internet connections, comfort, access to outlets, and other details important to digital nomads. You can access the website or use the iOS or Android app.
TimeAndDate You don’t want to miss an important client call or phone meeting with a colleague rooted in another time zone. I was recently attempting to schedule an interview with a podcaster who was located thousands of miles from me. For some reason, it was difficult to correctly calculate the time difference and schedule a time that would work for me. Fortunately, I managed the task, but the experience took longer than it should have. I vowed to correct that problem and found TimeAndDate. It’s free, but you will need to open an account to get access to most of the site’s offerings. This powerful tool helps calculate more than the hours between time zones. It boasts features that lookup international dialing codes, print and manage calendars, find worldwide weather forecasts, plan national and international meetings and more. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.
CamCard – This site and app are more than just a business card management system and scanner. After you take a photo of a card, it auto-populates text fields and creates a contact for you to save and share with your email and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs. CamCard can also export this information into Microsoft Office programs. The technology is perfect for networking events, conferences, and client meetings as you can exchange e-cards with each other. How eco-friendly can you get? The stripped-down, free versions are available on Android and iOs as well as the paid, upgraded apps.
Gboard – This is an app rather than an actual website. As a new user of this third-party iPhone or Android keyboard, I appreciate that it’s increased my texting speed. I’m probably the slowest smartphone keyboard user on planet Earth! Gboard offers glide typing and built-in search. This means you can be in the process of texting someone and look up an address or any other information you need and paste it in the conversation without opening your browser. Just tap the Google button to search. Easy as pie! Use Slash Keyboard as an alternative if you are an avid Android user.
TripIt – I used to equate travel with stress. That was before I began utilizing this wonderful travel organizer. Now I can’t imagine booking a recreation or business junket without this handy tool. TripIt consolidates the confirmations and emails from hotels, airlines, and car rental companies into a master itinerary on my phone or computer. No more flipping between apps or emails! If a flight is delayed, canceled or a gate number changes, I get a quick update that saves me time and aggravation. The platform’s basic features are free to use, but you can upgrade to the annual plan or TripIt Pro that keeps track of reward program points, finds alternate flights with open seats, and shares itineraries with others.
I hope you utilize this list of 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business. If you found these resources valuable, please share it with coworkers, family members, and friends and let me know which is your favorite tool and why.
Life is better when we lift each other up.