by Aubrey Patterson
Early in life, most of us are taught to count our blessings, but this lesson all too often fails to become a habit. When calamity knocks on our door, many of us are not accustomed to acknowledging the good that still surrounds us.
We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count. (Neal A. Maxwell)
Luckily, gratitude is a muscle we can exercise.
Leading with Gratitude
Gratitude and optimism work hand in glove; we can learn to be thankful for the past and present while hoping for something better in the future.
But gratitude and optimism are not equally effective as strategies.
Leading with gratitude increases the likelihood that we inspire thoughtful conversations and compelling action. While optimism is critical to goal-setting and wonderful for visioning, gratitude has a better chance of surfacing our exciting next steps.
Gratitude is one of the few things in life that simply cannot be overdone.
People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further. (Harvard Health, August 2021)
Optimism can be a false summit in uncertain times. In contrast, gratitude is grounded in reality.
Embracing gratitude can help us secure strength from the good we've actually accomplished.