I believe that having the right mindset is crucial to our success (whatever that means for us) and that gratitude can be a way of developing the right mindset; I’ve blogged about the daily habit of #3GoodThings as well as sharing my personal experiences of reflecting on #3GoodThings after having a seizure in the middle of Oxford Street.
This 30-minute documentary from The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is well worth watching, and contains a great mix of real stories of gratitude interspersed with an academic reflection on them. The stories are from across Britain and they do make the observation that we Brits can be a bit awkward about gratitude.
I find it fascinating how a focus on the positives can change our mindset and the stories are a mix of very specific gratitude as well as some people having a general appreciative nature.
I loved the point that a focus on materialistic values can have a negative effect on wellbeing whilst gratitude has a positive effect. One of my own pivotal experiences was of a general grumpiness at a time when I couldn’t afford the car I wanted, and of that being brought in sharp relief by sitting in the slums in Uganda listening to street children tell me their stories of how grateful they were (for what little they seemed to have).
Through my work on strengths, I’m seeking to help people be grateful for what they (and others) are, rather than focusing on what we are not, and to learn how to apply those strengths whilst managing weaknesses.
It was interesting to see the power of gratitude applied to difficult events, rather then purely making the most of the good times, and to see the contagious ripple effect of gratitude although there was an excellent point made about the fact that not all gratitude is good; indiscriminate/excessive gratitude should be avoided and we should take care to express gratitude towards the right people at the right times in the right amount.
I was really struck by a self-confessed hippie sitting in the countryside, repeating his mantra, and talking about ‘This feeling of knowing who I am and why I’m here and being grateful for my existence…’. I’m sitting in my office and wearing a suit as I write this and I don’t feel in the least bit hippie-like but his statement absolutely describes how I feel.
The reality of life is that it has its ups and downs and it isn’t all Unicorns and Rainbows. We can choose where we focus our thoughts and I have made my own choice.
Please watch the video. It is ace!