By Jill Konrath
This is one topic I never thought I’d write about. For many years, I wasn’t at all grateful. I was too busy busting my butt, trying to make my own success at the same time I was raising an active, growing family.
I never gave even one little thought to the people who made it possible. Nor did I stop to appreciate the beauty of nature, the fortuitous life I was born into or how good a cup of coffee could really taste.
Then, a few years back, I had a couple of terrible years. Both personally and professionally. You might say it was a disaster.
And, for the first time ever, I felt deep gratitude. Strange, huh? I felt grateful that I wasn’t dying of incurable cancer. I truly appreciated the support of my friends and family. Even the gift of a big bag of Peanut M&Ms was cause for celebration. In short, gratitude kept me afloat during those tough times.
Mind-Blowing Gratitude Research
Flash forward to today. Suddenly, tons of research has emerged on the tremendous impact gratitude can have on so many aspects of our lives — even in driving a significant increase in sales.
Studies have shown that people who, at the end of each day, write down THREE things they’re grateful for are much happier than those who don’t.
On the right are the results from research by Martin Seligman. Although participants only kept a gratitude journal for one week, over time they just keep getting happier.
According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and former Harvard professor, being happier makes you better at every aspect of your job.
In the Harvard Business Review, he even states that you’re 37% better at sales.
Additionally, other gratitude research shows that being thankful:
- Elevates your IQ.
- Enhances your creativity.
- Increases your resilience.
- Deepens your relationships.
- Makes you more productive.
- Builds social capital.
- … and much more.
If you like all those benefits, try writing a gratitude journal at the end of each work day. Be specific about why — and the payback compounds. It’s five minutes a day, max. And, the best news is, optimistic salespeople can’t be beat.