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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Feb 24, 2021

Welcome to day four of the radical reflection challenge. The week is flying by. I hope you have found the three topics to date helpful. As a reminder, we started with values, then moved onto success, and yesterday we looked at learning and growth. 

I believe today’s focus on gratitude can have a fundamental impact on your optimism and well-being. Gratitude is both a trait and an emotion or state. It’s an outlook we bring to life, and it’s also something we experience at a point in time. 

We can practice gratitude - that is, we can actually take time out of our day to be grateful. Researchers have shown a regular practice of gratitude improves sleep, physical health, relationships with others, mental health and life satisfaction. It also reduces the risk of burnout. So, if I had a pill to sell you that did all of that I would be a billionaire. Thankfully gratitude is completely free, however it is also often elusive.

Taking the time to consider things to be grateful for changes our outlook on life. We start to seek out the positive things and focus our attention on those. And, just like a muscle that can be developed with exercise, we can develop our muscle of gratitude. We can shift it from something passing to something that characterises us - from a state to a trait.

The focus of the reflection in your workbook today is all about gratitude. I’ve included a few activities you can try out in the coming weeks to build gratitude. The first is a gratitude journal. It’s a really simple process but research shows some significant benefits after even short periods of three weeks. The idea is to identify three new things each day that you are grateful for, and note them down - either using a notes app or in a physical journal. The second is a gratitude letter. This involved writing a letter expressing your gratitude to someone, typically someone that you haven’t fully thanked to date. The third idea is an act of kindness. To each day intentionally do something nice for someone else. It could be someone you know, or even someone you come across in your day. Try one or more of those gratitude building ideas out today.