The Power of Real Gratitude

There are SO many people who talk about gratitude – journal, cards, and on and on. Yet I get a sense (maybe it’s my slightly cynical side) that many people who express gratitude expect something in return.

The paradoxical thing about gratitude is that the greater the expectation of personal gain, the less likely it will happen.

So next time you express gratitude, give openly, generously, and with no strings attached.

Have a great day,


Beyond Gratitude

I am a big believer in gratitude. If a person can’t find things to feel grateful for, life often becomes an endless slog. I understand that.

While feeling gratitude is essential, it’s incomplete. Feeling gratitude impacts you alone, while expressing gratitude impacts both you and the other person. It takes compassion, courage, and care to share appreciation and the impact is far reaching – in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

So express gratitude sincerely, specifically, and concretely – and often!!!


Momentum Magic

For some people taking small, consistent actions is a painfully slow way to reach a goal.

Yet this isn’t necessarily accurate. More important than the size of your step is whether you can actually complete it – again and again and again. If not, a big number times zero is still zero.

On the other hand, momentum is invaluable because as you develop a positive habit, you accelerate your progress, capabilities, and success.

Enjoy your day,

Gratitude as a Shortcut

Gratitude is certainly a shortcut to many things  – as a start, greater wealth, happiness, and well-being.

Yet there is a catch: gratitude will yield little if you expect rewards. It will only come when you express gratitude without any strings attached. Then the goodies will overflow.

Gratitude is a shortcut and a paradox.

Have a great day,

The Power of Small Data

Many people talk about the power of big data and while this is true, it only tells one side of the story. Small data, or looking at an individual, can help you create value immediately. When you focus on appreciating, acknowledging, and/or improving the life of the person in front of you – you can have an impact right now. What’s more, the positive influence you have on that one individual can ripple out in ways you can even foresee. So what are you waiting for? Act now.

Enjoy your day,

See the Value

It a “funny” thing – when you see the positive value in others, your value, credibility, and opportunities increase. It’s really about reputation. Are you known as a person who is demanding, has a sense of entitlement, and never satisfied? Or, are you the individual seen as generous, appreciative, and supportive?

The first approach will have people staying away from you and be unwilling to help you. The second approach creates a foundation of short and long term relationships that can benefit you and others.

Have a great day,

Finish What You Start

It’s a funny thing with the brain. When you set actions you actually achieve, your brain rewards you with neurobiological chemicals that empower you to do more. The motivation to keep advancing is internal and requires little to no sustained willpower. On top of all this, your brain doesn’t really even care about the size of the action – as long as its achievement is important to you.

So set an action you can finish and reap the rewards early and often.

Have a great day,

What’s Right in Front of You

I was with a group of friends recently. There was a lot of complaining about the state of the world, how big the problems are, and the impossible nature change. As I was about to get sucked into this vortex of negativity, I made myself pause and say a few things. “Guys,” I said. “Could we go down a different track? My mentor says this again and again, ‘Who is right in front of you? Help that person!’ This might not seem like a big deal, it is. Start with one and go from there.”

While there might have been some eye rolls, I felt better – and it was a reminder to me that when I feel I can’t make a difference, it’s just not true. See the person in front of you and smile and wave, say thank you, or go out for coffee and listen more than you speak.

Enjoy the day,

Handwritten Happiness

I will admit that I was not the best thank you note writer as a child. It was a bit of a tussle to get me to put my words of appreciation onto cards, put the cards into envelopes, and address them.

Yet that all flipped a number of years ago when I read a chapter in a book on writing that celebrating note writing. This actually changed my life forever – for the better.

From that point forward, I started writing cards, letters, and postcards – more than a thousand every year. I love, love, love to write them. My spirits rise, I feel more connected, and my confidence soars. What’s even better is that my appreciative feelings are felt by the receiver of my notes. They tell me in person, by phone, and in email.

It’s a small thing and the positive ripples are wonderful and far reaching.

Write! Bet you can’t send just one.

Have a great day,

To Increase Your Success – Do This!

When people want to increase their success, they immediately drive to take concrete action: network more, sell, sell, sell, or even build a plan with lots of details. While these things have their place, without one important element they can leave you frustrated, exhausted, and disappointed. If left unchecked, those negative feelings can grow into doubt, resentment, and even grudges.

Yet, there is a solution. It costs little to nothing, it’s accessible to everyone, and the impact is instantaneous. That’s gratitude.

Today find the value in each person, situation, and experience. Start with the “easy” ones and work up to the more challenging circumstances. Your brain for support and reward your feeling and expressing gratitude.

Have a wonderful day,