Gratitude is a funny thing.
All the research in the world tells you how good it is for you. Take any physical or mental health concern – there’s probably a paper or five showing how helpful gratitude is for recovery.
It’s just as useful for healthy folks.
This goes beyond just dry academia, too. Gratitude feels wonderful. It should be worth doing, even for the hedonic thrill of it.
Despite being great for you like broccoli and blissful like ice cream, it’s not that popular.
Sure, plenty of folks know the benefits.
And, sure, plenty of folks practice gratitude.
But the more common experience?
You give it a go, feel fantastic, realise all these benefits from appreciating everything… then give it up.
That’s not universal, of course. Many people stick with it.
But so many don’t.
It’s not like it takes any time or money. It doesn’t even take any effort – this is mild enough you can probably do it while driving, unless you’re already a bad driver.
So what happens?
Do people get bored?
Some might, but in my experience, it runs deeper than that. I’ve seen this in other people and I’ve seen this in myself.
This isn’t me pointing the finger at anyone – I’ve been as guilty of this myself. It intrigued me – given how great gratitude is, why would I ever stop?
Stop I did – until I cracked the code.
I have a list of gratitude exercises I like and I’ll share them. But there’s no point telling you about them if most of you will give up on it after a few weeks.
This is where most purveyors of gratitude fall down. Either it came naturally to them or they stuck with it enough to get the results.
So they give you a list of exercises to do… forgetting that’s not the real problem.
You probably don’t need fancy techniques, since it can be as easy and obvious as think of things to be grateful for.
The problem isn’t a lack of information. You know how to feel grateful – the challenge is to make the practice stick.
No, it’s not by setting reminders on your phone.
No, it doesn’t involve putting notes on your mirror.
If those work for you, great. If not, you might enjoy the two vital and ten redundant gratitude techniques I share in the upcoming Phronesis Accelerator issue.
And that issue goes out in less than two days.
If you’ve been dawdling, remember that time waits for no one. As with life, there are no second chances here: