What does it mean to cultivate a baseline of gratitude?
It is common knowledge that there are amazing benefits to the presence of gratitude in a person’s life. Some of the benefits measured are a healthier life, happiness, meaningful relationships, and satisfaction at work. Yet, when you look around, gratitude is not as clearly evident as you would hope.
Many studies and surveys tout the advantages of gratitude, such as the work of vanOyen and Witvliet finding that gratitude predicts hope and happiness. However, when seeking research on perceptions of actual gratitude in action, the John Templeton Foundation in 2012 stands out.
The Templeton report begins by stating that a significant gratitude gap exists in America with 90% of people studied describing themselves as grateful for their family but only 52 percent of women and 44 percent of men expressing gratitude on a regular basis.
This one data point opens us up to the possibility that people want to be perceived as being grateful while knowing, at the same time, that gratitude is not a regular part of their daily life. The bottom line of this possibility is the need to know how to cultivate gratitude.
So, what does it mean to cultivate a baseline of gratitude?
First of all, let’s identify that baselines of all kinds have two parts.
· The first part is historical: Looking back at our past experiences enables us to call out what we know we are grateful for. In my podcast this month on the Art of Leadership entitled, “Gratitude is a load-bearing word”, six areas of life set the framework as a first-level strategy for developing your baseline of gratitude.
Looking back plays a key role in cultivating your baseline of gratitude.
· The second part involves forecasting: Based on your historical experiences, reliable forecasting moves you towards understanding that a commitment to future gratitude will impact your leadership in the days to come.
Looking forward plays an equally key role in growing your baseline of gratitude.
Cultivated gratitude in our lives comes from a place of actively making a choice rather than a place of emotions or circumstances.
Gandhi once said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”
Gratitude breeds within leaders who cultivate gratitude. These leaders, in turn, influence other leaders in cultivating gratitude. This cycle of gratitude breeds world-changing leaders who are capable of changing everything in them and around them!
Consider two areas of your life where you can begin to cultivate a baseline of gratitude:
1. Building a baseline of gratitude with your time
Time is your most precious commodity. Why not use it to cultivate gratitude?
Choosing to use a segment of time to prepare yourself for gratitude – before it actually occurs
– is a massive step towards being a leader who has moved into forecasting gratitude!
2. Building a baseline in Relationships
Relationships are a major part of your life. Whether a relationship is 10 minutes or 10 years you can use it to cultivate gratitude. Relational gratitude grows you and the people around you!
Make the choice to cultivate a baseline of gratitude and you will find you have a lot more to be grateful for than you could have ever imagined.
I am grateful for your choice to be a leader who leads
from a baseline of gratitude!
- Rachelgrace Sanders
Witvliet, Charlotte & Richie, Fallon & Root Luna, Lindsey & Van Tongeren, Daryl. (2018). Gratitude Predicts Hope and Happiness
Gratitude Survey (2012) the John Templeton Foundation
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