Habits are among the best predictors of your success. One such success habit is making a list of what you are grateful for… it’s the quintessential gratitude habit.

I started this habit about 10 years ago and for the last 5 years I’ve shared that list every day with a community of grateful minded people. My gratitude lists have spanned the spectrum. There have been things from work, about my family and friends, related to the community in which I live, and even the simple pleasures in life.

Experiencing gratitude at work is the result of developing this habit and the end result is that it opens you to possibilities, goodness and growth. I’ve found business leaders in particular, often believe that in order for gratitude to “work” at “work”, their gratitude list must somehow be related directly to work. And herein lies the misunderstanding of how the daily gratitude list habit contributes to success. While it’s great if gratitudes are related to work, it is not necessary.

The olympic hurdles will help us understand this more clearly.

The world’s best hurdlers have a regime of exercises they habitually do. Leg presses, stretching, sprints and upper body strength training. These exercises condition their body so it will perform in top condition in the heat of competition. Not surprisingly, when the athletes show up on the track, the spectators in Rio will not see anyone doing leg presses. However, it’s because of their habits, one of which included doing thousands of leg presses, the olympians are prepared to do their “work”. The Olympian knows the leg press habit conditions their legs making them capable of many things, among them is running 20 mph while jumping over 3.5 foot hurdles.

So it is with gratitude at work. The daily habit of making a gratitude list is like the leg press, it’s an exercise that conditions the mind to perceive the good in life, whether you are at work or at home. Making a gratitude list is the training ground for you and your people so that when they show up on the field of competition, they’re ready to go. So don’t worry whether your people are writing gratitudes that are personal in nature nor be concerned if their gratitudes aren't work-related enough. We don’t want to force work-related gratitudes, they will come with time. Forced gratitude is detrimental to personal and professional success.

Gratitude at work works… even if gratitudes aren’t from work
— Steve Foran

Habits separate olympians who train consistently from the athletes who train occasionally. This same principle applies to the habit of making a gratitude list. It’s what separates the emotionally committed from the entitled and the complacent. The person with the regular habit of making a gratitude list is more averse to entitlement and complacency than someone who occasionally makes a list (even if their list is about what they are grateful for at work).

Make the daily gratitude list one of your success habits. For help and support keeping this habit, join the community of grateful minded people at www.gratitudeatwork.ca/daily-gratitudes/.