Arguably the most important part of a building is the foundation. If the foundation is of poor quality, it doesn’t matter how elegant the penthouse looks. And it’s easy to forget about the foundation because after the building is built, you see very little of it.
There’s a parallel foundation in leading a thriving life. A building’s solid footings and walls are equivalent to the formative daily practices and habits that shape you as a person. Everyone has their own routine to nurture and develop their spiritual, physical and mental well-being. Together these form the foundation which support the relationships, activities and circumstances in your life. Few people other than yourself will ever see you doing these growth-focused activities - nary a glimpse.
I’ve mentioned this before but it is worth repeating, research by Scott Barry Kaufman found that gratitude is the best predictor of leading a flourishing life. Gratitude - full stop. So if you’re not intentionally developing your sense of gratitude, now is the time to start. If you already have a strong gratitude practice, you need to continually evolve it to keep it fresh. Gratitude is the Portland cement that holds together the foundation of your life.
Regardless your daily ritual, I’m betting the following 3 gratitude practices will become the most important 6 minutes of your day. These 3 practices will strengthen and develop your sense of gratitude and help you spend more time thriving and spend much less time merely surviving:
Make a list of what you’re grateful for - this practice has been cited in almost every research study on gratitude. It doesn’t matter when you do this. It doesn’t matter if you write on paper or record electronically. List as much as you want. Most days my list includes three things.
Read what others are grateful for - this is a gamechanger. We all need inspiration and this practice becomes even more valuable on the days you need it most. Subscribe to a gratitude blog or find a place where people post their gratitudes. There are tens of thousands of gratitudes posted at The Daily Gratitudes.
Share what you’re grateful for - this is a practice that people will actually see, so it’s similar to visible portion of the foundation wall. One of the easiest ways to incorporate this into your routine is to find someone you trust, and make the commitment to share your gratitudes with each other. I’ve got clients who call themselves “Gratitude Buddies” - they share their gratitudes by email or text.
Make these 3 practices habits and incorporate them into your daily routine. Don’t expect overnight results. Do it for a month or two and see for yourself - you’ll have found the most important 6 minutes of your day.
Special Announcement [February 2019]
Join me on the journey to the launch of my new book this. It’s called “Surviving to Thriving: The 10 Laws of Grateful Leadership” This book is the ultimate guide on gratitude and its importance for spending more time thriving and less time surviving. Through reading the book, you’ll deeply understand how to implement gratitude in all aspects of your life.
Sign up below for email updates about the book and get key gratitude nuggets between now and the book launch in early 2019 - just weeks away!