The Power of Gratitude to Spark Creativity

GratitudeIs there a connection between innovation, creativity, and gratitude? I have a feeling there is. Once I feel positively recognized and appreciated for something, I start thinking about what else I can do. What new ideas might even be better? Gratitude – whether we feel it or receive it – gives birth to great ideas.

I came across this wonderful quote from Oprah Winfrey on gratitude:

“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful, no matter what happened in my life.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

From what I read from all the people studying the new science of happiness is that the secret to greater success may be more attainable than you think.

Research reveals that taking a few minutes to list the things that make you feel grateful provides a powerful boost of well-being, energy and positive emotions. Regularly keeping a gratitude list helps.

This quick exercise also yields greater productivity, determination and optimism. Practicing gratitude fosters better relationships, social ties and career success. Grateful people sleep better, exercise more and have fewer symptoms of physical illness. They’re more likely to be perceived as prime candidates for promotion.

Each day of the week, write down five things for which you’re grateful. You can do this daily or once a week.

  • Day 1: I am grateful for………….
    • __________________________________________________________________
    • __________________________________________________________________
    • __________________________________________________________________
    • __________________________________________________________________
    • __________________________________________________________________
    • Day 2: I am grateful for………….(etc.)
    • Day 3: I am grateful for………….(etc.)

The Mother of Virtue

Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” ~ Cicero

If success is as simple as this, why aren’t more people keeping a gratitude list?

Perhaps they think it’s a bit hokey — a project reserved for touchy-feely types. Yes, putting in the effort sounds a bit simplistic. But there’s clear evidence that even the most competitive, hard-driving executives benefit from doing so.

The science of happiness provides ample proof that certain practices and exercises improve one’s well-being and mood. When you feel good, you’re more likely to be enthusiastic, generous and supportive of others.

When gratitude becomes a habit, you no longer require a special event to make you happy. You become more aware of the good things that happen every day, and you start to anticipate putting them on your list.

Just to experiment, I tried this for a few days. I must say, I had more feelings of energy, connectedness, and a big boost in happiness. So simple, yet effective.

Of course, the key will be to sustain the list writing practice. But at least it’s not complicated and doesn’t require a lot of thought. I just wrote down five things I was glad about. The rest of my week was amazingly positive and serene.

Your turn, go ahead and try it for a few days. I know in the work I do coaching, my clients report it’s a simple yet effective tool for enjoying life.

What are you grateful for today?

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net)

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