This little-known habit separates successful people from the rest, according to science.
When it comes to goal-achievement and success, most people tend to focus on the next station in life. While I’m a huge proponent of goal-setting and a forward-facing outlook, this perspective tends to get warped; leading to an unhappy disposition, a negative attitude, and less confidence.
On their quest for success, most people tend to become immediately unhappy with their current situation, and they tend to focus on their failures, rather than being positive and confident.
Ultra-successful people, on the other hand, utilize a science-backed method to remain at top performance levels.
Being in a grateful state gives you deeper meaning and value to everything that occurs in your life. Furthermore, gratitude leads you to a generally happier disposition which impacts the way you perform. This is also supported by science — psychology research found that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with an individual’s greater happiness. It causes one to feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Therefore, gratitude increases your chances to succeed as you strive to become better at what you do.
As Oprah Winfrey put it: “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
On the other hand, if you fail to be thankful, you have the tendency to maintain a negative mindset, which will deeply hamper your growth.
Thankfully, there are simple ways to promote a grateful character in order to contribute to your future success — no matter how tough life gets.
Make it a constant practice to produce that positive change within you with these tips:
Create a Gratitude List
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges this trait as an important aspect of his success. In fact, during Facebook’s 10th year anniversary, he revealed how he challenged himself to write a thank you note each day because he believes it is a way to make things better.
It may be a stretch to hand each person a thank you note but you can start by habitually writing down things that you feel grateful for. It could be a mix of people, material things, achievements, etc. that inspired you to work harder for your goals. Like Oprah Winfrey, you could go back to your list and see how much you have to be thankful for even in moments when you feel discouraged.
Remember Your Failures
While it is in our nature to fear failure, we can turn it around by using it as a tool to be more grateful in life. When we remember our hardships, the challenges we faced, or the moments we were defeated, we think about how far we have come, and all the help we received along the way.
By thinking about how you failed, it teaches you humility and drives you to go back to the core reasons on why you have been chasing success. It’s important to learn from past mistakes and of course move on from it.
“99% of success is built on failure.” — Charles Kettering, Founder of Delco
Control Your Thoughts
Sometimes, our brain manipulates us to think about the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘what could have been’ scenarios. Dwelling on these thoughts will leave you feeling sorry about yourself which could be sabotage your productivity.
Train your mind to think highly of your goals in life. Prioritize it in all of your decision makings and try to deviate from negativity by staying optismistic.
Forget About Self-Entitlement
While it is good to have ample trust in your skills and abilities, having too much of it, is counterproductive. If you don’t see the good in other people anymore, pause for a while and process your thoughts.
If you want to be successful, you need help from people around you. Their words of encouragement, any form of support, and appreciation are essential to your progress. Rather than attributing milestones to your own doing, think of how you can foster collaboration in your workplace.
Even legendary investor Warren Buffett displayed how he valued others in pursuit of success. In his letter to Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders, he expressed his gratitude by acknowledging that he indeed was a very fortunate man because he was surrounded by excellent and highly-talented people.
“A person who is happy is not happy because everything is right in his life, he is happy because his attitude towards everything in his life is right.” — Sundar Pichai, Google Inc. CEO
Complaining could probably be the number one enemy of gratitude. It is a blind spot that stops you from seeing the good side of things. It slows you down when you are trying to work on something because instead of focusing on what you want to achieve, you fixate on other unnecessary factors.
It takes constant practice to fully eliminate complaining into your system. But once you lessen it, you will feel more energized to go and reach your next milestone. Find the courage to accept that you will not always be in a perfect situation but make the most out of it, and learn as much as you can for every experience.
Embrace Your Flaws
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill
Even if it sounds cliché, you have to remember that nobody is perfect. Your flaws make you unique and therefore could make you stand-out.
Instead of stressing out about your weaknesses, challenge yourself how you could become a better person by improving on your strengths. Acknowledge the fact that your flaws are part of your being so you have to live with it without harming your own self-esteem.
It takes effort to see the good in everything, but putting it into practice will bring you contentment and happiness. Once you remain in a positive state, you will then become thankful for all your achievements. And eventually, you will feel more inspired to give your 100% in all you do. Gratitude is the secret into transforming your day into a victorious one resulting to more opportunities for you to advance in life.
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Originally published at medium.com