Listful Thinking: Is Gratitude on Your List?

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ListfulThinking_hiresI recently read Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo and so much of it made me think about the importance of listing blessings when setting out on a grateful life journey, as well as the benefits that accrue when doing so.

According to the author, something as simple as creating a grocery list can reduce anxiety, boost your brain power, improve focus, increase self esteem and organize your thoughts.

Listful Thinking, which is divided into chapters that cover work, lifestyle, home life, and more, is chock-full of time saving apps and websites. Her tips and suggestions have a huge payoff — in addition to the grocery list benefits listed above, this book can help you save time and money. As someone who takes a lot of trips, I particularly loved Paula’s section on “Must-Have Items to Pack When You Travel”.

The other fact that resonated with me is that list making eliminates a lot of clutter in your thoughts, and frees you to focus on the larger picture. Which is exactly what thankfulness and appreciation does: it takes the focus away from thinking “what if”, “why me” or “what’s next” and helps one to arrive at a state of acceptance which frees up the mind for positive action.

Paula, an Emmy Award-winning television producer in New York City and founder of ListProducer.com, admits she has glazomania, a passion for making lists. She attributes her success to list making, and also includes other busy people like Madonna, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres, and even Ben Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci in her list of list makers. Speaking of busy, she quotes a statistic from the Families and Work Institute which found that more than half all American employees feel overwhelmed.

Who wouldn’t want to replace that mentally-numb feeling, a result of “too much going on,” with a more productive mindset?

Paula writes, “Many people say they wish they could be more successful, have more money, be happier, and feel healthier–yet they can’t seem to achieve these things. They blame their bad luck, their busy lives, their limited resources…Being more successful in any area of your life isn’t about wishful thinking. It’s about listful thinking…Once you write down a goal, you instantly become accountable.”

We agree wholeheartedly that the act of writing something down is powerful! In our books, Living Life as a Thank You and The Grateful Life, we advise readers to write down the things that well that day, or to wake up and list a few things they are grateful for. Numerous scientific studies have shown that this activity can transform your health, outlook, and even help you live longer. Thank you Paula, for writing a book that gives sound, solid advice that can help people turn their lives around.

What other books do you find helpful to keep your lives on track?

Nina Lesowitz

5 Ways You Can Cultivate Gratitude at Work

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“People want to be appreciated, not impressed. They want to be regarded as human beings, not as mere sounding boards for other people’s egos. They want to be treated as an end in themselves, not as a means toward the gratification of another’s vanity”. —Sydney J. Harris

Imagine if you woke one morning to a text on your smart phone from your boss thanking you with a big “Wow, that was great” for the work you did the day before?

Unfortunately, people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans released in 2013 by the John Templeton Foundation.

The good news: times are a changing, and increasingly bosses, co-workers and those on the front lines of corporate America are starting to pay attention to the science that tells us grateful people are typically happier people. Being grateful makes us smile more, and makes us more optimistic and reduces negativity, and those are huge reasons to make gratitude a daily habit at work too.

We applaud an article this week in Entrepreneur.com. It calls on us to try to thank to think about what you’re thankful for at least once a day on the job, and offers five tips for weaving a gratefulness practice into the workplace:

In light of small successes and simple acts of kindness, here are five ways to show gratitude every day:

  1. Write in an abundance journal.Purchase a small notebook and keep it in your briefcase, purse or on your bedside table. Take a few minutes each day to jot down one or two positive experiences, or, alternatively, write what you’re grateful for at the end of each week.
  2. Express your gratitude in person.When a friend, colleague or client goes above and beyond, be sure to state your appreciation. Go to their office or treat them to lunch or a quick cup of coffee.
  3. Show respect for those around you.Treat others with the same level of courtesy you expect to receive: smile, show kindness, exhibit patience and listen.
  4. Don’t complain.When something terrible happens, it’s natural to want to complain about it. You may become impatient with someone in line who takes too long to pay or moan to an employee about a difficult client. You may even complain to yourself when a driver cuts you off in traffic.
  5. Volunteer in your community.There’s a well-known secret among long-time gratitude practitioners that an act of kindness does more good for you than those you’re serving.

Certainly finding ways to honor ourselves and be grateful for those who share our workdays with us can go a long way in helping us feel better, more powerful and have a strong impact on our relationships with others – at work and home too!

What ways have you found to practice gratitude at work? We’d love for you to share.