One of the wonderful things about writing for my newsletter is appreciating the incredible depth, talent and diversity of my readers.
In my last article, I wrote about the 80/20 on Happiness. When you wake up in the morning and also right before bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Do this for a week and you will feel 10% happier.
One of my readers, Eric, sent me the original empirical research that measured the effectiveness of this approach. Thank you, Eric!
Since I received a ton of questions about this topic, I thought I’d elaborate on a few things.
- It is better to write down your 3 "grateful things" on a piece of paper than to just think about it. I tend to favor whatever is easier, because if something is easy, it is more likely to get done.
- The 3 things you are grateful for need not be the same things every time. Simply state in that moment whatever you are grateful for, no matter how big or small.
Now I know that many of you might be thinking this happiness stuff is way too woo woo for someone analytical like me. I know this because I used to think that too.
Then I had a thought.
What is the purpose of your career and all the hard work you are doing?
Is the goal to NOT be happy?
Of course not.
If the end game is happiness, then doesn’t it make sense to see if there is a shorter, faster, and easier way to reach it?
I promised to reveal why the gratitude exercise works.
But I thought I’d do just one more exercise first. I encourage you to do it. It will take only 2 minutes:
Scroll to the Comments section below to post a comment on this page. In your comment, list as many things as you are grateful for that you can think of in 2-3 minutes.
The key is to write fast.
Do not over think. Write for speed.
Okay, here is the kicker... (don’t freak out).
Try to write fifty things you are grateful for in 2-3 minutes.
After you are done, describe how you felt -- before, during, and after the exercise.
Then read everyone else’s responses.
I promise you if you make the effort to do this 2-3 minute exercise (I know it’s a pain in today's click-happy world), you will surprise yourself.
Trust me and give it a shot.
In the comments below, write 50 things you are grateful for... and after 2-3 minutes, just stop. Don’t think. Write fast. Don’t write what you think you are supposed to be grateful for. Write for anything large or small that you are grateful for.