A couple of years ago, I read an article about a woman in St. Paul, Minnesota who, for 15 years, had led exercise classes twice a week.
Why this caught my interest is that this woman, Loretta Taggart, was 100 years old, which means she began her exercise-training career at age 85.
Taggart chalked up her longevity and stamina to three things: “Moderation, attitude, gratitude … that’s it,” according to KARE-TV’s Jana Shortal.
Since we’re approaching Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to discuss the many benefits of gratitude.
Gratitude and the soul
An attitude of gratitude doesn’t often happen naturally; it’s something that may require conscious practice. But, the practice is well worth the results, according to researchers at the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley.
“People who practice gratitude report fewer symptoms of illness, including depression, more optimism, and happiness, stronger relationships, more generous behavior . . .”
This increased happiness leads to more success in life, they continue.
Which flies in the face of most of our beliefs. Starting at a young age, most people believe that they’ll reach a state of happiness once they’re successful.
Turns out, that’s backward. Living a life of gratitude is the first and most critical step to success and happiness. In fact, the roadmap to success involves three steps, according to the researchers:
- Step one: Gratitude
- Step two: Happiness
- Step three: Success
Other perks inherent in an attitude of gratitude include an increase in “financial patience,” according to a study cited in the journal Psychological Science.
Why is this important to real estate agents?
Think about how many in your ranks fail to reach out to those in their database. Instead, in their pursuit of “now business,” they chase after new leads. This, despite clear evidence that real estate consumers are ready and willing to work with the agent they used in the past.
It’s that old “immediate gratification” thing. The one thing that makes us spend too much, smoke too much, eat too much.
Anyway, back to the study. Researchers learned that the amount of gratitude felt is in direct correlation to the degree of patience one exhibits.
How to get that powerful gratitude juice?
Ok, without getting too “woo-woo” on you, cultivating an attitude of gratitude starts with counting your blessings.
Start a “gratitude journal” to help you out, jotting down those little blessings that made you feel grateful.
Apparently, just the act of journaling your appreciation for the small blessings in your life will help build happiness, according to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.
Her research shows that journaling just once a week (for six weeks) is ideal and that “people who wrote three times a week” didn’t experience a similar boost in happiness.
Don’t just create lists in your journal. Give some thought to how your life would look and feel without a particular person or event that makes you feel grateful and then journal about it in detail.
Surprises, by the way, are something to savor, especially if they result in instant gratitude, according to Toby H. Birnbaum, J.D and Hershey H. Friedman, Ph.D.
“Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude,” they suggest.
Even nasty surprises, however, may offer a valuable lesson or insight; something to definitely be thankful about.
Real estate agents may find that free time with their families, new clients, a colleague that goes out of her way to help or a challenging transaction that met with success ends up in their journals.
The peaceful calm you feel when petting your dog, the love that surges when you hear your child’s laughter, a warm smile from a total stranger – these are also things to consider if they make you feel grateful.
Use tech to help you out
If you prefer using a pen and a bound journal, by all means, go for it.
If, on the other hand, you prefer tech, we’ve rounded up some journaling apps to make the task a little easier.
Android gratitude journal apps:
iOS gratitude apps:
This year, as always, we’re grateful for you. Thank you!
Send the Thinking of You postcard from the Customer Appreciation Series to all of your past clients. Let them know you’re thinking of them and here to help with anything they may need.
Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!
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