The Snowball Effect of Gratitude
‘Tis the season. Whether you’ve already decorated your house for the season of giving, or you’re still wondering where summer went, it ’tis upon us.
One thing that’s certain, November is the time of year we all take a little more time to focus on the theme of gratitude. And, for good reason. Showing thanks to the people in your life is wildly important. It helps you feel connected, it shows people you care. But something I think is often missed is talking about feeling grateful for the things that happen daily in your life.
One of the top ways to do this? Appreciate and feel grateful for things in the moment and recognize that you’re appreciating them. I’ll say that again because it’s one thing to ‘be grateful’ and it’s another to ‘recognize’ that you are feeling grateful for something that is happening. So, ‘appreciate things in the moment and recognize that you are appreciating them.’
Too often we’re caught up in the hustle and bustle (especially the world of real estate that never sleeps) that even if we think we are grateful and have gratitude, we likely aren’t always appreciating that gratitude in the moment which means we might miss a lot of opportunities to feel it.
Think about it—when was the last time you felt grateful in the moment? Can you recall? For me, it was when I walked into my kitchen the other morning and thanked past me for giving myself the gift of a clean kitchen to enjoy making my morning tea in. Simple, right? And maybe you’ve felt grateful for this act before, but did you notice yourself feeling grateful? The act of noticing I was feeling grateful meant my brain was aware of the moment and present to enjoy that moment even more.
A few other examples (it can really be so simple)—
- Did the person sitting next to you on the train this morning have an amazing smelling coffee? You are thinking, “Wow, that coffee smells amazing.” –> Notice the moment –> Deepen the gratitude and think, “I’m so glad I was graced with that smell this morning.”
- Did your clients send you a super sweet text thanking you for everything you did for them to close on their new home? “Gosh, that was so thoughtful of them to send that text” –> Notice the moment > Think how proud you are of the work you did on that transaction.
- Did you hit all green lights on the way into work this morning? Notice the moment and take a second to think, “Wow, how glad am I that I timed the lights right this morning and made it early to work today for some peaceful moments alone.”
You may be saying to yourself, “That’s all well and good, but I already list out what I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal every day. I don’t have time to stop in the middle of what I’m doing to feel grateful.” And maybe that’s true. Maybe you don’t have the time. But as Ryan Serhant has famously said, we all have 1,000 minutes a day to be productive. And, in my mind, practicing gratitude is productive.
When you put off feeling grateful until the end of your day, a few things can happen.
- You might just skip it and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
- You may just haphazardly write the list to check one more thing off your to-do list. But how amazing would it be to actually feel the gratitude in the moment?
Anything big or small warrants a moment to pause and appreciate and feel grateful. A study from U.C. Berkeley said, “Research suggests that gratitude inspires people to be more generous, kind, and helpful (or ‘prosocial’); strengthens relationships, including romantic relationships; and may improve the climate in workplaces.”
In every way, this makes you a better agent, a better partner, a better person overall. Those brief moments you take throughout your day will radiate into the next moments you have. This is what I like to call the snowball effect of gratitude.
I encourage all of us to embrace the challenge and take the time to appreciate these moments of gratitude, in the moment. Train your brain to really be present. This re-training of your brain will help you focus on the client in front of you, instead of only half-listening to what they are saying while thinking about your next listing appointment, the update you need to make to your website, and what you are going to make for dinner. Being in the moment can only help you and your business better.
Kind of crazy that gratitude can impact all of this, right? Go be grateful and pass it on.