I recently interviewed Jon Gordon, author of The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal With Negativity at Work, while he was in the middle of a long drive with his family. Believe it or not, Gordon could actually bring himself to be grateful for the price he was paying at the pump. That kind of gratitude can pay off for us in the workplace, Gordon says. (Much more on this next week, especially on how older workers who can't afford to retire can avoid negativity and complaining.)
Gordon's thoughts on gratitude:
It's everything. I think it really is everything. And all the research on gratitude is so powerful. You see that you can't be stressed and thankful at the same time. It's the way our brains and bodies are wired. So you focus on gratitude and you won't be stressed. It's the best stress reducer....
OK, you're paying $4 a gallon for gas, and I'm as upset as anybody. But you can say: We're not paying $8 a gallon. And we live in a free country. We live with so many amenities. We live with so many free things that we can enjoy.... Instead of focusing on that complaint, you can now be grateful for what you have. And which emotion's going to uplift you? Gratitude. Which one's going to enhance your longevity? Gratitude. Which one will strengthen your immune system? Gratitude.