I believe that gratitude is the most powerful emotion we have. I’m calling it an emotion, but it’s probably more a state of mind or a point of view. I think it’s powerful not only for the way it makes us feel, but also for the affect it has on our environment. Gratitude when practiced effectively, can actually change the world around us.
Since about 2000, there has been a fair amount of serious interest in the power of gratitude and a number of somewhat scientific studies have been done. One found that when patrons of a jewelry store were called and thanked for their purchase, they bought on average 170% more in subsequent visits. The control group – the one that was not called and thanked – showed no increase. Another study looked at servers in a restaurant who consistently got higher tips when they simply hand-wrote the words, ‘Thank You!’ on the check.
Realtors: think about that for a moment. How often are you thanking your former customers and clients? Do you think doing so might help you do more business?
Real estate is not easy . . . neither is life. Being able to love your work — and your life — is an art. It begins with gratitude, which leads to joy.
I’ve had a friend for many years. I almost gave him up as a friend some years back because he became so negative. There never seemed to be enough money and all he seemed to be able to focus on was what he didn’t have and what he lacked. He was absolutely middle class, but was leading an emotionally impoverished life. Then, shortly after he turned 50, he had a heart attack, a BIG one. He probably should have died. But he didn’t and after the bypass surgery was done and healed, he was good as new . . . except for one thing. He’d had time to think about what was important and to be grateful for what he had. For the first time since I’d known him he was truly happy. What’s really cool is that from that point on, money ceased to be a problem for him. Oh, he didn’t strike it rich or win the lottery. I think his income stayed relatively stable. But his attitude changed and suddenly there was always enough.
See, money loves happy. Think about it: if you were money would you be rushing around trying to find your way into the hands of an uptight, unhappy person who would probably squeeze you to death? I think not. Money wants to have a good time. It falls on happy people. And the road to happy begins with gratitude.
I was at the dentist the other day replacing my temporary crown with the real one. The temporary crown was the best I’d ever had: it was comfortable and didn’t come off – not even through Thanksgiving weekend. When I thanked the assistant who made and installed it, my dentist nearly exploded with praise. He went on and on about what a great job she did and how happy he was with her work. Now; my experience with dental assistants is that they come and go. This one has been there for five years and now I know why. I doubt she’ll be going away anytime soon.
Try it today: just thank everyone. Do it casually, in passing. And spend a little park bench time thinking about some of the good things that have come your way. I’ll betcha when you turn the light out tonight you’ll think, ‘Now that was a good day.’
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes about the big G:
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton
What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough. ~Bertolt Brecht