Gratitude, Willpower, Joe Girard, SuccessHaving trouble saving money?  Maybe eating unhealthy or overdoing it on the booze?

Perhaps gratitude is the answer according to a recent article in Harvard Business Review that says gratitude is the new willpower.  A scientific study was conducted on gratitude and temporal discounting where they tested how participants reacted to receiving cash now vs later, according to whether they were (a) happy, (b) neutral, or (c) grateful.

Overwhelmingly, participants that had feelings of gratitude were more willing to forgo instant gratification. I love research!

This is a very important lesson because often we try and force our way into long-term thinking by sheer willpower. Would we rather accept $75 today or $100 in a year?  Do we want to go out and eat, or save some money this month and eat healthy?  Are we doing easy things in our relationships today that sabotage success down the road?

Think about your life.  If you practiced absolute gratitude each day and took stock of the things to be grateful for, how would your perception of your needs be?

  • Would you be more willing to slow down and enjoy the day?
  • Would you be just as happy going on a hike with a loved one, rather than going out to a pub?
  • Would you be content putting that money into savings, rather than going on some shopping therapy?

When we feel grateful, we reduce our desires to fulfill other needs.  For long term planning and success, you can now see how scientifically gratitude can play a major role in your life.  Forget willpower.

But just like any success habit, gratitude must be a skill you practice for it to be effective.

To help you get into the right practice of gratitude, start journaling and go check out the 5 Minute Journal  by some super talented dudes, Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas.  Or get the itunes app.  In just five minutes a day, you can start creating a more successful, long-term thought process that can actually save you money , help you lose weight, and cut out bad habits!

I love the concept of gratitude being the new willpower.  So stop beating yourself up and forcing decisions and start finding all the ways to be majorly thankful and happy TODAY.

And for those of you coaches out there trying to help your clients with long-term planning, get them into the habit of gratitude and show them why this works.

You can read the HBR article here and the entire research study here for more details.

And throw this bad-boy up on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Gratitude, Willpower, Joe Girard, Success Habit

What are your grateful for today?  Post your comments below.  And share the love by posting this on Facebook and helping your friends be more grateful.

Joe Girard
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    4 replies to "Gratitude is the New Willpower: Harvard Study Shows"

    • Josephine

      Ordered that 5 minute Journal! I’ve been doing something similar at the bottom of my to do list every morning where I write down 3 things I’m grateful for. Great post Joe!

      • Joe Girard

        You are going to love the journal! It will really get you focused!

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