Gratitude and Giving Will Lead to Your Success©
OCTOBER 27, 2010David J. Pollay, HappyNews ColumnistThink of some of your life achievements. It’s okay. No one’s watching. Go ahead. What accomplishments make you proud of yourself?Now, ask how many of these life accomplishments did you achieve completely on your own. We all know the answer: none. Our successes always come with help.The real question is, “Can you name the people who contributed to each of your successes?” Who are they and what did they do? Stop for a moment, and write down their names. Think about these people. Now, I’ll bet you’re feeling a bit of gratitude right now. You just reminded yourself of the important roles others have played in your life. You have not traveled alone. Most of us feel some amount of stress when we think about what it will take to achieve our dreams. We think, “How in the world am I going to get from here to where I hope to be?” Luckily, the answer is, “not alone.” Other people will help us.So what’s the best way to achieve your life goals? Here’s the first answer. Look to the people who have already helped you. Thank each one personally and privately. Tell them why they are important to you and how they helped you succeed in the past. Let these people know how valuable they are to you. If you feel that you’ve thanked someone before, consider doing it again in an even more meaningful way. Keep these people in your corner. Pychologist Christopher Peterson writes in his book, A Primer in Positive Psychology, “In our experience with many dozens of gratitude letters … they ‘work’ 100% of the time in the sense that the recipient is moved, often to tears, and the sender is gratified as well.”Gratitude researcher Robert Emmons found in his research that experiencing feelings of gratitude improves the quality of our lives. Emmons discovered that people who feel gratitude are more likely to help others. Emmons writes, “Gratitude leads not only to feeling good, but also to doing good.” Here’s the second answer to achieving your life goals. Think about who else could help you. Through a lens of gratitude, think about how you could contribute to the mission of others in advance of their support. What could you do for them now? How could you help them in some way? Your commitment to helping them will demonstrate two things: You care about what they care about, and you appreciate the role they could play in your life. You will stand out as a giver, and leave the takers of the world standing in line. Your new contacts will be grateful to you. And we know what happens when people feel gratitude.Gratitude and giving will lead to your success. You can find David J. Pollay’s book, The Law of the Garbage Truck, in bookstores everywhere and online. Read more about The Law of the Garbage Truck™ and David’s mission to increase happiness, success, and civility in the world at www.thelawofthegarbagetruck.com.