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Gratitude: the anti-oxidant to stress

I want to begin by thanking you.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are an essential reason for my work. You bring out the best in me. I’m very grateful for that. 

So, thank you. I wish the very best for you and your loved ones this festive season.

In my work on the Most Powerful Daily Routine, gratitude, saying thanks, is a principal part of it all. The effects of appreciation on the person giving thanks are many. One of the most significant benefits for me is that it raises me above the voice that says, “You’re getting nowhere. You are just going around in circles. There is no progress.” By merely listing three things I am thankful for in the last twenty-four hours is convincing in shaking me out of that lie.

As I write my gratitude list, I usually surprise myself. “Oh! Yes, I did have a productive day yesterday, didn’t I?” or “Yes, there are some important steps behind me now.”

A gratitude list is a powerful anti-oxidant to stress. #2017gratitudelist

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So it boosts my motivation as I go into the next day.

Here’s an example, over a few days in June, of how I used this with an analogue daily planner:

The daily log - my planning and prioritisation process - is on the left-hand side, and the gratitude list is on my right-hand side.

I explore this routine more deeply on my Leading Yourself online workshop, which I will be re-launching soon. I will also be opening the Positive Outlier Academy for those wanting to meet like-minded people who wish to grow so that they bring their best selves to their work.

As you can see, a lot of the items I am thankful for are in my relationships with those around me. This reality for me is likely to be the case for you too.

And here’s the paradox that the run-up to the holiday season highlights for many of us:

  • What is of most value to us is not about the stuff, about material things, but the people, particularly the people we love; and
  • What often erodes our relationship with these people is just busyness and the urgency that we let take over our lives. We are just too busy to give people that most precious gift: our time. I explore that more in the Leading Yourself workshop.

There's a paradox in the run-up to Xmas: people matter more than stuff, but urgency means relationships suffer.

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Since this is the last article I am planning to publish before 2018, I thought I’d try something different,

My 2017 Gratitude List

So here goes...

What I am personally thankful for in 2017 for:

  • My wife, who is now fully recovered from her back injury, and again can make such a difference in the lives of everyone she meets; for our marriage, which, after 28 years, just seems to get richer and richer.
  • Our new home in Kent, England, which is a real gift.
  • Every family and person who opened their home to us in the eleven weeks between leaving Oxfordshire and moving into our new home.
  • The former colleagues and people with whom I worked at pearcemayfield while I was involved with that once great company.
  • The faith community at Eastgate, for their openness, courage, and authenticity, for inviting me into a journey that’s much bigger than I am, and that had drawn out of me such possibilities.
  • My growing number of subscribers, who keep me sharp and improve my work.
  • My clients, who trust me with their dreams.
  • The virtual Heaven in Business group, for their example and encouragement.
  • My children, their partners and our grandchildren, who each give me such deep joy in discovering and delighting in their uniqueness.
  • That I know 2018 will be even better!


Look out for some exciting announcements early in January.

I aim to kick off 2018 by opening the Positive Outlier Academy.

Also, if you want to know more about the Most Powerful Daily Routine, I will be launching a refreshed version of the Leading Yourself online workshop, as well as some new material on writing.

For some of us, the run-up to the holidays is acutely stressful.

It shouldn’t be so.

The run-up to Xmas shouldn't be so stressful #2017gratitudelist

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So here’s something that might help you. I’d encourage you to write your own 2017 Gratitude List, and see what happens. Gratitude is a tremendous anti-oxidant to stress.

Let me know how you get on. Leave a comment below.

With every blessing this Christmas,

Patrick

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