The Discipline of Gratitude

In positive psychology much research has been done on gratitude. It turns out that gratitude can be cultivated and that it opens the door to acquiring other virtues. Being exposed to this research I began to keep a gratitude journal. The discipline led me to more fully observe and reflect on the good that flows into my life.

I learned that observing good alters the observer.  I am more aware that I am part of something bigger than myself. I live in ecosystems that nurture me in ways I used to ignore. I now feel more inclined to selflessly contribute to those ecosystems.

In terms of organizations, I am less likely to see the organization as a thing. I tend to see it as a living organism that is trying to adapt, survive or even flourish.  The organization is an extension of life itself. A leader is not an expert who fixes the organization as a mechanic would fix a car. A leader must tend to an organization as a horticulturist nurtures his or her garden. Constant, loving attention, gives rise to rich crops.

Cultivating gratitude changes how we see and what we do. It is a positive discipline that generates positive outcomes.

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