The power of gratitude is so well known, 24 million pages pop up when “the power of gratitude” is typed into a search engine. Do any of the experts on these pages understand the real power of gratitude?
Not when they push us to be grateful for the good things that happen to us. The real power of gratitude shows up not when we’re grateful for the things that make us happy, but when we’re grateful for the things that have broken our hearts.
I know because it happened to me.
It was business partnership that had success stamped all over it: brilliant partners, adequate funding, and a product everyone believed was the “next new thing.” All of the wonders of life – living a humanitarian life, changing the world, and doing it without financial worries – were laid at our feet, and we knew it. And then, the unthinkable happened.
One of our partners decided to close his professional practice and work full-time on our project. His family members objected. They told him over and over that he would fail. Their words took hold of him, and his brain began repeating them like a mantra.
First, the negativity overtook him, rendering his brilliance useless. Then, it spread. He began to disparage the things that had been our mark of success. Our ideas, our skills, our contributions, our personalities: all of the things that made us great were now dog meat.
Research in neuroscience has zeroed in on the effects of this kind of negativity on companies. A work environment that falls below 3:1 positive-to-negative interactions will find creativity stifled, communication crippled and motivation destroyed.
In short, this is how dreams are destroyed – and ours was.
Neuroscience researchers have also discovered the fix. It’s noting 3 good things a day. An avalanche of research data about this technique shows that it rewires our brains to automatically see positives rather than negatives in 21 days.
I used the fix. I had to. The loss of this dream came at a time when my husband Bob had a second stroke and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I didn’t just lose a dream; I lost an income – just when we needed it most, to help Bob heal.
The fix quickly pulled me out of negativity, and a new dream began to grow within me. I created a new partnership to bring the technique of noting 3 good things a day to all those who long for relief from negativity’s horrible effect on our psyches, our bodies, our relationships, our businesses – and our dreams.
As I did, I discovered the real power of gratitude.
The power of gratitude isn’t about being grateful only for the good things that happen to us. The real power of gratitude is its ability to free us from the gravitational pull of heartache so we can clearly see what that heartache has created for us.