Happy Thanksgiving! This episode’s topic is gratitude. There’s no way you’ll leave this episode without a smile on your face if not for the fact that you can’t be sad listening to The Sesame Street theme song.
Pre-Show Banter: While you’re listening to this episode come Thanksgiving week, it is not actually Thanksgiving week when this is being recorded. Doug and Jess let the secret out! We do in fact pre-record the show. There’s also talk that Jess is in charge of Doug and that Doug believed once upon a time that as a boss, he would have the final say in everything. Someone lied to him. They also get into Disney’s reportings and whether or not Jess is a fan of Bob Iger.
Today’s topic is on gratitude and appreciation. Doug plays The Sesame Street theme song because it brings a sense of playfulness and positivity. You can’t not be happy after listening to that song. Gratitude = The Sesame Street theme song.
According to some research, gratitude is a positive emotion that arises when acknowledging goodness in one’s life. Doug believes it’s a synonym with appreciation because appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
Brene Brown believes that practicing gratitude is the antidote to shame and a key to experiencing joy. She’s never found someone who described themselves as joyful without also practicing gratitude. The practice of gratitude can take many forms:
- Keeping a journal
- Sharing what you’re grateful for each day - for her it’s 1, 2, 3, 4 what are you grateful for at 12:34 every day.
Doug has experience with a gratitude journal during a difficult time in his life and it did help him, but he didn’t continue with it. Jess doesn’t keep a journal. For her that feels unnatural and inorganic. Jess does go to church regularly as a way to reset and meditate. Doug meditates to breathe in the midst of chaos. More often than not he will count breaths and it always surprises him just how quickly he can lose count. The biggest thing to realize here is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Society often encourages having gratitude for problems which is extremely frustrating because you aren’t grateful that someone else is enduring an issue, but you can shift it to be appreciative that the issue exists for you to solve it. A big factor into being able to appreciate a problem is by being able to understand the problem. You have to be able to understand the problem to really appreciate it.
Going back to Brene Brown, gratitude is joy that is sustainable, rather than fleeting moments of happiness. Jess sees joy as ultimate happiness or euphoria, but that’s not sustainable by definition. Happiness itself is a complex concept and is different for everyone. For instance, Doug considers himself a happy person, but acknowledges that he is frustrated and frustrating at times but that leads him to happiness. He disagrees in needing to be in a state of gratefulness all the time.
Throwing business into the mix, sales is all about dealing with other people’s bad news. Salespeople engage with dysfunction and are focused on finding solutions. Similarly it is easy to become cynical when dealing with problems in RevOps, but in both cases, it’s important to find ways to appreciate different aspects of the situation at hand. Ignorance can be appreciated as it allows for the value of knowledge and mastery.
If you’re ever having a hard time with this, ask yourself what you appreciate about the person or group or situation to help prevent condescension and negativity. Practicing gratitude here can help combat becoming overwhelmed and remind yourself of the positive aspects of a situation or client.
Gratitude and appreciation helps to give us energy to keep growing and push through challenges. They free us from defining ourselves by our gaps. Struggle is necessary for growth and is a unique human experience. It’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to be angry and not feel grateful in the moment. Give yourself space and allow yourself to be curious and appreciate and learn from the struggle. Life becomes more manageable when you approach it with curiosity.
The number one takeaway from today is that if you’re having a tough day, if things are really rough or you just don’t have it in you, play the beginning of The Sesame Street theme song. It’ll solve everything.
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