Nov 25, 2020The Financial Benefits of Gratitude
When it comes to delaying immediate gratification for a long-term reward, people often have two settings: “white knuckle it” or give up and order a fourth round of Olive Garden breadsticks. Although you may have an affinity for breadsticks or a loyalty to your well-built knuckles, neither of these processes is both productive and sustainable in the long run.
How it works
If willpower is a nail file, gratitude is a hammer. Gratitude is a futuristic emotion. It forces the mind to prioritize. It helps us realize what we should spend our time on, which for most people, includes some form of long-term goal.
Gratitude is more than just happiness. Gratitude makes us feel empowered, patient, and resourceful. We feel more content with what we have, and are willing to forego excessive spending and binge behaviors.
Gratitude + appreciation
As a business leader, you may find yourself constantly stressed with the outcome of the month, quarter, or year. In business, a deadline is always fast approaching. This year, instead of looking at your bank accounts and financial statements with a sense of “this will never be good enough”, try looking at them with a sense of gratitude.
By analyzing your financial situation with a sense of gratitude, you find yourself more appreciative of inspiring mentors, hard-working employees, previous educational opportunities, and maybe some plain luck that has come your way.
Appreciation for our circumstances and the people around us leads to increased productivity, a better attitude at work, and more effective collaboration.
Better decisions, faster
Not only can gratitude help us operate in a better business environment, it can help us make big dollar decisions better. When we put more emphasis on these long-term goals, we spend less. Sound too good to be true? Take a look at this study:
Researchers at Harvard, Northeastern University, and the University of California Riverside assigned 75 participants to one of three groups. The first group was tasked with writing about an experience that made them feel grateful. The second group wrote about something that made them happy, and the third group wrote about a typical day. Each participant was then asked to make a decision that resulted in receiving a sum of cash immediately or a greater amount in the future.
The result? Those in a happy or neutral mood opted for instant gratification and the group that exhibited gratitude had an average 12% financial gain because of their willingness to have a forward focus on their choice.
Sure, gratitude doesn’t necessarily exist for our personal 401k or our company’s bottom line. It exists to lift our mood and boost our morale, but hey, no sane person will turn down a 12% financial increase.
Try it out
Take a few minutes to look over your balance sheet and income statement and appreciate the hard work that it took to get there. Not everyone experiences the benefits of a secure business.
So, next time you’re faced with a difficult financial decision or need a little boost in your work environment, try harnessing the power of gratitude.
Your bank account will thank you.