Gratitude – Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021

Phil Holberton

Phil Holberton

Dedicated to helping you achieve your maximum potential

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As we say goodbye to 2020, we are likely to say good riddance.  

Before we do, we need to show gratitude for making it through 2020, enduring the pandemic – and if you are reading this and have lost family members because of COVID-19 – our sympathies to you and your family.

As part of my shift to be a more effective leader, I am researching triggers, the glass is half full, moving to the sage mode, and finally, happiness.

At the core of this work is recognizing the importance of gratitude.  

grat-t-tude gratitude is a warm feeling of thankfulness towards the world or specific individuals. The person who feels gratitude is thankful for what they have and does not always seek more. Click To Tweet

According to Dr. Santos, Professor at Yale University and the driving force behind Yale’s most popular course – The Science of Happiness, distributed through Coursera, expressing gratitude can positively impact your life and that of the recipient for weeks to come.  

One of the exercises we undertook was to write a letter of gratitude – here is the entire assignment: © Yale University. [edited for clarity]

One of your last rewirements is one that research suggests will significantly impact your happiness and that of another person. This week, write a letter of gratitude to someone to whom you care. For this assignment, think of one living person who has made a big difference in your life but whom you never properly thanked. Then find a quiet spot when you have a half-hour free and write a heartfelt letter to that person explaining how he or she has touched your life and why he or she is meaningful to you. Your letter can be as long as you want, but try to make it at least 300 words or so. Then you must deliver that letter to the person in question. Just say you want to talk to that person without explaining why. You could read the letter to your chosen person over the phone or Skype, but we recommend scheduling a time to visit this person in-person to share your letter for an extra colossal happiness boost. However you meet up, you should read the letter aloud. We also recommend that you both have some tissues handy for this one. A gratitude letter is one of the most powerful tools for increasing happiness because it can forge social bonds and change someone’s life—yours and theirs.  

What does this all have to do with 2020? Yes, we can complain that 2020 was the most harmful year ever. I am discovering that each setback is a gift to grow and become a healthier human being.

We adapted the following from Yale’s course, and as we look towards 2021, how is our mindset about the following?

On a scale of 1-10, rank how you feel.

Positive emotions _____

Engagement _____

Relationships _____

Meaning _____

Accomplishment _____

Health _____

Negative emotions _____

Loneliness _____

Overall Well-Being _____

As a leader, what can you do to help yourself, your team’s talent, and the overall organization improve its mindset about the future?

2021 can be the most incredible year ever, or it can be a disaster - the outcome is your opportunity. It depends upon your mindset and how meaningful your gratitude is for experiencing an extraordinary life Click To Tweet.

Now ask yourself, Am I a Leader of Others?









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