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As individuals, you begin to understand that with an attitude of gratitude, you will have to connect with things that are larger than yourself.
As individuals, you begin to understand that with an attitude of gratitude, you will have to connect with things that are larger than yourself.

Everyone is worried and scared at the moment.

You worry about if you will get paid at the end of this month? Will your children be able to be educated as usually? Can you pay your car installment or housing loan next month?

These are such deeply important questions for everyone.

To be honest, I really don't know what the answers are to these questions. I suppose it would have to depend on how you lived before this. Did you forward plan? Have you got enough savings? Did you make the right decisions in terms of the job that you took?

These are questions that only you can answer.

One of the toughest things you will ever have to do in life, and at work, is to bounce back from setbacks. This ability to recover from difficulties is arguably the most important skill you can master.

This week, world renowned marketing expert, internet sensation, and all-round good guy, Gary Vaynerchuk said in an Instagram post that his positivity comes from gratitude. I must say that he is absolutely right.

In the last two decades of entrepreneurship, I have realised that the ability to recover from setbacks and difficulties is what sets you apart from everyone else.

If you have uncertainties and troubles, especially the ones that you are not responsible for, like the Movement Control Order instituted in our country caused by the ongoing pandemic, and the ensuing economic adversity that everyone will feel the effect of, your ability to raise above your insecurities, and to fight back from setbacks will strongly depend on your own mind and skills.

You can blame the government of the day to the hoarders who are finishing all the sliced bread as well as the dog-walkers, as being responsible for this problem.

The reality though, is that as the human race, we are all to blame. So, the faster we learn that we shouldn't blame anyone else, the quicker we will help solve this problem.

And it all begins with gratitude.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word "Gratia", which in simple terms means graciousness or grace. With gratitude, you can acknowledge all the goodness that you received in your life whether it is tangible or not.

As individuals, you begin to understand that with an attitude of gratitude, you will have to connect with things that are larger than yourself. Other people are in the same position as you and also need support, comfort, and care. How you treat them is important.

The kindness that we show our pets for example, makes you a better human being.

Positive psychology research, indicates that in order to achieve greater happiness in life, you must have gratitude and this energy can manifest itself in different ways.

When you think about the past and are thankful for the good that has happened, you feel happier. If you do not take your current good fortune for granted, you'll always work at improving yourself and inspire the people around you. If you maintain a hopeful attitude about the future, you are able to carry on today.

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert Emmons from the University of California, and Dr. Michael McCullough from the University of Miami conducted much research on this.

In one study, they asked one group of participants to write down only good things that they were grateful for, which happened to them in a week. A second group was asked to write about their daily irritations of things that had displeased them, and a third group was asked to write about things that had affected them, with no emphasis on whether it was positive or negative.

After 10 weeks, the group that wrote about gratitude was far more optimistic and felt better about their lives. And importantly, they visited doctors less frequently than those who focused on their aggravations!

If you face the uncertainties about the future by concentrating on the things you can be grateful for, and focus yourselves on all the good things that you have around you, perhaps you will be happier too.

Here are some of the things I focus on right now that fills me with gratitude.

I look at the dedicated team at my restaurant, The Fire Grill, who are still cooking for everyone else; I remember the wonderful doctors, nurses and front liners who are risking the own lives; I marvel at the delivery people who are bringing food to our homes; I respect the Armed Forces and Police personnel who are tirelessly working for all of us; I smile more at the petrol pump operators that help me refuel my car as I do my grocery shopping and hit the pharmacy for my medications; and I salute all the people who keep our essential services going.

I am truly grateful for these people.

Remember, just like everyone else, you are facing a setback at the moment. Just make sure you have enough gratitude in your life, to help you overcome the temporary halt.

You will bounce back stronger.

Shankar R. Santhiram is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times


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