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Episode 26 — The Power of Gratitude

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About this episode

Gratitude — that sounds pretty touchie-feelie. But would you believe gratitude offers you emotional benefits, social benefits, personality benefits, career benefits and even health benefits? And that these benefits have been established by empirical evidence in peer reviewed studies? And these benefits come at little or no cost? Enough questions, get satisfying answers on the power of gratitude in this episode.

Hosted by Bitesize Bio’s own Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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This is an automated transcript and may not be 100% accurate.

Nick Oswald (00:51):
Hello, and welcome to The Happy Scientist podcast from Bitesize Bio. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist, you are in the right place. I’m Nick Oswald. The founder of and with me is the driving force of this podcast, Mr. Kenneth Vogt, my friend mentor and founder of the coaching company, Vera Claritas. Today, we will be discussing the power of gratitude and Ken given the events of your life in the last few months this is quite a good topic to begin back with.

Kenneth Vogt (01:22):
Yes, it’s going to be interesting. It’s a, this is a topic that we recorded once before and, and through, through circumstances, we lost the recording. So we had to do it again. So it’s interesting because when we first recorded it, we were in a certain place and where we’re at today is a little different, at least for me. And what’s different. Really? There’s two things that are different. I want to want to call attention to. Y’all have heard this crying baby in the background that has actually a Siamese Cat cat named Zeke. Well, Zeke is no longer with us. He, he stopped eating about three weeks ago and then after awhile he succumbed. So no more Zeke.

Nick Oswald (02:01):
He was a star of this podcast.

Kenneth Vogt (02:04):
He was, and you know, Zeke was, was 19 years old. He, he, he had lived quite the cat life. So I am grateful that I had had Zeke in my life. He was, he was a fun cat to be around. And then, and then there’s one other thing that, that it’s a little bigger. This happened a little over three months ago, I had a stroke and everything stopped. We stopped recording for a while. So it so happened we had enough things already recorded that there hasn’t been a break in broadcast. So y’all might not have noticed, but I don’t know. Maybe people are noticing now, if you listen to my voice, maybe you can hear a slight difference in it. Cause I couldn’t talk when, when the stroke hit, I couldn’t swallow. My digestive system had shut down. My entire right side just turned off and yeah, it was, it was quite something in six weeks in the hospital and, and through all of this stuff, you can look at an event like this and say, well, gratitude.

Kenneth Vogt (03:07):
What is there to be grateful about in such a terrible thing? And you know, such a, such a traumatic and such a, a costly thing, you know? So I, I will tell you that I’m doing a lot better right now. So there’s some, there’s reason to have gratitude there. I can make a lot more progress, but at least I can walk around. Now my, my right hand, isn’t working very well, but it’s getting better, not in ways that I can use it yet, but at least I can see progress. So I noticed that and, and the things that we’re going to talk about in this episode, you’ll, you’ll see the application of how you can find gratitude, even in really hard circumstances. You know, some people could be very, very tore up about the loss of a pet for instance, and just think all this is just, it’s just 100% bad.

Kenneth Vogt (03:57):
There’s nothing to be grateful for. But the fact is there is plenty to be grateful for. There. There’s a lot of fond memories and a lot of, a lot of a lot of times that you can look back on that can’t be taken from you, they’re yours. And in the case of my stroke, when one way that people can be robbed is some people will lose some of their memories from their strokes. I didn’t have any memory loss. I didn’t have any cognitive loss and that’s not my, my version of that. That’s what the doctors tell me. Cause I was in the hospital with other people that had these problems and I saw people that didn’t know they were impacted. They were confused and they didn’t know they’re confused. And they, they had lost cognitive ability and they couldn’t tell. And they, they couldn’t remember that they had lost their memory.

Kenneth Vogt (04:45):
So I didn’t have any of that. So fortunate for me. But yeah. So what it really comes down to when we’re talking about gratitude is your intentions, intentions always win. So if you have the attitude that, that you’ve been robbed, that you’ve been harmed, that, that you’re not getting your fair shake. It’s gonna, that’s going to show up for you. Whereas if you have the attitude that, that there’s a silver lining for every dark cloud, you’re going to find that silver lining. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna talk about this from both directions, because I first want to want to deal with when you don’t feel grateful. And if that’s where your starting point is, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s that’s, that’s where you’re starting. That’s where you’re starting. And if you’re in that position where you don’t feel grateful about things, you’re going to see some, what I call phony costs for having gratitude.

Kenneth Vogt (05:48):
You’re going to say, well, I can’t, I can’t have gratitude. Is that what that would evidence that I’m weak and I needed to be provided for if I’m for something? Well, obviously was something I couldn’t do for myself. And I had to have somebody else do it for me. You know, you can be in that room mindset or you might be in the mindset that will I have it because I was owed it. This is, this was something I deserved. I should get this. And, and so why would it that’d be grateful about something that’s just owed to me. It’s like, you know, I get a paycheck at the end of the week or the end of the month because, because I worked and they owed it to me, darn it, you know, as opposed to being grateful, like, Oh, wow, I cheque, thank you so much.

Kenneth Vogt (06:31):
Even though you expected, even though it’s exactly what you, what you anticipated, you still have the opportunity to be grateful for it. But if you feel like being owed, something means you can’t be grateful. You’re going to cut yourself off. So understand that possibly just because you’re owed something, you can be grateful about it just because you’re not weak. Doesn’t mean you can’t be thankful that something has provided for you. You know? Yeah. You’re capable. You can cook your own dinner, but when you’re in a restaurant and somebody cooked it for you and somebody served it to you, you can be grateful for that. Even though you could have did it yourself. You’re not there yet because you’re a charity case because you’re too pathetic to be able to cook your own toast. You’re you can still be grateful for it, for that experience.

Kenneth Vogt (07:25):
So those are the things I would call the phony costs of gratitude. But how about this? There are actually real costs to gratitude. You’re going to, there are some things you’re going to have to pay to be grateful anyway, Oh man, that sounds terrible. What am I going to have to pay, so there’s two things that come to mind. First off gratitude requires humility. And we’ve talked about humility in past episodes and humility is this, this miracle drug you really, really want to cultivate humility. It’s, it’s so beneficial to you. And it’s hard to be grateful when you’re not humble when you’re full of pride. And I mean pride fullness, not that you’re, that you’re properly proud of somebody you’ve worked hard for, but just thinking I’m, I’m better than, than, than someone else. Well, it’s hard to be humble when you’re stuck on pride.

Kenneth Vogt (08:24):
And when you recognize that, that, you know, I don’t encompass everything there, there are, there are people that are smarter than me. People that are more generous to me, people that are more kind than me, people that are that listen better than me. There are people that, that have skills. I don’t possess. You can, you can have this whole long list and it isn’t isn’t it about judging your deficiencies? It’s about recognizing that in this, in this unique person of who I, I have certain things and there are certain things I just don’t have, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve all seen this too. And in, you know, maybe some of our friends, they have qualities, we don’t possess, maybe some of our relatives. Maybe we look back at our mother and then, you know, my mother, my mother was so compassionate and I just don’t have that gene or, or my father was so hard working.

Kenneth Vogt (09:16):
And I don’t that. And, and I had to learn that from him and, you know, whatever it might be, if we can be humble, it gives us the opportunity to be, to be grateful. And when we’re grateful, then we have the opportunity to, to fill any deficiency that would be there. And even if it’s an added deficiency, we can just, we can add to our positive qualities, all because of gratitude. And another real cost of gratitude is it requires focus. You’ve got to see that there’s something there to be grateful for. You have to notice it. And we’ve all seen that, you know, you and I used the example of a restaurant earlier, use it again. You see people in a restaurant that just, they, they obviously forgotten that somebody is serving them. And they don’t notice that the, that the waitress has been there right at the right moment.

Kenneth Vogt (10:11):
Every time they don’t notice that everything was plated beautifully and prepared well, they just, they just come in there. They, they do their thing. They practically ignore the waitress. They will find their food and off they go well, it’s because they didn’t focus. And, and what they lost in that moment is they lost the opportunity to be grateful for someone to serve them and someone to cook for them. And for someone to be creative in, in, in making the food that they got to eat and someone to care about how it tasted and how nutritious it was, they, they lost all of those opportunities. So when, when you look at this and see, well, I have to pay the cost of humility and focus. You start to recognize the cost is very low and it is a very small investment and you can get a lot from it. So I’m going to, I’m going to pause for a moment here and let you weigh in Nick. Have you had anything you wanted to add?

Nick Oswald (11:13):
I could feel you had a lot to say that about that, Ken, that was just let you go there. But I haven’t watched it. I think this, you know, having had a stroke and very unexpectedly, you know, that the age you at, the level of health you keep yourself up, but, you know, it was really instructive to watch how you came through that. I I’ve been in contact with you from literally the moment it happened. You texted me as it was happening more or less. And then and we’d been in contact all the way through. And, and the thing that struck me all the way through is that what you did at each point, would you didn’t focus on what you, what you’d lost, you focused on what you had. And that’s the difference in that. And the what you’ve relentless been through, all of this is unshaken optimistic and unhappy. And, and I I’m, my reading of that is that a lot of that comes down to that focus on being grateful for what you’ve retained and what you will be able to get back rather than focusing on what you’ve lost.

Kenneth Vogt (12:17):
Exactly. And you know, and I’m not a Pollyanna kind of person. Not yet. I think you’ve properly labeled me an optimist, but, but I don’t to just fantasize about everything being perfectly right. All the time. You know, and, and I’m not happy with some of the stuff that’s happened here, you know, but, or even, even my present condition, there’s things about it. I don’t like. Yeah, exactly. I can’t hold a pic, you know, but, you know, I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe, maybe that will come back. Maybe it won’t. And that’s the other thing about this too. I’m not tying my happiness to an outcome. I don’t have to return to being exactly as I was, you know, so like for instance, I can speak right now. I don’t sound exactly the same at least to myself, to my own ear as before, but it’s close.

Kenneth Vogt (13:09):
And even if it wasn’t close, I mean, if you saw me walk, I believe me, it’s not close, but people always used to used to tell me that I walked too fast and now it’s like, all I can do to go walk into eight tenths of a mile per hour, according to my therapist. So, you know, that’s less than a third of what the what is typical and probably about a fourth of what I usually was. So you know, I don’t know, I don’t know where it’s going to end up, but I’m not worried about the end point. I I can, I can, I’m glad that I can walk right now. I’m, I’m able to go out in the world. I can do things and see things. So, so it’s all good.

Nick Oswald (13:51):
I guess, one other way to look at this as is, and it’s a thing we’ve talked about in previous episodes that using you know, tying it back to some other themes that we’ve covered in this podcast it’s using, you can use gratitude to, you know, give, give, make yourself in such a mindset that you’re creating that dopamine all the time, so that you know, regardless of the scenario and one way to do that is to walk right back to the ridiculous. It’s not even ridiculous as generally thinks to be genuinely things to be happy about, but to be grateful for rather, but, you know, even that you have oxygen, you know, and and then take it from there and, you know, okay. So what would it be like if I didn’t, well, that wouldn’t be good. And so I’m glad that I have it and then build up on that. And then you see that regardless of the circumstances you’re in, you can build out quite a lot of reasons to be grateful without even touching the sides.

Kenneth Vogt (14:48):
Yeah. You know, I just done, I mean, there was third event that’s happened between between now and the last recording that I haven’t even given any, any oxygen to. And that is I live in Austin, Texas. And I don’t know if y’all heard about what happened in Texas, you know, all of the electric grid shut off and, you know, that meant no heat in the house for days. And the water was lost all over the place and it was just total mess and keep in mind, I’m diminished physically. So when it got cold, it was very hard on me, very hard on my body. And in fact, I think that’s probably what did in Zeke the cat. You know what I mean? It was that cold really impacted him too. You know? So again, we can be all tied up in all this like, Oh man, what are we going to do?

Kenneth Vogt (15:40):
And instead I, I figured out, wow, you know, I can get warm. I can put on more clothes. I can stay in bed. You know, I can, I can deal. And I got through, you know, and other people got through and, and, and, you know, we can be a support to each other, but you know, so, so in fact, let me, let me hit now what I’m calling the dividends of gratitude, we’re going to cover areas that are there. There’s five different areas where you get dividends for gratitude. There are emotional benefits. There are social benefits. There are personality benefits. There are career benefits and there are health benefits. And I’m not just offering you my opinions on this. I, although I am offering them there’s also, there’s a decent study that will be encoded in the show notes. You can check out if you want to see the, the basis for all of this.

Kenneth Vogt (16:33):
It’s not just, it’s not just my personal experience or, or my feelings about it, or my undying optimism. This is, this is what this studying scientists have found to be the results of gratitude. And Nick, you’re already alluding to some of the emotional benefits, but, mou know, this a very simple one, gratitude makes you happy. And if you refuse to have gratitude, it makes you unhappy. It’ll Rob you of happiness. You already have. So, I mean, again, this is a study matter. Gratitude makes you happy right there. That should be enough reason. We could stop talking right now and go, you know what? That’s that’s enough to make it worth it. But I mean, there’s, there’s another 20 things after this.

Kenneth Vogt (17:26):
So gratitude also has a strong, positive impact on psychological well-being on self-esteem and I’m combating depression. So if you feel like you need any help with your psychological well-being, if you feel like your self-esteem is not as solid as it could be, if you’ve suffered from any kind of depression, gratitude is going to help you. And in that moment, you might feel like that’s the moment. I least want to be grateful. Well, here here’s something to think about. Gratitude is a choice. Gratitude isn’t just something that washes over you and like, well, I’m grateful because a feeling of gratitude showed up. It’s like, you choose it. You pick it out. You can look for things to be grateful for. And, and I will be fair to you here. If you’re not feeling grateful and you go looking for it at the beginning, you’re not going to feel like there’s much too much to find. Well, don’t find a lot, find a little, just see the small thing. Well, you know, I it’s cold in the house, but at least the refrigerator is still working. You know, you think, well, the refrigerators already called what’s the difference. It’s like, you know, find something, find something simple. And once you find something simple, then find the next thing and keep going. Just it’s a habit. Yeah.

Nick Oswald (18:49):
I, I do like the oxygen one. That’s all was my one. We start with that. And if you go by that, the best one I’ve seen of that is I think you’ll talk about it later, but there or the description of it is the one that James Altucher talks about, about gratitude being a muscle. So if you just use it for no reason, if you just keep consistently using it consistently using it, then it becomes stronger. And your ability, your ability to feel it becomes stronger. But I guess you’re going to touch on that later.

Kenneth Vogt (19:16):
Well, we can touch on it right now. James Altucher is a very interesting guy and we’ll have a link to some of his stuff out there too. And he’s got a podcast and he does a blog and he’s just, just a Renaissance man kind of guy. And I’m not, I’m not even pointing to him as a, you know, he’s not a scientist per se. I mean, he’s an educated man, but you, no, that’s not how he’s coming from. He’s a man of practicalities learned things from living it and, and, and he’s good at communicating it. So I’m grateful that there’s guys like James Altucher out there. There we can point to, I’m grateful that there’s all these studies up there that we can point to. And, you know, there’s, there’s just so much there. Now, another thing about gratitude when it comes to emotions is gratitude makes your positive emotions, more powerful and more resilient.

Kenneth Vogt (20:11):
So if you have felt like, you know, I’m, I’m eight days of rain, you know, I’m, I’m always in a bad mood. I’m always a downer. Well, the way out of that is to have more gratitude and it’ll start re reinforcing the positive emotions you have. And you might think, well, I’m never happy. I’m never, I’m never dreadful. I’m, I’m never you know, laughing or what, it’s not true. It’s not never, it’s just not often. Or maybe it’s not, not very powerful when you’re doing it, or maybe you’re not, you’re not exposing it to the world, but you’re feeling something inside. The more you do that, the more you have gratitude in the more you, the more of those positive things will pop up for you. And then the more of them will be expressed. And as they’re expressed again, it’s just an upward spiral. And gratitude is a very important part of that.

Kenneth Vogt (21:08):
So when it comes to the idea of expression, let’s talk about social benefits. You know, gratitude impacts how trustworthy, social, and appreciative we seem to others. So when you’re grateful, when you think the waitress, when you think a coworker, when you think your boss for handing you your paycheck, you’re, you’re creating something positive there that other people are picking up on. And again, this is an upward spiral. Other people will help you be more grateful if you give them a chance. So you demonstrate your gratitude, people like it, then you’re going to get positive feedback and it will improve your friendships. It will improve your family relationships, it’ll improve your romantic relationships. There’s an, there’s no downside to this from a social standpoint, you’re, you have only things to gain. And whether that’s that you have a friendlier interaction with the cashier, or you, you have a deeper interaction with the love of your life. You know, that gratitude is going to help with all of that.

Kenneth Vogt (22:14):
So now let’s look back at yourself again, personality benefits. Gratitude makes, makes us more, more optimistic, which is, you know, which is good for you. You’re gonna, you’re going to be happier. Just being more optimistic. Gratitude now is going to make you more giving and, and you may feel like, well, why would I care about that? Well, you’re going to care about that because it gets you good results. It gets you good reactions. So, and a lot of giving is quite simple. It could be something as simple as giving a compliment, giving, you know, giving somebody a priority. It’s not that you have to give away your, you know, what is your valuables? There’s lots of ways that you can be giving. And by the way, go ahead and give voice and valuables to it’s that you get great payoffs for that gratitude can also make you less materialistic and you might think, well, why should I care about that? Well, because when you’re materialistic, your happiness comes from things. Well, things can be lost. Things can be destroyed, think may be stolen. They can turn out to be inadequate. And now your happiness is tied to something external to you where, whereas if you become less materialistic, your happiness is yours. You choose it and gratitude can be a generator for that happiness.

Kenneth Vogt (23:53):
Okay. Now let’s get super practical. How about career benefits? Gratitude makes us more efficient managers, more effective managers. And again, this is, this is from studies. It’s not just, although I think most of us would realize just from our own experience that yeah. When my manager X more grateful to me when my manager thanks me for work, that I do, that I was assigned by, by him or her, that I, you know, that I showed up for work. I feel good. And I feel better about them as a manager. Well, you want to be that person too. So you know, whether you’ve got, you’ve got you know, undergrads working for you or you, or you lead a team, whatever it is, when you have gratitude for the people that work for you, you will be more effective as a manager, gratitude reduces impatience and it improves decision-making.

Kenneth Vogt (24:51):
So imagine if you didn’t feel impatience in your job, would that be an improvement for your career? Do you think you might perform better if you were never impatient in your career? And what if you made better decisions, do you think that’s possibly going to impact the state of your resume? And I mean, gratitude gives you these things and finally gratitude helps you find meaning in your work. So this, this is one thing that I think that, that life scientists and scientists in general, have an embarrassment of riches. A lot of people toil away in this world in thankless jobs and meaningless jobs, jobs, the people doing them find me, but in this field, there’s a great deal of meaning to be found. There’s a, there’s a lot of opportunity to feel like you’re doing something valuable that you’re aiding humanity, that and, and I realized that there’s that there are some tasks you may think, man, all, I’m just the person who ends up cleaning the lab all the time. Well guess what a clean lab makes all the difference, you know? So even, even in the menial tasks, you’re doing something that is going to impact the rest of the world positively. And that is a wonderful thing. And if you can be grateful for that, if you can be grateful for that work, give you that opportunity. Well, and again, your career is going to flourish.

Nick Oswald (26:23):
Yeah. And so, you know, how many benefits have you gone through here about 10 or so, maybe more than that. All of these benefits of gratitude, which as we were discussing as a habit. And and there are more that you haven’t even got to you actually, and the show notes, show notes, we’ll have a list of all these things. And so if you go to a bitesize find the happy scientist, and this is episode 23 or something I think it’s 23 the power of gratitude. And what strikes me is it’s always really useful to look at the reverse. So people who don’t do don’t fit don’t practice gratitude, or who have got the habit of it, or I’ve never got into the habit of it. They’re, they’re the opposite of these things. And it it’s such a simple switch. And not as someone who practices this perfectly or even to any degree of of what it could be, but it’s so easy to see the switch logically.

Nick Oswald (27:27):
You know, that if you’re, if you’re always focusing on what you don’t have or what’s going wrong or not appreciating what other people are doing for you then of course, that makes you less fun to be around, less respected, less happy, less successful, and more dependent on material things are, you know artificial dopamine surges, as we were talking about previously to, for your own happiness. And so again, it comes back down to, does this convince you that you want to be more grateful in your life? And if so, then, then you know, I, I’m sure, you know, practicing gratitude and we’ll talk about more and more how to do that. I think practicing gratitude is a decision you might want to make for yourself.

Kenneth Vogt (28:15):
Sure. So let’s, let’s add one other area of benefits. That’s health and gratitude. There’s evidence of gratitude reduces your blood pressure, which is a good thing. Cause, but you know, high blood pressure can cause strokes I’ve told, been told, and it would, you know, and this is interesting from in my personal case because I’ve never had high blood pressure in my life, but I had a high blood pressure event and it caused all this. So like, boy, I really I’m really gonna double down on gratitude after this, man. I don’t want this to happen twice. I’ll tell you what I’m going to

Nick Oswald (28:51):
Gratitude is is not as maybe a necessary, but not sufficient to reduce blood pressure, since you are a very grateful person and you still had high blood pressure, but that’s another story.

Kenneth Vogt (29:03):
Well, well, yeah, this is like everything. It’s just, there’s no silver bullet for anything. Everything we talk about on this podcast, these are tools that you can use. And for some people, some tools are going to be far more important for them to apply than others. Well, fine. Great. Use the stuff that works for you, but Hey, you know, I want to be healthy. Gratitude may improve sleep. That’s another one that’s, that’s that’s really useful. And that’s something I can say. I have always slept like a baby all my life. And I, when I hear people talk about how they have insomnia and they can’t sleep, it makes me sad because I just can’t imagine having to suffer that. But, but Hey, gratitude can make it easier for you to sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, look for ways to be grateful during the day, you will carry a less stress into bed with you at night.

Kenneth Vogt (29:53):
Yeah, definitely. And here’s another one. This is an interesting one. Gratitude may increase your frequency of exercise. It’s like, why would that be so well? Because when you’re depressed, you don’t feel like exercising when you’re angry, you don’t feel like you and you know, you’re put out, you’re sad. You just don’t want to. Whereas if you’re grateful, you just feel more in tune to yourself and like, you know what? I’ve got a little energy left. I can still do that. I can still get a workout in today, you know, or I can get up a little early and do it. So again, there’s health benefits. So, I mean, we’ve talked about a lot of things on this program, but I don’t think we’ve ever had something with a list that had emotional benefits, social benefits, personality, benefits, career benefits, and health benefits all from doing one thing. So, wow.

Nick Oswald (30:41):
One very simple thing that you can do consciously and just establish a habit of, okay, again, you’ve convinced me that I need to up the game on this one,

Kenneth Vogt (30:52):
I’ll give you a way you can up the game and this is something you don’t have to do forever. Although some people do, but you can do this just temporarily is start a gratitude journal. And you know, we just separate from from other journals you might be doing, you might be doing journaling already and think, God, I need that. I already journal. No. I want you to have a specific journal. That is a gratitude journal. Yeah. And it’s not going to have a bunch of long entries in it. It’s going to have simple stuff. And just as you come across things, when you realize there’s something to be grateful for, write it down in your gratitude journal. And it’s like, Oh, I’m grateful that, that my spouse made breakfast this morning. I’m grateful that my, my child picked up her toys. I’m grateful that my boss said hello to me.

Kenneth Vogt (31:37):
When I walked in this morning, I’m grateful that I’ve got all this great equipment to work with. You know, I’m grateful that I, I got an education that prepared me for this, for this career. I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I was able to walk in under my own power today. I’m grateful that I had a car to drive you’re in. I mean, you can go on and on and on, but you’re gonna, you’re going to be surprised at the beginning. It’s going to be well, I’m being grateful about the same thing. Again, you’re grateful yet again, that somebody prepared a meal for you. That’s great. Don’t blow it off because, Oh, I was grateful for that yesterday. I’ve been grateful for that all week, you know, every time you’re grateful, you’re, you’re gaining something. And if you, if you’re journaling, you’re going to start to notice things to be grateful for.

Kenneth Vogt (32:27):
You’re going to realize, well, I’m grateful that so-and-so was nice to me and I’m grateful at so-and-so, but you know what? I haven’t taken note to be grateful that the man was nice to me. I hadn’t taken note to be grateful that, you know, my colleague was, was, was friendly today. I, I haven’t, you know, whatever it is, you’re gonna, you’re gonna open up your eyes to things it’s and we go back to that cost of focus. Well, this is a one of the ways to pay that cost and it’s not hard. And, and it’s a kind of a thing too, that when you do it, you do it. Yeah. There’s, there’s no, there’s no gun to your head here. If, if you just do it first thing in the morning and that’s all you do fine. If you do it throughout the day and you forget some of the time, that’s fine. Just, it’s just something to do to just to hit the reset button for you to get you into gratitude mode. And at some point you may decide, and you may decide just after a few days or a few weeks or a few months that I get it, I’m plugged in. I don’t need to do this anymore. Or you might just enjoy it and think I want to keep doing this. I want to keep having a gratitude journal.

Nick Oswald (33:33):
I, I, I always find the idea of a gratitude journal, a bit kind of I don’t know, not that appealing because it’s just kind of unstructured and stuff, but I do like the way that James Altucher approaches and the daily practice and the daily practice is linked in the show notes for today. And what he talks about is just write down 10 things every day to be grateful for. And, and the way what he says is he has these little notepads, like, you know, like a waiter highs, and you’ll just every day, write down 10 things, just quickly 10 things to be grateful for. And it’s like doing 10 press-ups in the morning or something like that. You do it. And if you want, if you do every day, then you’ll get a cumulative effect. And that that’s for me is a good one, because you can just, you can just see it right in the morning. What I do is I check my email and then I do the 10 grateful thing, then 10 things to be grateful for. And that’s just part of the habit, but that just works that muscle. And, and it gets just a little bit stronger every day. Then

Kenneth Vogt (34:34):
Right now I know some of you out there listening in you’re you hear that and you go 10 things to be grateful for. There are not 10 things in my life to be grateful for. There are five, okay. We challenge you to do it and find out you may find out when you, when you press yourself for 10 things, to be grateful for, you’re going to find them they’re there. You just, you just haven’t noticed them and you got to take action. This is not an intellectual exercise. This is there’s. There’s gotta be action. And that’s, what’s, we’ll flip the switch for you. Yeah.

Nick Oswald (35:09):
I always think find the, if you’re trying to, you’re struggling for things to feel grateful for. It’s because you’re looking, trying to push the boundary out words to things that you don’t take for granted, but you wish you had, whereas if you go, if you, if you go backwards and start saying things like I’m grateful for running water, I’m grateful for that. There’s not a water in my country. I’m grateful for that. I have enough food then, you know, stuff that you just take for granted, then you can, there’s thousands of things you can find. And then, and that’s the easy way to start the snowball happening.

Kenneth Vogt (35:39):
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you might feel like I’m cheating to be thankful for running water. Cause it’s always been there my whole life. No, that’s not cheating. It’s fine. Yeah. Be grateful for something that seems like it’s automatic. That’s cool. Because then more things like that it’ll start being automatic for you. Yep. So there’s one final concept I want to cover. And that is how is gratitude different from a grateful and you might think, well, they’re basically synonymous words to just, you know, use different in sentences, but here’s the difference. You can be grateful or you could be gratitude and be like, wait a minute. How do you be gratitude? I understand be grateful because great being grateful as an action. I would take be gratitude. Well, that’s the, if you can embody gratitude when it is so such a pure part of your essence, that that’s how people see you.

Kenneth Vogt (36:43):
That’s how they think of you. It’s an identity factor for you. It’s not just a behavior, but it’s, but it’s actually an identity factor, everything changes. And you’re going to find the same thing about, you know, you are happiness versus you you’re being happy, be happiness. Don’t just be happy, embody these things. So the stuff that we recommend on this podcast is to help you have the most enjoyable possible life to actually be a happy scientist and not see those two words as being oxymorons well, being a scientist is a very serious and dismal business. How could I be happy? You know, no, it’s not. It’s, there’s no reason not to be a happy scientist and there’s no reason to be a miserable scientist. You don’t have to do that. It’s not required. So, and it’ll all come down to this difference between what are, are you just doing stuff or are you being it? And we want you to be gratitude and, and to get all the benefits that we’ve discussed today, coming from that. Yup.

Nick Oswald (37:53):
I think as you mentioned previously, this is one of the very powerful, but simple to deploy and simple to understand tools amongst the toolbox that we’re talking about in all of these episodes. So I think that in a way, this is a great one for people to start with, if they haven’t latched on to any of the other suggestions you’ve made in previous.

Kenneth Vogt (38:12):
Yeah. And it’s a very doable one,

Nick Oswald (38:16):
Ah, was after these things, I’m like, yeah. Okay. I need to do that more. The list gets longer. Okay. So thank you, Ken. That’s I think that was a yep. Extremely you’ve come up with all guns blazing in the, after your your setback and in more ways than one, but this episode, especially remember that if you want to go back in time and listen to, or if you haven’t done so already that in episodes, one to nine of the podcast we talk about some of the foundational principles that can basis this stuff on those are human needs, core Slack mindsets, and charisma factors. You might find that useful. So again, go back to episodes one to nine to get those, if you haven’t done so already you can also get more by joining our Facebook group,, which is all one word. And you can get more episodes of this podcast on, all one word. So I think we’ll wrap up to the, and thanks again, Ken for a great a great episode and, and we’re grateful for your spirit recovery.

Kenneth Vogt (39:27):
Thank you. And thank you for your input on this episode too, Nick. Okay.

Nick Oswald (39:31):
Take care again until next thing.


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