Hi Team,

I am finding it a little difficult to bounce back after last week’s big milestone (Email #100), but I guess the old saying "you just have to get back on the horse"  aptly applies to me today, so it's head down and time to get into it!

Today I am going to dig a little deeper into gratitude and explore why it has become such a hot topic and why it can greatly help your mental health. Being grateful for what you have and regularly acknowledging your good fortune is a simple easy thought process, but if this is done regularly and shared with those around you this thought process becomes a very positive emotion called gratitude. It turns out that gratitude is actually one of our most powerful emotions and it can override most negative emotions and even relieve stress and anxiety. Here are two short quotes about gratitude that I have repeatedly come across that sum up its power,
"It's impossible to be grateful and angry at the same time" and
 "The struggle ends when the gratitude begins."

As a parent, one of the most important concepts you can teach your children is gratitude. Teaching your children to be secure and happy with who they are is fundamental to their personal growth and development. But for gratitude to have real impact and power it must be completely genuine and openly expressed and shared on a regular basis. You cannot effectively fake gratitude, it just doesn't work! Feeling genuine gratitude starts by being happy and fulfilled in the work you do and your role in your family/community.

"Being happy and fulfilled in the work you do is both a gift and a purpose." Malcolm Gladwell

Going through two forced shutdowns over the last 8 months has made me re-evaluate my life and my family and this slower paired back lifestyle has allowed me to feel gratitude for my family and the work I do. My work and running DDB is a huge part of my identity and for the past 30 years I have had a clearly defined passion and purpose that is driven by three main ingredients.

  1. Striving for constant improvement in myself, my team, and each building project.
  2. Teaching others what I know.
  3. Being productive every day.  

However, after some reflection I have realised that there has been a missing ingredient for some time and that is expressing gratitude for all that I have and what I have achieved. It is only by openly expressing and sharing your gratitude that its real power is released.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." William Arthur Ward

Next week's email will be the final one for 2020, so I will wrap up the year by exploring the link between gratitude and happiness and will outline some easy ways we can all integrate more gratitude into our lives.

Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and start wrapping those presents!

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