I recently started a new company where I’ve been heads down doing a lot of testing and building. Part of this experience has been working with a new team that works remotely.
Among many things, like kindness, humility and authenticity, we deeply value gratitude. The thing about gratitude though, is that it’s not just an attitude – it’s a practice.
“These folks shared in common a tangible gratitude practice. They either kept gratitude journals, they did a ‘1234’ every day, they said something out loud that they were grateful for, or they said grace at dinner.”
“It’s gratitude that makes us joyful.”
Joy is an incredible emotion to harbour while building a company as there’s always more that needs doing and moments of pure contentment are fleeting. Joy is like an energy snack you can pull out when you’re exhausted by the startup marathon.
There’s been a lot of focus on the practice of mindfulness – meditation, yoga, breathing and so on – but I’d say the practice of gratitude has as much of an impact on the balance and outlook of ‘self’.
Gratitude also has a scientific relationship on happiness. You may recall this Soul Pancake video that went viral last year.
With all this in mind, we’ve formalised our gratitude practice at CloudPeeps via ‘The Daily Gratitude’ – a verbal or written note of thanks we share at the end of the day. While our standup meetings in the morning talk about achievements, tasks and blockers, mostly related to work, it’s our gratitude sessions that reflect back on our progress and joy.
Here’s two examples from our sessions:
“I am feeling a deep resilience and confidence with what we’re doing – and that feels so good.”
“I am grateful to be able to completely trust you. Really awesome.”
What’s nice is that we’ve begun to incorporate some personal moments (like simply enjoying a walk in the park on a sunny evening), which means the process is more holistic and contextual.
So, have a go at practising a Daily Gratitude session – I’d love to hear how it goes.
I can’t decide if I want to write in British or American English anymore so bear with me.