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As the holidays approach and we gather with our family, friends or perhaps someone else’s family and friends, we are reminded to show gratitude, to feel grateful for all we have. But some of us may find ourselves falling short, or perhaps secretly thinking, “if only” If only, I had:

• a partner
• a boat
• a sports car
• a different job
• a bigger paycheck
• someone else’s partner

Then I’d be happy, grateful….

We’re taught as children that if we marry the prince or princess, secure the killer job, and have 2.5 kids, we’ll live happily ever after. Myth Buster: there is no “happily ever after.” However, there are ways to train your brain to become more positive. And the number strategy to do so is, Gratitude. Yes, gratitude. There’s actually a business case for gratitude.

Rather than banking on the hope that one day you’ll be successful, at which point all your problems will go away—you need to reverse the formula. Optimism and gratitude fuel productivity. Think about that for a moment: you can actually rewire your brain, and when you do so, it will change everything.

When you’re feeling happy, well rested, and positive, you’re more productive and full of ideas. You make more deals because your positivity is contagious. On the other hand, when you’re fearful or angry, you feel stuck and unable to problem-solve. You view your customers as unqualified or too difficult to deal with. Why are they wasting your precious time (when you could do just as good a job wasting it without their help)?

To paraphrase American happiness researcher author and speaker, Sean Anchor, when you feel positive, dopamine floods your system and not only makes you happier but turns on the learning centers in your brain, making you more receptive to new ideas and solutions. Our brains are able to work harder, faster and more intelligently.

When you believe that you have enough money, love, resources, and support to realize your dreams, you will attract even greater abundance. The people who turn their lives around are the ones who change, first and foremost, their attitude. If you’re happy within, you can be happy without.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” — Henry David Thoreau

Watch my recent post on LinkedIn: “The Business Case for Gratitude: Three Ways to Increase Your Attitude and Your Happiness.”

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