Gratitude Can Help Your Career Flourish

By MNR News posted 02-24-2022 15:09

An unfortunate part of human nature is that gratitude does not come naturally to us. Discontentment is hard-wired into our system. Instead of having eyes to see what we do have, we’re prone to focus on all that we don’t. As the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus put it: “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

When it comes to a successful career in real estate, practicing gratitude can help you flourish.

1. We’re discontent by nature. Gratitude grounds us.

You know the old adage: “The grass is always greener”, well—it’s true. The adage, that is. The grass isn’t always greener, of course. The reason we convince ourselves that it is, sometimes repeatedly, is because we’re bent toward discontentment. We’re convinced that bigger = better and more = happier. To be certain, sometimes we do need more. But discontentment robs us of the joy of acknowledging the good right in front of us.

When it comes to your career, take note of what you can be grateful for right now. Perhaps it’s that new connection, or that recent listing you acquired, or that first-time homebuyer who you helped (finally) get an offer accepted. Or maybe it’s even more mundane—a small challenge you overcame or a kind email you received. Practicing gratitude for what you do have will ground you in the moment and help keep you from obsessing with what the future holds.

2. We grow jealous of others. Gratitude helps us celebrate success.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And just think, he spoke those words long before the dawn of social media.

It’s simple: When you constantly compare yourself to others, you undermine your ability to be grateful. Sure, maybe you’ve had some success, but it’s always possible to find someone who’s just a little further ahead. That agent whose volumes outpace yours, or that former classmate who just won a prestigious award. We tend to naturally gravitate toward what others have that we don’t.

But when we celebrate the success of others—sharing their gratitude for what their work has produced—it transforms how we see the other person and, in turn, how we see ourselves. Further, when we celebrate the wins of others, they are more likely to do the same for us.

3. We focus on the negative. Gratitude transforms our outlook.

Whether you’re a “glass half empty” person or not, it’s easy to be negative. Psychologists call this negativity bias—the tendency to be more emotive about negative experiences than positive ones.

When it comes to your career, if you’re constantly focused on all the challenges of your work, it’s hard to be grateful. Negativity breeds negativity. But the same is true in the other direction. We can, and should, train our brains to focus on the positive, as that helps us cultivate gratitude. This takes work, but it’s worth it.

So where are you in your real estate career right now? Be grateful for the experiences that are shaping you as a professional. Your skill set is being sharpened. You’re making valuable connections. And every day you have the opportunity to learn. These simple shifts in outlook can go a long way towards helping you grow in gratitude.

Make Time for Gratitude

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to read this as one more thing to fit into your already packed schedule. But gratitude can be integrated into the everyday rhythms of life. Practice gratitude on your daily dog walk, or your commute, or even as you go to sleep at night. As noted above, it requires work, but it will surely be worth it.