In The Happiness Advantage Shawn Achor talks about how everyone assumes that happiness is a result of success, but he argues the opposite: that actually success can be a result of happiness. He goes on to discuss ways to make yourself happier which, in turn, will make you more successful.
I first had the idea to talk about this while I was out jogging and I recorded some thoughts on my phone which I’ve uploaded to SoundCloud unedited. The quality is pretty rough, and I was out of breath from jogging so you may prefer the written version, but the audio is a fun alternative. It focusses a little more on the Digital Nomad side of things.
One of the things Shawn talks about, and which me and Jen have taken to heart, is listing three things to be grateful for every day.
As we are lucky enough to be near to some American friends this year they have invited us to partake in a Thanksgiving dinner. Being British and only vaguely aware of the customs and traditions of the day I hadn’t appreciated that one of the rituals is to talk about things you are thankful for and it got me thinking of the things I’m most often grateful for.
Work is hard, and it can be frustrating. This is life. But not having work is much worse. There are plenty of people all over the world without work and nearly 1 billion people who live on < $2 per day1. So although I left behind a much bigger salary when I started travelling I am grateful that I am able to earn a decent living and work from almost anywhere.
I mention food in my ‘gratefuls’ almost every day. We get to eat out a lot and to enjoy a huge variety of authentic food. Although I am by no means a foodie or a food expert, I love every meal and I enjoy it every day. One great advantage of moving around a lot is that there’s always new places and dishes to try and I never get bored of it.
I guess if there was an all time top 3 things people are thankful for, this would be in there. It doesn’t take much to make me think about how lucky (and privileged) I am to be fit and healthy.
Sometimes travelling can be quite lonely and so I’m super grateful for friends I’ve made on the way, and for the strong friendships I have at home which survive our long absences.
I’m not an easy man to live or travel with, but Jen is always patient and encouraging and I feel like I can get through anything with her. I also feel really lucky that we share the same goals and ambitions. I love her very much and I would be lost without her.
I’m regularly grateful for the place I’m in, to be walking down new streets, or coming back to familiar cafés or restaurants. And to be experiencing new cultures and noticing things about my home and myself.
I hope that wasn’t too cheesy? I really do believe that thinking and talking about our ‘gratefuls’ makes a difference, especially when I’m feeling tired or fed up. So if you will be talking about things you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving maybe consider making it into a daily habit instead of an annual one.
And if you want to share anything you’re grateful for in the comments I’d love to hear them.