The power of gratitude

Oprah Winfrey has long been a proponent of gratitude as “the ultimate spiritual solution”–a lesson she learned from her mentor, the late poet Maya Angelou. Oprah credits having kept a gratitude journal as the secret of her success.

Oprah’s enthusiasm mirrors the findings of social work researcher Brené Brown. People who described themselves to Brown as joyful all had one thing in common: an active gratitude practice. While she expected to find that joyful people were grateful for what they had in their lives, the data indicated that it’s in fact gratitude that comes first. Brown emphasizes that maintaining an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is insufficient to cultivate joy unless it translates to a behavior. The wholehearted folk whom she interviewed all had a tangible practice of gratitude, whether that was journaling, meditation, or saying grace.

When the Wholehearted talk about gratitude, there are a whole bunch of verbs involved.

In this lifeclass, Oprah polls her power posse on their definitions of gratitude. According to Tony Robbins, gratitude works as an antidote to fear and anger, the two emotions that hold us back.

Fear is why we don’t take action and anger is why we get stuck. You can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously. You can’t be fearful and be grateful simultaneously. So it’s really the reset button.


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