Gratitude and Productivity, Innovation, and Inventiveness

Being grateful as we enter this 2017 holiday season could boost your productivity at work. The holidays offer us a time to reflect and feel grateful for all that we have. It turns out that the very act of feeling grateful can have positive impacts far beyond the moment. Practicing the art of gratitude can lead to a measurable increase in creativity and innovation at work.

Our deepest sense of gratitude comes through grace, with the awareness that we have not earned, nor do we deserve all that we’ve been given. Actively feeling grateful acts “as a counterbalance to the stressors in your life.

“Gratitude is the foundation of joy and contentment,” Sulack explains. “Research consistently shows that these positive emotions broaden an individual’s thought-action repertoire, which expands that individual’s intellectual and social resources.”

Gratitude can boost innovation. “Practicing gratitude requires that you be present in the ‘here and now’ and grounded,” says Sulack. “It takes you out of that world of worry, full of ‘what if … ‘ that beleaguers and besets us so often with stress, anxiety, and narrowed thinking. Practicing gratitude gets you in the habit of putting your attention on something outside the immediate ‘problem’–the bottom line, the drama around the water cooler, the late shipments. It demands attention. By developing the ability to stop and be grateful right now, you train your mind to pay attention to just one thing and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.” By getting into the flow of gratitude, you can unlock other creative thoughts.

Seven Principles for Cultivating Gratitude:

– Gratitude is independent of our objective life circumstances
– Gratitude is a function of attention
– Entitlement precludes gratitude
– We often take for granted that which we receive on a regular basis
– Gratitude can be cultivated through sincere self-reflection
– Expressing gratitude, through words and deeds, enhances our experience of gratitude

Watch the following YouTube by Lea Waters at the 2015 “Mind and Its Potential” Conference in Australia, to consider the importance of gratitude at work:


Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude opens the door to … the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe,” and I believe that to be true. He also says, “The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.”

Gratitude is the antidote to anxiety and fear, allowing feelings of grace, wellbeing and optimism to flow. Scientific studies have proven there is a link between gratitude and creative problem solving. When we experience positive emotions we enhance our ability to solve problems and come up with more ideas for action.

“Creativity, meaning, resilience, health and even longevity can be enhanced as a surprising byproduct of contributing to the lives of others,” says Dr. Stephen Post, professor of preventative medicine and bioethics, at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and author of the Hidden Gifts of Helping and Why Good Things Happen to Good People.

To cultivate an attitude of gratitude you need to continually to thank people for their contributions and their work throughout the process. The most successful directors do this daily during rehearsals. Within an organization, it only takes a simple check in or a brief moment to touch base and ensure that your message of gratitude and appreciation is received, but the more specific you are able to be with your feedback and recognition, the greater impact those expressions will carry with them.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude means thanking everyone for their contributions hourly and daily. Expressions of gratitude also provide team members a sense of validity that they’re accomplishing what is expected of them, and in turn they can focus on doing their job, with pride and excellence, instead of worrying about whether or not they’re doing their job at all.

Significant Benefits from Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude has been the subject of numerous studies, which findings show real workplace benefits. Gratitude . . .

  • Improves corporate culture
  • Reduces aggression
  • Strengthens teams
  • Leads to reciprocity
  • Is a better motivator than money
  • Heals, energizes, and transforms lives in a myriad of ways
  • Is at the core of vital principles needed for effective personal and business growth.

Demonstrations of virtuousness in work organizations are associated with increased commitment, satisfaction and profitability. In particular, gratitude, forgiveness, transcendence, compassion, honesty, hope, and love are among the virtues that drive double-digit improvement on multiple performance dimensions.

In fact, when considering gratitude there are many reasons to be grateful and to show appreciation for the ability to express the emotions and actions of gratitude. We can consider our appreciation and praise of others and our many gifts and blessings, as the stuff which holds humanity together. And in thinking about how we hold ourselves together, perhaps Rocky says it best in these clips from Sylvester Stalone‘s classic movies:

So, here’s to us all with appreciation and fellowship as we enter the best of the 2017 holiday season and appreciate out collective innovative and inventive selves.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.