Gratitude Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Handshakes

Handshakes in a Post COVID World

In the business world, handshakes are the staple of networking in many cultures. However, during these days of Covid-19, we are keeping a physical distance from each other and have avoided handshaking, It is hard to shake someone’s hand when you are networking online.

So after we are let out of the “Great Pause”, what will happen to our old friend, the handshake? I offer a few options in this video including what I suggest for the post COVID world.

Alternative options to consider instead of handshakes:

  • Asian Bow
  • Bump toes
  • Elbow bump
  • European Air Kiss
  • Fist bump
  • Hugs
  • And…

Learn what I recommend in this short, fun little video.

 

 

Gratitude

The Gratitude Effect

I recognize that when some people hear the phrase Attitude of Gratitude,” they are going to think, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, more new-age psychobabble, but we want hard facts.”  Well, I agree that hard facts are important and here are some from pretty reputable sources who argue convincingly about the science of gratitude’s positive impact.

The Benefits of Gratitude

  • Harvard Medical School recently reported that there have been multiple studies showing that people who express gratitude are “more optimistic and felt better about themselves.”
  • The Templeton Foundation conducted studies that showed that an “attitude of gratitude” can actually have a positive and “lasting effect on the brain.”
  • A paper published by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence concluded that “expressing gratitude completes [a] feeling of connection” with others (something I’d say is pretty important in building relationships).
  • Even neuroscientists argue that gratitude is effective. Paul Zak, professor at Claremont Graduate University states that “the neuroscience shows that recognition has the largest effect on trust. . .” Especially when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.
  • UC Berkley conducted fMRI scans on individuals who wrote gratitude letters and compared them to the fMRI scans of people who did not. They found that the people who wrote gratitude letters had a greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex than those who did not write the letters. The medial prefrontal cortex is, among other things, believed to be an area of the brain that triggers responses to nicotine, drugs and alcohol. In other words, showing gratitude is proven to be a healthy way of getting high.
  • Studies by the Cicero Group that were published in Forbes found that people who are on the receiving end of gratitude have a 33% increase in their innovation, a 22% increase in work results, and they stay with the organization longer than those who are in companies who do not have a practice of appreciating their people.

So much for psychobabble. Gratitude improves attitude, feelings of connection, and results.  It’s not new-age; it’s science.

The Gratitude Effect works when someone is coming from a place of being grateful and acknowledging people along the way.  This means that it is important to take time to notice all the good things you might take for granted. Like so many other principles of success, it’s simple, but not easy, meaning that this is a simple concept – but it is not an easy concept to apply regularly in your life.  It’s not easy, because the easy thing is to notice what is wrong, what you don’t like, what annoys you, or the problems that you face.

Solutions Focused

What I have learned over the years is that if you focus on problems – you become a world-class expert at problems, and it is hard to show gratitude when you are obsessed with the problems around you.  However, if you focus on solutions, you can become a world-class expert at solving those problems.  This process begins by recognizing what is right around us.  From that starting point we can be grateful for those elements. Plus, begin to acknowledge those around us for the efforts they are making.  The Gratitude Effect requires a life-long journey of developing our ability to be grateful.

Expressing gratitude completes the feeling of connection with others. Here is how you can start this practice today: many people have helped us during our lifetime.  They are “in our story.”  Have you acknowledged them? Have you thanked them?  Have you recognized the difference they have made for you?

I recently heard a story from a woman whose sixteen-year old son pretty much stopped going to school. His grades began to fail, and he started drinking alcohol.  Worst of all, he was caught stealing a car and joy riding late at night.  She told me that he was making some really poor life decisions and that she was beside herself with what to do.

She decided to send him to a leadership conference to see if that would help take his life in a new direction.  At first, he said, “no” but around the holidays, he said that if this was that important to her, he “would do it for her.”

He attended the multi-day event and came home telling her that the event was amazing.  He learned that people matter.  Decisions matter.  The people around you matter.  She told me that one of the speaker’s at that event had a particularly large impact on the young man.  Then she reached out to the speaker from that event and told him the story.  Expressing her gratitude for the impact that his talk had on her son’s life.  She told him “you gave me my son back.”  The speaker was so moved that he sent a video message to the young man telling him how grateful he was that he said something that the boy found helpful and that he was proud to be a small part of that. What’s more, the young man replied and told him a little about the life that he was now creating for himself.

The Gratitude Effect doesn’t take much effort and costs little or nothing. However, it makes a difference in yourself and the people around you. When you acknowledge people in this way, people are drawn to you like a magnet. This accelerates the relationship-building process. As the story above shows, the Gratitude Effect can come full circle and then continue to spiral off in new, impactful directions. Believe me.  It is science.

One Million Thank Yous

One Million Thank Yous – International Networking Week®

Welcome to the 13th annual “International Networking Week®”. During this first week in February, we at BNI and other organizations around the world celebrate networking worldwide. “International Networking Week” is an initiative of BNI created  13 years ago. This year, we are asking you to help us to spread One Million Thank Yous all around the world. Therefore, please provide gratitude and appreciation for those who helped us to grow our businesses this week. I would appreciate sharing this video with your chapter members as the “Educational Moment” this week. Thank you.

With gratitude, I believe, comes stronger connections. Think about those who’ve helped you throughout your journey. Have you thanked them? Well during “International Networking Week”, we invite you to do so. We all have people who are in our story, people who have helped us in some way. This is the perfect time to reach out and tell them “thank you” for what they have contributed to your life and to your business.

Identify those people and give them “The Gift of Recognition”. You can even thank someone at your BNI meeting or at a networking event this week. Demonstrate your gratitude for the things that they have done for you. Therefore, you can also consider sending a letter or thanking them on social media using the hashtags #BNIthankyou and #INW2020 with your posts. The truth is that the goodwill that you demonstrate will draw others to you just like a magnet.

With gratitude, I want to begin this week by thanking “YOU”. With your passionate commitment to networking, BNI is continuing to impact and enhance lives all around the world and I appreciate you. Furthermore, feel free to share in the comments about someone that you appreciate and thank them here for something that they have done in your life.

One Million Thank Yous

In conclusion, I want to say thank you to the following BNI National Directors for writing guests blogs for International Networking Week about “gratitude” this week:

 X
Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2019 Video Message

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. There is no time like the present to pause and acknowledge the people that we are grateful for. Please click here to watch my personal video message about Thanksgiving then take a moment today to show appreciation for and to return gratitude to others.

Giving thanks every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this video and if it gets you thinking about what you’re thankful for. Therefore, I would really love for you to share your thoughts in the comment below.  Gratefulness can be contagious so don’t be shy–share what you’re appreciative of no matter how big or small it may be.  Thanks! 🙂

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2016 Video Message

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. There is no time like the present to pause and acknowledge the people that we are grateful for. Please click here to watch my personal video message about Thanksgiving then take a moment today to show appreciation for and to return gratitude to others.

 

I cannot fully express my appreciation by giving thanks once a year, or even every day of the year. That’s why I have embedded gratitude as a guiding principle for my words, my actions, and my thoughts.

Happy Thanksgiving

Body Slam!

Business conferences, as a rule, aren’t extraordinarily exciting. They don’t really take your breath away.  The one I attended in Hot Springs, Virginia, in 2006 was no exception.  Mind you, it was interesting – but not much really exciting happened except for one particular evening.   A friend of mine witnessed someone desperately choking at a restaurant.  She calmly and professionally, walked up to the person and swiftly did the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge the food.  I heard all about the experience from several witnesses who watched in awe, as our mutual friend saved the day.

ChokingBlog

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I vividly remember stopping to think about what I would do if I were alone, had something stuck in my throat and there was no one around to do the Heimlich on me.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about the chair Heimlich which would have made my experience and this story much less dramatic.  But I didn’t know it at the time, and so I sat with my thoughts considering what I might do.

I finally came to the conclusion that I would simply jump as high into the air as I could and slam my body onto the floor to force the air (and the food) out!  There, great.  Another problem solved.  Now, next thing to contemplate.  Seriously, that was about as much time as I thought about the “possible dilemma” which I would probably never face.

Fast forward exactly one month later to May 8th 2006.  I was sitting in my office working from home one afternoon.   It was well after lunch time and I was getting hungry.  I decided to heat up some left-overs from last night’s dinner.  I checked with my son who was way over on the other side of the house to see if he was hungry.  He said, “No,” so I proceeded to microwave the piece of tri-tip beef and some vegetables.

When it was good and hot, I took it into my office and sat at my computer working on whatever project I was working on while I absentmindedly ate my lunch.  The steak was really good, but it had some gristle that made parts of the meal a little difficult to chew.  I took a pretty big bite of meat, chewed it up, and swallowed.  What I didn’t realize, however, was that a tough piece of gristle was attached to the other half of the piece in my mouth I had not yet chewed.  So, when I swallowed the one piece, it pulled the other piece down in on top of the first.  As I’m sure you guessed by now, the steak was well and truly lodged deeply in my throat.

Yikes!  “What do I do,” I thought?  I reached for the phone to dial 911, however, I quickly discovered that when you have something completely stuck in your throat – you CANNOT make a sound.  Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  You are completely silent!!!  “But wait,” I thought to myself, “I have this all figured out – I thought about this a month ago.  I’ll simply jump as high as I possibly can and slam my body on the floor.  Yea, that’s the ticket – I’ll do that – NOW!”

With that, I stood up, took a big step, launched myself into the air and slammed onto the floor.  Unfortunately, other than a couple of badly bruised ribs, absolutely nothing happened.  At this point, I was getting pretty desperate and feeling a little light-headed, so I quickly stood up, took two or three really big steps and LAUNCHED myself as high as I could into the air.  It was so high it would have made any professional wrestler proud.  It was in fact, a world-class Wrestlemania body slam – right on the floor of my office.

With that, the stuck piece of steak popped out of my throat, but it remained in my mouth.  I then opened my mouth and frantically gasped for a big deep breath.  Luckily, I was able to get a big gulp of air.  Unluckily, the steak was still connected to the rest of the bite by the stringy piece of gristle – it immediately got sucked right back into my windpipe!!! The thought flashed through my mind that this might just have been my very last breath.

I thought I was desperate before – now, however, I was incredibly desperate.  I wasn’t thinking very clearly, and I thought I would run upstairs to get help from my son.  Unfortunately, I managed to get only part of the way there before I could feel myself starting to get light headed and on the verge of passing out.  I saw the stairs and called an audible.  Instead of slamming into the flat surface of the floor, I would slam my body into the stairs while aiming my solar plexus for one of the stair steps.  I took a running start for the stairs and did what had to look like a Three-Stooges-like physical stunt, launching myself into a stair step that I was aiming for.  This time, the piece of steak AND its evil twin both ejected from my mouth in a manner that was reminiscent of the Exorcist.

I sat down on the stair that saved my life and coughed, coughed, and coughed – but more importantly, took long deep breaths of air.  My throat hurt, my head hurt, and I can’t tell you how badly my ribs hurt.  I sat there for no more than a minute when the phone rang.  To this day, I do not know what possessed me to stand up and answer the phone – but I did.   I answered it with the most grizzled, gravely, frog-like voice you could possibly imagine.  “H-e-e-ello,” I rasped.  It was my mother.  She said, “Hi honey, is everything ok?”

Now I have no idea why my mother called.  We spoke often but not every day.  She had no reason whatsoever to call me that afternoon.  But she did call me.  Furthermore, she sounded worried.  She said, “I just had this bad feeling and I had to call you to make sure you were ok.”  “I’m f-i-i-i-ine” I rasped out.   “You don’t sound fine,” she said.  “No, I’m good – just something stuck in my throat is all.  I’m good now.”  I never told my mother what happened that afternoon. 

But I sometimes think back to several moments surrounding this whole episode.  Why did that story about my friend doing the Heimlich give me pause?  What in the world possessed me to think about what I’d do if no one were around and I had something stuck in my throat.  And, how was it that my mother called moments after the episode and wanted to know if I was ok?

All of these are mysteries to my linear thinking, left-brained self.  But I think of them nonetheless. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for each of the breaths I have left and that’s why I felt compelled to share this story with you today. 

Have you had an experience that has caused you to personally never take another breath for granted?  If so, I’d really like to hear it so, if you don’t mind sharing it, please tell us your story in the comment forum below–thanks!

Making a Difference in Someone’s Life

There are little ways and big ways of making a difference in someone’s life.  More likely than not, there’s someone you can immediately call to mind who has impacted you and really made a difference in your life, whether it happened recently or even back during your formative years.

There are definitely certain individuals in my life who have made a big difference for me and in this five-minute video, I tell the story of how one of these people in specific really made a positive impact on my life back in high school and helped shape me into who I am today simply by believing in me and giving me a chance when it seemed that no one else would.

After watching the video, please share a story of your own in the comment forum below about a person you are grateful to for the way they positively influenced your life and made a difference for you.

On Friday, April 5th I will review all the comments and I’ll pick the top three standout stories.  If your story is one of the top three, I’ll send you an autographed copy of Masters of Success and, additionally, if you have a current mailing address for the person who made a difference in your life, I’ll send an autographed copy of the book along with a personal note of recognition to them as well.  A little bit of recognition can mean a lot and, who knows . . . simply bringing to light that you are grateful to them may even find you making a difference in their life.

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