“In one sense our campus is a topographical map of Nike’s history and growth; in another it’s a diorama of my life. In yet another, it’s a living, breathing expression of that vital human emotion, maybe the most vital of all, after love. Gratitude.”
That’s Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc., in his 2016 memoir Shoe Dog.
Building the Swoosh Empire from the ground up – from conception to turning points, trials and tribulations, and now to one of the world’s most powerful and recognisable brands – Mr Knight’s mindset shows determination, fearlessness and, of course, business nous. Yet he still feels that gratitude is arguably more essential.
Well, because these days – and especially in the quagmire that is 2020 – it pays to be grateful. And with an estimated net worth of $57 billion (AUD), Mr Knight can certainly attest to that.
So, what is gratefulness, exactly?
Well, while appreciation generally involves acknowledging the goodness in life – seeing the positives in events, experiences and others – gratitude itself goes a step further, recognising how those positives are often due to forces outside of ourselves; particularly the efforts of other people.
In tough times, it can be easy to lose sight of the positives; to adopt a “me against the world” mentality. But a self-pitying, confrontational mindset is a self-destructive one.
In a human sense, gratitude on the other hand is fulfilling. Focusing on the positives helps lift our spirits, puts things into perspective, and ensures we appreciate the little things on our way to the bigger picture. Showing gratitude can open the door to more relationships and opportunities, and improve physical health, self-esteem, mental strength and sleep. It can reduce aggression, anxiety and depression.
In the workplace, it can increase morale and motivation, reduce tension and sick days, and improve overall job satisfaction.
The results? Well, like we said: it pays to be grateful.
It’s why the world’s most successful companies are adopting and nurturing cultures of gratefulness. It’s why a study of how 30 well-known high-achievers set themselves up for success found one common response: gratitude. It’s why Tony Robbins keeps a journal of “accomplishments and magic moments”, drawing principles from successes and experiences to set goals for the upcoming year. And it’s why at Ultimate Edge Communications, we’re launching Fulfilling Fridays as part of our focus on wellbeing this September.
Each Friday afternoon, we reserve 30 minutes to bring our team together for a process we call “tea for the soul”; sharing our experiences, the wins and lessons learned throughout the week, all while we sip a range of great aromatic teas. This means we finish the week with a sense of gratefulness for what we’ve experienced as a team and head into the weekend replenished and rejuvenated and a just bit wiser for the week that’s ahead of us.