What is the forgotten metric of a successful life?

In her book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder,” Arianna Huffington redefines “success.” She learned first-hand that without well-being, money and power will not make you happy. The four pillars of well-being (health, wisdom, wonder and giving) are what give your life purpose and meaning, and gratitude is part and parcel of this formula for success.

1. Health.

If you sacrifice your health in the pursuit of success, you’re paying an insanely high price. The result of this sacrifice includes everything from diabetes to heart disease, and other stress-related afflictions like depression, alcoholism, or drug addiction.

2. Wisdom.

As Arianna says: “We have a lot of very smart leaders around making terrible decisions. The problem is not that they don’t have a high IQ; the problem is that they are not connected with their inner wisdom. Taking time to connect with the source of our inner wisdom and strength is essential.”

3. Joy and childlike wonder.

It’s also important to bring joy into your everyday life, and to connect with the sense that you are part of “something larger.” This includes appreciating ordinary beauty and small everyday miracles — in other words, expressing gratitude for everything you already have.

4. Giving.

No complete life is ever lived just for oneself. Give Thanks Year-Round

The proven benefits of gratitude are such that sequestering your expression of it to a single day each year is to your own detriment. If you’re unsure of where or how to start, consider Brooks’ suggestion, which is, to begin with, “interior gratitude,” meaning you give thanks privately, in a journal or in prayer, for example. Once this has become a comfortable habit, move on to “exterior gratitude” where you express your gratitude publicly. Writing thank-you notes, saying thank you in person, or otherwise publicly proclaiming your gratitude all fall into this category.

“A disciplined way to put this into practice is to make it as routine as morning coffee. Write two short emails each morning to friends, family or colleagues, thanking them for what they do,” Brooks writes. Lastly, tackle the task of being grateful for “useless” or insignificant things, be it a certain smell in the air, the color of a blossom, your child’s freckles or the curvature or a stone. Eventually, you may find that “bliss” is closer than you ever imagined. Mostly, it’s a matter of allowing it.

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Starting each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for is one way to put your mind on the right track. Also, remember that your future depends largely on the thoughts you think about today. Each moment is an opportunity to turn your thinking around, thereby helping or hindering your ability to think and feel more positively in the very next moment. Most experts agree there are no shortcuts to happiness. Even generally happy people do not experience joy 24 hours a day. But a happy person can have a bad day and still find pleasure in the small things in life. Be thankful for what you have. When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, remember the 1,000 reasons you have to smile. Face your past without regret; prepare for the future without fear; focus on what’s good right now, in the present moment and practice gratitude.

Remember to say Thank You — to yourself, the Universe, and others. It’s wonderful to see a person smile, and even more wonderful knowing that you are the reason behind it.

We at Clear Connections wish you all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have health questions!