The Gratitude Practices of the Highly Successful

Today was a nice, slow thanksgiving with my family. My brain is fogged up on carbs, but I wanted to take some time to write about gratitude.

A daily gratitude practice is a pattern that emerges once you start studying the lives of the super successful. Oprah, Richard Branson, Daymond John, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, etc all have a some form of gratitude practice. 

Does gratitude create success and wealth? Possibly. At the very least it opens you up to an abundant mindset, where ideas and opportunities flow toward you. Gratitude focuses your attention on what you have instead of what you lack. It’s bending your mind toward the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative. The less weighed down you are by negativity, the more capable you are of reaching your goals.

The simplest way I’ve found to adding a gratitude practice to my day is the 5 minute Journal created by Alex Ikonn (which you could do without the book). Each morning you simply record three things you are grateful for. It can be big or small. (For example, I’m grateful for time with my family, I’m grateful for my new apartment, I’m grateful for the lovely weather today.) And in the evenings you write three amazing thing that happened today. (I had a day off from work, I spent time with friends and family all day, I worked on my podcasts)

You would think that small acts like these would add up to much in the grand scheme of things, but how we focus on the little things reflects how we handle the big things. 

Action Questions:

How can I practice gratitude daily? How can I make it easy for myself to do so?

What icons do I follow who also talk about having a gratitude practice?

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

“Take full account of the excellences which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”Zig Ziglar

“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” — Jim Rohn

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When I started counting my blessings,  my whole life turned around .” — Willie Nelson

Complaining Isn’t a Strategy

Why am I working so much?
Why don’t I have what they have?
Why does my health feel worse today?

Complaining isn’t a strategy of success. (If it’s even a strategy at all)
All complaining will do is keep you from the truth: 
    What to do.

Anytime I catch myself complaining I feel worse and worse about my what’s happening.

The mind is a powerful force. It can take your vision and make it reality and it can take your nightmare and make it come true. 

Not everything will go my way, but that doesn’t mean I’m powerless. It just means I have more growing to do. It means I need to be more aware.

When you are going tough times, be it pain, failure, anxiety, frustration.. complaining will only give you one thing: nothing. 

Nothing except exactly the situation you have plus the weight of your negative mental strength pressing down on you.

So what can you do?

Do the opposite of complaining.

Silence your voice, quite your mind, be grateful you’re ALIVE and take small actions one at a time on finding solutions (opportunities) to the problem at hand.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.

— Zig Ziglar

What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.

— Maya Angelou

See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.

— Eckhart Tolle

Best You 365: Gratitude is Attitude


This is a sample of our BestYou 365 Newsletters.

If you are seeking the best version of yourself you can be in creativity, work, and life, join our newsletter today (and/or share with a friend who would be interested).

Best You 365


BY365 is about asking yourself the questions:

“How can I become my best self?”
“What does that mean to me personally?”
“How can I become a better person every single day?”
“And how can I help and enable people to do the same through my own actions and journey?”


today: Gratitude is Attitude

    When you find yourself seeking something more for yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the future and miss the good you already have given and receive every day. (believe me, I know) 

    To begin your journey to the best version of yourself possible, you must start by being grateful who you are right now, and what you have going for you already.

No matter what setbacks you are facing, I can assure you someone else out there has it worse.

Even at its most extreme feels, when has hating yourself ever worked out for someone?

We must learn from the mistakes and pain. Use them as drivers to embetter yourself and inspire others.

Becoming your best self is not about rejecting your old self. To move on to something bigger, you must be okay with who you are.
I mean, doesn’t the idea of accepting who you are — mistakes and all — sound like you are already becoming someone better?

Look @ me for example, here I am surrounded by privilege, living in the land of the free, home of the brave, but am I giving thanks every day for what I have?

Do I use my freedom to pursue bravery or am I just living within my fears?
Questions we should take the time to ask ourselves.

Gratitude is Attitude.
It’s something you bring to the table.
It’s a perspective you must practice.
It’s a lens that changes even the bad things that happen to you, to the good.


Gratitude Tips — There are many resources out there for gratitude, but here are some of my favorites to get you started:

1. Each morning, write down three things you’re most grateful for. It can be anything you want.

2. Before you talk to anyone, say ‘I love you’ in your mind to them. (Learned this from TF’s book, Tools of Titans.) You won’t believe how effective and mood-lifting this can be, even towards someone you dislike!

3. Practice frugality (like Marcus Aurelius, or Benjamin Franklin) for one day each month. Spend the smallest amount possible on food (eating rice and beans, or something like that), wear cheap clothes, even sleep on the floor. Not only does this make you grateful for what you have, but also reduces the anxiety of losing it all. Showing you it’s not that bad to have nothing.

4. Send a thank you note to someone. Write a letter, reach out. call someone. There’s nothing like gratitude than giving someone presence. It tells them,
‘I see you.’

5. Give a random person a compliment. Think of the last time someone did this to you. Doesn’t it immediately boost your mood for the day?

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

On The Rise: A Mantra for a Meaningful Life

Pssst. Here’s a Link to the Audio Version

On The Rise

Up before the morning rays,

coffee in hand,

salutations and praise,

gratitude for another day — 

On The Rise.


Mind right,

path is straight —›

Action this day says

small steps lead to big change —

On The Rise.


Shoulders of giants, 

the less you’ll mistake

failure is bad

when it stops you in place —

On The Rise.


Better together,

words, wit and stone

cherish your tribe

you get what you sow —

On The Rise.


Mastery in momentum,

habit is a verb

how you do the small

defines it all —

On The Rise.


Focus in to begin

Think sideways to win,

Rome was built one moment at a time

Thoughts are your direction —

On The Rise.


Master of all,

jack nothin’ agrees.

Master of few,

one, two, then three.

Priority of mind is a renaissance life — 

On The Rise.


Reflect on the good,

learn from the rest

checkin daily, monthly at best 

what gets measured is put to the test —

On The Rise.


Rest is equally important,

but the easiest to neglect.

Investment in health

is a long-young road of success —

On The Rise.


Are you living or just doing?

Are you challenging and pursing?

Are you asking? Are you improving?

Questions are lightning rods to achievement —

On The Rise. On The Rise.


Etch this in heart, mind and soul,

sing, share and wear it,

make it better, make it your own

Life is about creating — 

On The Rise, On The Rise, On The Rise.


#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, Feb 7th 2017

Support the Renaissance: Become a Patron (It’s a Win-Win)