Gratefulness Challenge

I’m generally by default a really negative/ pessimistic person, perhaps realist might be a better term for it. Regardless, this means that when making decisions i generally focus on the risks before looking at the opportunities, this makes me very good at Operations work but terrible at sales and even worse at staff moral. I started doing the gratefulness challenge as way of maintaining positivity in my routine. I do it daily and I do it in the evening as one of the last things i do for the day.

The basic premise of the Gratefulness Challenge is to reflect on the day and pick three things that you should be grateful for and list them out. For me, this helps me celebrate the small wins and appreciate the lessons i’ve learnt from the day. It helps shift the mindset from one focus on why something might break or how something could fail, to on focus on finding solutions and learning from the experience.

It would come across that the gratefulness challenge is a stupid team building exercise, but that subtile change in mindset has a compounded effect over time in help you to be happier and therefore more productive at work, it helps build grit, because even on the toughest of days, you have to search for a positive outcome, and that mental conditioning is certainly worth sparing 10 minutes at the end of the day for.

LTC – a model for holiday productivity

We all need breaks, time away from work, stress and the pressures of reality. And it’s easy to take this holiday time for granted, simply sit and enjoy as the waves lap against the shore and the sun beams down on you as you doze off in the hot summer breeze.

But there’s always someone in that 6 degrees of separation that always seems to be doing something on their holidays, their time off seems almost as intense as a working day, you almost feel like you need a holiday to get over the holiday.

For me, I fall somewhere in between, I get too restless for 1 week by the pool as the though of climbing the Andes seems traumatic. At the same time, I want my holiday to be meaningful and memorable.

I started doing LTC – which basically stands for “Learn something new, Try something new, Create something new” – the idea is that by the end of your holiday you should have one thing to append to each of these three attributes. I apply this every holiday i have (even just a long weekend), and what i append to L or T or C really is my preference, I generally try and make that proportional to the length of my holiday.

Recently my most productive LTC holiday was over Chinese New Year I managed to Learn the basics of Python coding language, Try a stay at a new hotel and try a staycation style work-holiday, and Create business plans for a few side projects that has previously simply sat as abstract ideas.


I’ve been reading lots about positive mental minds and this article was a great summation on that positive mindest in the face of adversity.

Granted we’re not facing down enemy fire, but the stress and pressure of work and clients can take their toll.

The concept of “good” in the face of adversity is a mindset change a way of views problems as Challenges, challenges that you can learn from, challenges that you can over come.

A senior C-Level from my very first job used to tell me not to use the word ‘problem’ as it sets a negative state which prevents you from thinking of solutions, so something as simple as re-wording it to a ‘challenge’ can help with how you approach a problem.

The concept of ‘good’ is also the same. When confronted with a challenge, viewing it as ‘good’ turns the challenge into an opportunity, again that slight change in mindset can have a huge impact in how you deal with the situation.

“Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better,” Willink said, giving another example.

In another episode, Willink explained how one of his friends told him he was able to see this philosophy in action even when his father died. It wasn’t literally “good” that his father died, but when he was done grieving he was able to see that he was presented with an opportunity to take responsibilities in areas that he could normally rely on his father for, and to make the most of them.

The “good” approach is a way to move forward without giving into overwhelming emotions, whether on the battlefield, in the office, or in your personal life.

“That’s it,” Willink said on his podcast. “When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out. Don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. If you can say the word good, guess what? It means you’re still alive. It means you’re still breathing. And if you’re still breathing, well then hell, you’ve still got some fight left in you. So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, reengage, and go out on the attack.” – Business Insider