Can I be real a second? - THINKERS Notebook

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Can I be real a second?

I want to kick off this edition of the THINKERS Roundup with a lyric from a Hamilton song that is bouncing around in my head as I sit down to write.
Can I be real a second?
For just a millisecond?
Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?

(By the way, watching Hamilton and listening to the soundtrack has become "the thing" that my daughter and I share together, so Hamilton lyrics are pretty much always bouncing around in my head these days.)

Anyway, here's what I want to let my guard down and be real about:

On behalf of the entire team here at THINKERS, I want to say thank you for being part of this growing company, and growing movement, that gains a little more traction with each passing week.

And this past week felt like an important milestone because  ...

We got a full spread in our local paper,The Dallas Morning News!

Here is the online version, titled Note taking takes a big step forward.

And if you want to see what the spread looked like in the physical paper, here is the Image Note our fearless leader Sean Jackson sent us -- using his THINKERS App, of course!

Look, we went into grizzly detail in Season 2 of the THINKERS Manifesto podcast about all of the triumphs, trials, and tribulations that we've gone through since launching this company.

The #1 reason we've persisted is because of the indefatigable belief, enthusiasm, and work ethic of the aforementioned Sean, our founder and CEO. (He may be a little embarrassed that I'm putting this in the newsletter, but it's 100% true.)

The #2 reason we've persisted is because of people like you.

I mean it.

At every turn, even when we've questioned something about our direction or trajectory, we've found people who believe in our vision for how to help people think better.

People like you have shown your support for this vision by subscribing to this newsletter, buying notebooks, downloading the app, becoming members of the THINKERS Workshop, and sharing positive word-of-mouth with friends, family, and social media contacts.

So while I normally use this space to write an essay about a topic germane to our overarching goal of helping people like you think better, I really feel like I'd be remiss to not use this space today to wrap you in a big ol' virtual hug and express my gratitude for what you've meant to us along this journey.

You're not just an email address in a database. You're a unique person with hopes and dreams and goals who wants to think better as a way to fulfill those hopes and dreams and achieve those goals.

I don't lose sight of that. We don't lose sight of that.

You've helped us, more than you can know. And it's our mission to continue helping you.

A final, important note about the power of gratitude

You know what I've realized the byproduct of me writing this is?

By expressing gratitude in this way -- full-throated and genuine -- it is increasing my motivation and enthusiasm to do the work necessary to serve you.

Gratitude is funny like that.

It's easy to think that the main beneficiaries of an expression of gratitude are the people on the receiving end. But often, we are the ones who benefit the most.

Our thoughts and actions improve because we gain a humbling understanding of how many other people contribute to our success while simultaneously being able to draw from a deep well of pride in knowing how many people are invested in helping us continue to climb whatever ladder we are on.

So thank you.

For everything you've meant to the success of THINKERS in the past, and for being part of this exciting movement toward better thinking in the present.

And for indulging me in some real talk today that has left me feeling like a million bucks. :-)

Seriously. Try it. 

​Who could you express some genuine gratitude to today? Just do it! Unprompted. I bet you'll feel so much better afterwards and be in the best mindset possible to attack the rest of this day and weekend.

And if you need a little more prodding, here are three articles that may help motivate you to make expressing gratitude a more regular habit in your life.

Gratitude helps you put things into proper perspective 

"You are glad to have children who track mud in the house. You are glad to have a house to clean, to pay for, and for a cell phone bill that keeps you closer to friends and family. You are grateful to have a house that friends want to come to, and glad you have friends. You are glad to have the food that you are cleaning off dishes.​"

Read: 5 Steps to Increase Motivation (Psych Central)

Is there a downside to gratitude? (Hint: probably not.)

"Some critics and skeptics have charged that gratitude breeds self-satisfaction and acceptance of the status quo. Several articles, including a New York Times essay by journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, have recently asserted that gratitude may be selfish and self-indulgent, prompting people to feel satisfied with where they are in life rather than pursuing bigger personal goals or working to help others. The author of a piece in the Harvard Crimson argued that gratitude can “act as a form of complacency” and that the indebtedness engendered by gratitude may “get in the way of progress.”

"Does gratitude lead to complacency? Do all those benefits of gratitude come at a price—laziness, apathy, and the acceptance of inequities?

"Based on research conducted over the past two decades, and recent findings from our lab at UC Riverside, we believe that the answer is no. In fact, we have found that gratitude is not just a pleasant, passive emotion but rather an activating, energizing force that may lead us to pursue our goals and become better, more socially engaged people."

Read: How Gratitude Motivates Us to Become Better People(Greater Good Magazine)

It doesn't take much to experience the benefits of gratitude

"iI you’re looking for some motivation to get your things done and fulfill your goals, the answer is also gratitude. And I’m not talking science, but evidence. Sometimes, when we set goals for ourselves, we can only see how far the finish point is from us. If the progress is slower or if we get stuck on our way there, it’s quite easy to demotivate and give up. That’s way I like to add a gratitude practice to every planning activity."

Read: A simple gratitude practice to boost focus and motivation (Uprise Action)

Quote of the week

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

-- William Arthur Ward