EQ WORKOUT #41 The Emotional Intelligence of Gratitude


This past week in the USA we celebrated Thanksgiving. For many, it is a day for family and friends to connect, pause, and be grateful. No wonder it is a holiday I have grown to love too much not having been born in the US. In it are three key ingredients for a happy and meaningful life. Relationships that sustain and support us, embracing times of silence to listen to our deepest yearnings and the realization that life is a gift in all its ups and downs.

A core element of emotional intelligence is a mindset of gratitude.

A core element of emotional intelligence is a mindset of gratitude.

When as think about all the things we are grateful for there are a few big ones that rise to the surface. We’re thankful for our health, our safety, our loved ones. But what else? What do we take for granted? What moves us? What would fill our hearts daily if we would just notice it? 

Here are ten other things we can be grateful for.

1. The senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste—daily miracles each of them. 

2. The plant world. From the productivity of a late-summer tomato plant to the delicate unfurling of a fern, nature’s exuberance and tenderness are something to behold.

3. Opportunity. Our steady companion, the opportunity is always ready to take us down a path yet unknown. (Hint: We have to say “Yes!”) 

4. Beauty. What do your eyes feast on? What splendor makes your soul rejoice? It is all around us every day. How often do you stop to drink it in?  

5. The ability to learn. There is no age limit on the learning—period. When we stop learning, we really stop living.   

6. Young children. The model for our is innocence, faith, resilience, playfulness, and unconditional love.

7. Music. What inspires you, lifts your mood? Rock & roll, African drumming, violin concertos, disco, and the gospel? A nightingale? 

8. The ability to give. Every act of love benefits the giver as much as the receiver. 

9. Color. Sunsets, Gauguin paintings, green peppers, blue eyes. Imagine a world without color…. 

10. Change. It’s unavoidable; the only constant. Change can be unsettling or challenging. But the mystery of it and what lies beyond it can keep us young at heart.

I invite you to make your own list. What are you grateful for?

You may also like this YouTube video I recently recorded which explores the five habits of emotionally intelligent people.