My favorite topic to write about is how to develop a growth mindset, because I believe that the major changes we make in life actually happen instantaneously in our minds.

But although it can take less than a second to have a mental shift, that mental shift can have huge ripple effects over the months and years to come. I've seen and experienced firsthand that as soon as we commit to change, half the battle has already been won.

But there's one shift I've made in the past few years that has been more effective than all the others -- combined. It's allowed me to be more resilient, more humble, and better able to take what the entrepreneurial life has thrown at me. 

If you want to discover a useful skill that you can learn in minutes and that will radically change your life, look no further than the simplest of all mindsets, and try gratitude.

Why this skill will change your life -- starting right now.

As silly as this sounds, I have come to learn that 99% of problems can be solved with gratitude.

Seriously.

For cynical me to say that is meaningful, but I've seen that it's true way too many times to ignore it.

Here's why gratitude can solve 99% of your problems, both in life and in business:

If you think about what's going on in your life, you might see some of your recent challenges a bit differently.

If you can set aside any doubts and believe -- just for a moment -- that those two things are in fact true, it follows that 99% of problems are mental in nature, which also means that solving them is entirely within your control.

How to solve any problem, the easy way. 

Here's the thing, though. Even if you believe that you can change your reality, you can't move forward into a better future unless you truly appreciate what you have now in the present.

Gratitude is like the foundation of a house.

At its core, adopting a mindset of gratitude means you need to first appreciate what you have, and then use that appreciation of the present to build an even better tomorrow.

Let me ask you:

If you don't start with gratitude, you'll move forward upset, angry, confused or disappointed -- and in that state, you can't possibly make better decisions to improve yourself and your life.

I used to think that gratitude was something you did. But once I realized that it was a state of mind, I realized that gratitude is a key to having the right mindset, and the right mindset is the key to staying focused, determined and satisfied on the long journey to success.

The best part: gratitude takes .00000001 seconds to adopt. Just simply decide to be grateful, and in an instant, you'll lay an incredible foundation for your own self-improvement.

So turn to your left and right today -- look around you, and appreciate everyone and everything around you.

I'm grateful that you read this post. What are you grateful for? 

Published on: Nov 14, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.