What's the most beneficial habit you've been made aware of during your interviews with high achievers? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
An incredibly high percentage of world-class performers I've interviewed practice some form of gratitude every day. It's often structured, and this is why I began using The 5-Minute Journal upon waking, as one example. I discovered yet another approach when , one of Australia's most admired and widely recognized figures.
In 2011, at age 24, Turia was an ex-model fitness junkie and successful mining engineer when she was caught in a freak firestorm while competing in a 100-km ultramarathon in Western Australia. She was choppered out of the remote desert, barely alive and suffering from full thickness burns to 64 percent of her body. Surviving against overwhelming odds, Turia came back stronger than ever. She completed the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in late 2016 and later wrote her memoir Everything to Live For: The Inspirational Story of Turia Pitt. Her popular TEDx Talk, "Unmask Your Potential," details her incredible story of triumph over adversity. Here's what she told be about gratitude, what it means to her, and how she practices it:
When I was younger, it's not like I was "ungrateful," but I never stopped to take the time to reflect on everything I had going for me. Now I do a gratitude practice every morning, every day, and I might even do it again throughout the day. I don't weigh in too much on the science behind it, I just know if I do it, I feel better. I'm not a believer in "quick fixes" but I know it's a very effective method to instantly change how you're feeling.
[Here's what it looks like:] First, I listen to my gratitude playlist on Spotify, any song on the list. For example, here are nine tracks as of today:
1. "Breathturn" by Hammock
2. "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky
3. "Devi Prayer" by Craig Pruess and Ananda
4. "Horizon" by Tycho
5. "Recurring" by Bonobo
6. "Hanging On" by Active Child
7. "Long Time Sun" by Snatam Kaur
8. "Angels Prayer" by Ty Burhoe, James Hoskins, Cat McCarthy, Manorama, and Janaki Kagel
9. "Twentytwofourteen" by The Album Leaf
Then, I think of three things that I'm genuinely grateful for. I've found the more specific the better. So for example, rather than just thinking, "my mum," it could be "my mum for making me spinach pie last night." Instead of "my partner," it could be "the run I went for with my partner yesterday." This morning, it was:
1. My son kicking me in my belly
2. My coffee
3. Seeing the sun rise
If I do this properly and genuinely (i.e., not just rattling them off in my head -- that's why music helps me to get into the right frame of mind), I'll usually start crying from gratitude. If I feel frustrated or pissed off during the day, sometimes I'll do this again to center me.
It's not just Turia. From Tony Robbins to standup comedian Whitney Cummings, a very high percentage of the people I've interviewed for the podcast and all have some form of gratitude practice, commonly done in the AM before breakfast.
This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: