- Gratitude Retirement Wisdom 21:23
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Our thoughts often turn to gratitude during the week of Thanksgiving. What if we lived with gratitude the whole year? Kristi Nelson and Glenn Fox know how to do that – and why it’s beneficial for you and others. They share their wisdom on gratitude with us in this Best of The Retirement Wisdom Podcast episode.
Listen to the full podcast conversations on gratitude:
Takeaway – Three Blessings Exercise:
Kristi Nelson is the Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living (gratefulness.org). She’s also the author of Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted.
Kristi has spent most of her adult life in non-profit leadership, fundraising, and organizational development. In a wide variety of roles, she has helped to lead, fund, and strengthen organizations committed to progressive social and spiritual change.
In 2001, Kristi founded a values-based fundraising consulting and training, and leadership Coaching business, and in this capacity worked with organizations such as the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Spirit in Action, Wisdom 2.0, and The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. During this time, she was also founding Director of the Soul of Money Institute with Lynne Twist, Director of Development at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and Director of Development and Community Relations for the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society.
Kristi received her BA from UMass/Amherst, a graduate certificate in Business and Sociology from Boston College, and her Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Leadership Studies, from Harvard University.
Kristi is a stage IV cancer survivor who feels blessed to work with her beloved colleagues in sharing the gifts of gratefulness with people around the world. She lives in Western MA with her family, and gives thanks every day to be surrounded by the glories of the natural world and a vibrant, loving community.
Dr. Glenn Fox is a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, in the Marshall School of Business. His current projects focus on neural systems for emotion regulation, high stakes training, and developing entrepreneurial mindset skills in founders and business leaders.
Glenn received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from USC, where he focused on the neural correlates of gratitude, empathy, and neuroplasticity. Following graduate school, he started a company, Ph.D. Insight L.L.C., which focused on providing data science consulting for small businesses and early-stage startups. Prior to joining Marshall as a faculty member, Glenn led the Performance Science Institute at USC where he worked with the United States Marine Corps, Army Research Laboratories, Seattle Seahawks, and numerous Olympic athletes and Fortune 500 companies to examine the role of mindset in business and high stakes pursuits.
Currently, Glenn is the Director and Founder of the USC Found Well Initiative which aims to understand and promote entrepreneurial mindset in founders and business leaders. He also serves as a Principal Investigator at the USC Sensorimotor Assessment and Rehabilitation Training in Virtual Reality Center (SMART-VR) and a fellow of the Brain and Creativity Institute.
Outside of USC, Glenn serves as the Chief Science Officer of the C4 Foundation, which serves to strengthen and protect Navy SEAL families. Glenn is also currently on the advisory board of the Flow Research Collective, where he works with Steven Kotler on projects related to gratitude, flow, and high performance. He consults regularly with companies and media outlets on topics ranging from small business management, gratitude, and high performance.
Glenn is an avid maker and restorer of things old and metal. He lives in LA with his wife and son.
Podcast Episodes You May Like
On Defining Gratitude
“Gratitude is a word we hear thrown around a lot, and I think that’s a good thing. And we are only beginning to understand gratitude more the more we begin to look for it. And as you start to look and observe gratitude, you realize that it’s so much more than what people talk about. We hear the word gratitude, and we think about it as a synonym for happiness a lot of the time, but this limits what gratitude really is. What it really can do for people is more than gratitude and it’s more than happiness. It’s more than just getting something nice. It is a framework it’s part of our moral compass for how we keep track of our relationships to others. It’s part of our deepest motivational circuits. It’s part of it’s deeply wrapped in our circuits for making meaning out of what happens. Chances are if you can find a way to be grateful for a difficulty, that difficulty will be twice reduced and I’m not saying that’s easy, but it is showing that gratitude has more uses and more benefits than I think just happiness. So gratitude is not just happiness or feeling good. Two things I’m a fan of by the way, of course, but gratitude is more than that. So to outline what gratitude is, let’s think about it in terms of the context that most of us discuss it, that is in the context of interpersonal gift giving. When a recipient receives a gift of some sort from a donor. In this case, we define gratitude as the feeling that we can have when we receive something that comes at some effort and that fulfills a need.”
On Why Gratitude Takes Effort
“Gratitude is not so easy to come by all the time. So that’s why we do what we do is because we talk about how can we really live more gratefully, not just have gratitude as a momentary experience that then evaporates. And we wait for something to make us feel grateful again, you know, which doesn’t happen all the time, as much as we’d like it to.To experience gratitude more regularly, more consistently, it’s an inside job. It’s something that we can learn to practice and bring to our lives as an orientation rather than waiting for something external to happen.”
On Learning to Be Grateful
“We love feeling gratitude. It’s a fantastic feeling and we love inciting gratitude and other people helping other people feel grateful – and yet gratitude tends to be conditional it’s fleeting. It’s transactional. Often we wait for somebody to do something for us or for something to happen. It’s something that is ephemeral and difficult for us to put our hands around. How do I get more gratitude and gratitude, inducing experiences? And it ends up being a little bit like the pursuit of happiness, I think, in that it’s elusive. And it feels out there. Gratefulness, as I was saying before, is something that we can cultivate as a practice, very similar to mindfulness. And it’s a beautiful way to weave together more moments of gratitude and to learn how to find those experiences of gratitude and to uplift them and to deepen ourselves into them more often. So it’s not about being grateful for everything, but gratefulness as the ability to be grateful in every moment. And that’s something that we can learn.”
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About Your Podcast Host
Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking. Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes, with over 1 million downloads. Business Insider has recognized Joe as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.