Startup Digest

Leadership & Resiliency

November 25, 2016

The first recorded Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. It is interesting to me that of the ten national holidays celebrated annually in the United States, Thanksgiving is one of them. It has withstood the test of time.  

It is common to invest time and energy to prepare a meal and gather with loved ones. I know many people who travel across the country to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. While George Washington and Columbus may be well recognized even by modern society, I do not know anyone that travels to celebrate their holidays with others. In fact, Christmas and New Years Day are the only other holidays that slow down our speedy nation enough to shut down a large percentage of small businesses.  

It seems to me that of all the highly celebrated holidays, Thanksgiving is the least commercial. Yes, we are bombarded with messages about the best or traditional feast. But we are relatively free to decide how to go about commemorating this holiday.  

I would like to believe that this holiday maintains a space as a sacred day due to the name it carries. Regardless of age, religion, gender, creed or industry...when we pause long enough we can see there is something to be grateful for.  

This week's resources are dedicated to cultivating gratitude as a daily practice. That's right! No need to wait until next year to pause. Gratitude has ripple effects into our psyche and into the culture of our teams.  

Here is to you seeing the beauty that is all around you and within you, wherever you may be.

Leadership & Resiliency Startup Digest is curated by:
Miriam Meima

Miriam Meima

Contact Miriam Meima at

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The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’

Milena Tsvetkova and Michael Macy - NY Times

This article references one of my favorite research studies of all time: how acts of kindness affect bystanders as much as anyone. Tsvetkova and Macy, the authors, put this theory to the test.  

As you are reading, I highly recommend considering the implications for your team dynamics. For example, I believe the "bystander effect" is at play when a leader often swoops in to complete a project (unknowingly perpetuating a lack of productivity for the rest of the team). Using this information there is an opportunity to use kindness to drive empowerment and efficiency.  

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Louie Schwartzberg - TED

In less than 10 minutes this TED talk captures the essence of gratitude and offers us the chance to cultivate it through seeing all that is around us. I often share this with groups needing a fresh perspective. It amazes me to see how slowing down enough to watch this time-lapse photography and listen to a few words of wisdom can allow people to drop out of their heads and into their hearts.

States With the Happiest and Unhappiest Workers (Infographic)

Rose Leadem - Entrepreneur

Who we surround ourselves with had an impact on our mood (short-term) and even our current world view (mid-term). Several of my clients are beginning to notice how it feels to be around certain friends or co-workers with a victim-mentality (emotionally and energetically draining!) compared to more positively oriented individuals (inspiring!).  

One of my clients in particular has started to design who she wants to "hook her brain up to" and spend more time with them (and little to no time with the downers). Going into the new year you may consider doing the same. How can you spend more time with those that mirror your greatest qualities?  

While a geographical move may not be in your future, if we take this conversation to a large scale you can see how living in a place with happy people may affect your day-to-day interactions, and ultimately your world view.

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

Amy Morin - Psychology Today

In case your left brain is not sold on the benefits of gratitude, I offer these scientific findings that show us how the simple act of cultivating gratitude can affect so many aspects of our lives. #7 is particularly for you.  

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