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Strategize Organize LLC
Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 2
Lots of Talk About Gratitude


It seems to me that there is more and more talk about gratitude these days, especially this time of year.  This is good. Of course, I hope that it isn't just a seasonal topic, which ends in January. I think that gratitude is wonderful and I am grateful for so many aspects of my life; including my work as a professional organizer and the opportunity to meet many of you.

Two Reflections on Gratitude 

One recent reflection that I heard on gratitude is that by having gratitude, we can feel and experience more joy. I think that is an interesting idea and one worthy of more thought. A second reflection on gratitude has some direct connection to shopping and stuff. David DeSteno wrote an article, "Defeat the Impulse Buy With Holiday Shopping, Willpower Isn't Enough" which was published in the New York Times.

Gratitude  and a Link to Self-Control

The main point of this article was that some emotions, like gratefulness, allow us to temporarily exert more patience and show more self-control. DeSteno summarizes his study like this, "What these findings show is that certain emotions can temporarily enhance self-control by decreasing desires for immediate gratification. While feeling happy doesn’t do much to increase patience, feeling grateful does."

Application to this Newsletter Community 

This difference between happiness and gratitude is especially interesting for a professional organizer. Does this mean that all I have to do is simply tell my clients who are concerned about their shopping to think about gratitude while they shop? If they do this, will they then not buy excessively? It's probably not quite that easy…all of our overshopping and impulse buying probably won't just disappear. However, I do think that it is an interesting idea and gives us another opportunity to observe ourselves and see what we notice. Who knows, maybe we will feel a slight shift as we shop. Maybe we'll have new thoughts or maybe we'll experience a different feeling. I think that any opportunity we have to notice our attachment to stuff is worth considering. 

Final Thoughts

Now, I'm not saying that you all have to go out and "shop" in order to do this experiment. ;) However, the next time you find yourself in a shopping situation, it would be really cool to try this and see what you notice and let us know. 

In gratitude for this community,

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Copyright (C) 2008 Susan Hunsberger Professional Organizer All rights reserved.
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