Listen to my latest podcast episode:

807: Shrink Your Fat Cells & Fix Your Metabolism – With Dr. Benjamin Bikman

TMHS 320: The Science of Gratitude & How the World’s Top Achievers Utilize It

As we enter the holiday season, the principle of gratitude is front of mind for many of us. Without a doubt, there is true value in expressing gratitude in your life. This is a powerful tool for boosting happiness, improving health, and creating success.

On today’s show, we’re highlighting a handful of insightful moments about the power of gratitude from recent episodes. You’ll hear a compilation of stories from successful individuals who have used thankfulness to change their situations, improve their health, overcome obstacles, and gain an overall appreciation for life. I hope these incredible testimonies help you understand how and why to incorporate gratitude into your routine, and inspire you to be grateful throughout this holiday season, as well as into the new year.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How a simple gratitude practice can help improve your sleep quality.
  • The link between gratitude and serotonin.
  • Why gratitude is the easiest way to change your life. 
  • How gratitude can transform your perspective on the past, present, and future.
  • The power of finding meaning and fulfillment through giving back.
  • How hitting rock bottom and surrendering can be an incredible gift.
  • Why positive affirmations can change the way you think about yourself.
  • The importance of making a positive impact within your community.
  • What it means to find a gatekeeper in terms of happiness.
  • How changing your mindset can literally change your life.
  • The danger of delaying your happiness based on external conditions.
  • What it means to be blissfully dissatisfied.
  • The importance of goal setting from a place of abundance.
  • A powerful link between gratitude and agency.
  • How to use text messages to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine.
  • The difference between reacting and taking action.



Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today.

And speaking of grateful, this is a very special episode, because during this time of year, a lot of folks are getting together, celebrating, and giving thanks, and expressing gratitude.

And so I wanted to do a show- a compilation of some of the most important and valuable moments here on The Model Health Show where we had some of our guests talk about the real utility value behind having gratitude in our lives.

Because I know that it can sound like something that is maybe a little bit foo-foo, airy fairy, whatever you want to call it, but gratitude in and of itself is a very, very powerful tool for our overall happiness in our lives, but also for our health.

Listen to this. There was a 2012 study, and this was published in 'Personality and Individual Differences,' and this journal found that - and the research behind it - that having a gratitude practice helped test participants to decrease their experiences of aches and pains.

So physical pain was going away due to having a gratitude practice. How? What is that behind the system making something like that possible?

When we're expressing gratitude, one of the things that we have is an increase in things like serotonin, right? Endorphins, for example.

These are kind of these pain reducing compounds that the body produces as a result of exhilaration, joy, happiness, kind of the opposite things that we're trying to battle in day-to-day life.

Also a study published in 2011, this was 'Applied Psychology, Health, and Well-Being,' found that a gratitude practice, a simple practice where folks are journaling gratitude each day helped to improve test participants' sleep quality.

So they had more efficient sleep cycles and they tended to sleep longer by expressing gratitude. I know this sounds crazy. I know, but so many of the successful people that you're going to hear from today, and I'm telling you these folks are wildly successful, have a gratitude practice.

And also it's not just about gratitude, but it's also about giving. Right? This is one of those things that doesn't get talked about enough, because there is so much benefit from something like that.

We did a show really more dedicated to that, and that was with Scott Harrison recently, we'll put that in the show notes, and I talked about some of the science behind giving, and how that affects the human brain.

But I wanted to share some of these other stories. So I've got a beautiful compilation for you today to add some inspiration, to add some additional love and gratitude, and a feeling of service during this time of year for you today.

And before we get into that, listen. I've got a huge, huge feeling of gratitude myself. I'm in San Diego right now, and I just stopped by the Organifi headquarters this morning, and oh my goodness.

It's one of the most incredible places in the world. The team there is just out of this world, and everybody is so grateful and happy to be working there, and to be of service, and to be impacting the lives in the way that they are.

And listen, it was Waffle Wednesday. Alright? I walked in, I got in the elevator with my two sons and my wife, and they're like, "Oh, you came on a special day. It's Waffle Wednesday."

I'm like, "I thought this was a healthy place." But I know they're going to do it better than normal. So they used the Organifi plant protein.

Because so many people hit me up and ask like, "Is there any plant-based protein that you recommend, Shawn?" And there's only one.

There's only one that I personally use and that also I use with my family. They were making waffles with the plant protein. Okay?

I'll tell you right now, those waffles are actually illegal in about seven states. Alright? But here, San Diego in California, they are legal fortunately. Alright?

And if I can, I'll try and pull and get that recipe for you guys. But it's really simple. You've got your protein powder, and maybe you could add in some type of a flour base.

This could be a kind of conventional flour, or you can get it gluten-free, or you can get the lower glycemic like coconut flour, something like that.

Typically those are some of the things that are used as the base, and add in some eggs, or maybe a smashed banana, things like that. You can make some pretty nice protein pancakes.

Alright, so the complete all-in-one protein from Organifi, listen to this; pumpkin seed protein, quinoa protein, alright? Quinoa is a complete protein in a grain, right?

It's actually not a grain if we actually look at the construct of it, it's more in the seed family, but quinoa is a complete protein. This is super rare.

Pea protein, and what I'm not saying is soy, alright? It's not soy, that's kind of the conventional thing. We've really moved- we've seen the market move away from that because it's a very strong kind of phytoestrogen dominant plant, and that's not what we're really looking for.

And also, they tend to use not the best extraction methods as well for a lot of these plant-based proteins out there, and Organifi is just doing stuff the right way, alright?

It's organic, so it's not pesticide sprayed quinoa. It's not pesticide sprayed pumpkin seed protein. This is the good stuff, alright? And I think you're really going to enjoy it.

I think it smells and tastes like graham crackers personally. I just think it's really special. So head over there, check them out. It's That's, and you get 20% off the plant protein.

You know I love the green drink, the red juice, and also the gold. Alright? You already know that I love those things, but the plant protein is one of the things that I use on a regular basis as well.

So pop over there and check them out,, and now let's get to the Apple Podcasts review of the week.

ITunes Review: Another five-star review titled, 'Phenomenal person and podcast,' by Christian1014.

"I graduated this year from graduate school with a Master's in Exercise Physiology. I was depressed my last semester of graduate school because I wasn't still sure of myself or how I could make a difference in the health and wellness industry, because it seems like everyone's an expert or selling you something, so I wasn't sure who to follow.

This podcast has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of this field and the vast amount of knowledge there is to learn.

I pass on the things I learn and research topics from various podcasts to family, friends, and members at the wellness centers I work at.

I look up to you as a role model and mentor in this field, and I don't know you personally, but you seem like a great person all-around, and I plan on meeting you in the future. Best of luck, Shawn."

Shawn Stevenson: Thank you so very much for leaving me that review over on Apple Podcasts. I appreciate it so very much.

And listen, if you've yet to leave a review, please pop over and leave a review for the show, alright? I'd appreciate it immensely. And on that note, let's get to our topic of the day.

So today we're talking about some of the real utility value behind the practices of gratitude- expressing gratitude, and also giving. Right?

Paying it forward, giving back, all the different monikers that we might give it. But who are some of these great folks that are out there doing big things, but they don't talk about this a lot? What's the utility value of those things?

And also just providing a bit of inspiration for you on this awesome day today, that you're going to be able to use to carry forward as you go into this New Year, and taking your life to another level as well.

And so we're going to start off with a recent show that I did with the incredible David Meltzer. And I'll tell you, he blew my mind. It's one of my favorite shows personally.

I got so much from it. He is just a superstar, and Jerry Maguire- everybody knows the movie Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. "Show me the money." Right? "Show me the money, Jerry."

His mentor was the guy who the movie was actually based on. So he's like the real-life Jerry Maguire. And it's a sports marketing agency, but now today David has the number one sports marketing agency on the planet. Alright?

He's making all of these deals, with the Superbowl, and the Masters, and all of this crazy stuff. But everything he does in his business has a charitable component.

So check out this clip from David, because again, he's sharing from his perspective the real utility value of gratitude. Check it out.

David Meltzer: The utility value is that it's the easiest way to change your life. So we both have studied physics - quantum physics, meta physics - and all the different things that I've learned, nothing changes your life more than your perspective, and there's only one factor in perspective, and that's whether you're grateful for it or not.

Because what gratitude does, it makes everything in your past better, everything in your present even better than that, and everything in your future even brighter.

It's an entire perspective changer, and so what we want to do is program ourselves, wire ourselves to be grateful. And the power of it went beyond just saying thank you in the morning when I woke up and listing out like a little five-year-old what I was grateful for, and thank you when I went to bed.

It started truly invading everything I did. I'll give you an example. I was on my way home to pick up my son, and I was late. I'm accountable for being late, and of course I get stopped at the red light.

In the past, I would always swear, get aggravated, be detrimental, raise resistance, and then most likely attract more red lights on the way, or other things to stop me.

I used gratitude all of a sudden and said, "Thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Obviously there's something in store for me that you're teaching me."

And this is the formula; lessons are miracles. Period. Lessons in life are the miracles of life. Well, how do you learn lessons? Through experiences.

Those experiences can be seen as good or bad, but they truly are just experiences. So what makes an experience good or bad? Gratitude.

If something happens to you and you're grateful for it- like for me, I lost everything, as you stated earlier. Right?

When I truly believed and understood that I was so grateful that losing everything brought radical humility into my life, it was a great lesson, it was a miracle.

Without the miracle of radical humility, I wouldn't be where I am today. So in essence, the best thing that ever happened to me, most people would consider the hardest, most challenging, worst thing that ever happened to them, but it's the miracle of my life.

It's the miracle of humility, and one of the key components, one of the key characteristics to give me a better perspective along with gratitude.

Shawn Stevenson: I love that. I love it so much because as soon as you said it, it makes the past better, I was like, "What does this mean?" But it's so real.

But I think that you've also- it's a muscle that you exercise because, like you said-

David Meltzer: Innercise.

Shawn Stevenson: Innercise. When something seemingly negative on the surface is going on, for you to stop and then to realize like, "Wait a minute. This is happening for me. Right? It's not happening to me. It's a gift in there somewhere."

David Meltzer: Oh, let me touch on that one.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely.

David Meltzer: Because I just went through this transformation, you'll love it. So I used to think everything happened to me, right? I remember when my brother died when I was in law school, and I almost had to drop out of law school, and I went home to my mom to tell her I was quitting law school, and my uncle said, "My biggest fear is you think everything happens to you. You're a victim. I've never seen you be a victim, Dave."

He's like, "Things don't happen to you, they happen for you. The universe is in your favor, it's always been in your favor." And so I lived the rest of my time thinking that.

My new philosophy, which I think is just incredible, is things don't even happen for me anymore, they happen through me.

So they're coming down for me, and then the only way they actually have value is when I give them away. X + David = more coming through me.

And that emptying of the vessel, keeping in the flow, allows me to attract and handle everything that I want. And how do we have things come through us? By doing good deeds; as many as we can.

And that living- so I tell people all the time, "Hold on. It's better than things are happening for you, man. They're happening through you. So not only happening for you, it's happening for everybody else, because we're all connected."

Shawn Stevenson: Next up, we've got somebody who's very, very special to me, and a close friend, and her name is Cynthia Pasquella Garcia, and she was on a recent episode of The Model Health Show, and just blew everyone away.

Her story is crazy, but also the impact that she's making on the world right now is just phenomenal as well. So definitely- we're going to put all these episodes in the show notes for you guys, and I would highly encourage you pop back, especially check out this episode. It's super powerful.

And so even when you hit rock bottom, there's a gift in it, and that's what she's going to talk about. There's going to be something to be grateful for.

And she also shared that she went through some tremendous challenges, but transforming her own health and well-being led her to - for whatever reason - have the inspiration to want to help other people to do the same thing.

And so this is what I'm asking her about in this clip, so check it out.

Cynthia Garcia: Well I mean, that was my deal. Right? Like that's the deal I made with God. I knew that's why I was here.

I knew that I hadn't gone through all of those things in my life just so they can be self-serving. I knew better, I felt it, you know what I mean?

And so I knew that part of my healing- it was almost, for me, I really felt like it was contingent. I feel like living my life- I feel like it's why I'm here.

There are no extra humans. If you're here, you have a purpose, and I knew it wasn't just to heal and then just go on about my business, you know?

I knew that it was to give back. I heard it so clearly that night. And this is what feeds me, you know? It feeds my deepest hungers when I see students coming through ITN, and then going on to build their own businesses, to heal their own health, and their own hearts, and their families.

And it's just I couldn't ask for any better reward. It's just so powerful, you know? And you mentioned like, "Oh, I'm glad you listened. I'm glad you heard that, and I'm glad you listened."

We do hear that voice a lot, and what I realized- and again, I'm doing a lot of soul searching lately with new book, and what I realized is I told you I'd been a survivor my whole life.

I love to control things. Crazy, I know. But the thing was, it wasn't like I like to control because I can be the boss.

My home was so volatile that I realized if I could control the situation it meant I was safe, right? And so I went through my entire life just trying to control everything, everyone, like the entire world. And that's hard, you know? It's a lot.

What I had never done before was just completely surrendered to what is and what's meant to be. I was always fighting it, right?

And so I would sort of hear the voices, but I would just block them out, you know? "I've got this. I've got this. I don't need anyone, like I've got this together."

And it wasn't until I hit rock bottom and did fully surrender, and I wasn't trying to control it, and I wasn't trying to fight back, and I just opened to receiving that that message really came through.

Shawn Stevenson: Next up we've got another really good friend of mine. I've been knowing this guy for many years. He's one of my favorite humans on the planet.

We just really have a great time together, and his name is Drew Manning. You probably know him from the Fit2Fat2Fit transformation.

He's the trainer who purposely gained seventy pounds over the course of six months, and then lost the seventy pounds over the following six months, and documented the whole thing.

It was a phenomenon, and now there's been many different versions, the little copycat killer versions of it, but he's the guy who really started the movement.

And also of course it became a television show- a hit television show as well, where trainers were signing up to do this. He did actually ask your boy, he asked me to be on the first season.

He said it, he was like, "Shawn, I know you're going to say no, but-" well, you said it for me. It's not my cup of tea. I saw him come from that, and learned so much, and that's all I need.

It's definitely not my bag, but to see the change in his character that came from him having that experience, and just the value that he's provided to the world is really phenomenal.

And so what he's sharing in this particular clip is a powerful gratitude practice in and of itself, and also how gratitude is connected to fulfillment. Check it out.

Drew Manning: For me, I truly believe words are powerful, right?

And if words can affect us at the cellular level, I feel like- and we can make a positive- like if I say positive words to you versus negative words to you, it's going to impact you, your mood, and your energy.

But I feel like if we say positive things about ourselves to ourself out loud, it makes a difference. It really does. And so I challenge people that have never done it, do it consistently for thirty days.

It might feel weird, you talking to yourself sometimes in the mirror, or just out loud, talk about the things you like about yourself, that you love about yourself. Things you even want to believe about yourself. You know?

There's different strategies to this, but like for me, three to five things is enough. I love who I am, I'm proud of who I am, I'm healthy, I'm strong, I'm worthy of love.

Saying those things about yourself, and here I am, I'm a normal dude but it makes a difference in my life. And so if I stay consistent with the meditation, positive affirmation, and then go upstairs, while I'm sipping on my coffee, do my gratitude journal of like things I'm grateful for that day.

Sometimes- a lot of the times it's as I'm drinking coffee, I'm grateful for coffee. Or just like I'm grateful for being a dad, but focusing on what you're grateful for, as I'm still- have goals, as I'm still trying to become a better version of myself.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright, this next clip was one of the greatest moments of my life. I'm just being honest here, alright? Ozzie Smith was just a huge hero and icon in my life personally growing up in St. Louis.

It's just he was just an inspirational figure and something to aspire towards as a kid growing up in not the best circumstances. And his story was bananas, and this episode was actually featured on the home page of iTunes.

So a big shout-out to those guys for featuring this episode, and it reached a lot of people, and impacted their lives, and also gave people an inside look at somebody who is a Hall Of Famer.

Like he's in the top- if you talk about baseball, like he's in the top ten conversation of just baseball players of all time. Just very, very special, and in this clip he's going to share with you a perspective that he has about giving, and I think it's really going to be valuable for you, so check it out.

Ozzie Smith: I want to be proud of the community in which I live, and if I'm going to be proud of the community in which I live, then I've got to get my hands dirty in trying to help make it the best place that it can be.

Coming here in 1982 changed my life, my family's life, because it gave me the opportunity to raise my family here. People had- they welcomed us with open arms.

It's just been a great community to be a part of. And so if it's going to continue to be that, then I've got to invest in it.

And so I've always believed that it's not just about saying, it's about doing. You’ve got to do something that's going to make it better.

Giving back is the greatest asset in the world, you know? You can have all the trophies and all this stuff on the mantle, but the ability to give back is the greatest asset you can have.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright on this next clip, we've got the guy who I've dubbed as the most interesting man in the world, Jesse Itzler.

Not only does he own part of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, not only did he sell his private jet company to Warren Buffett's company, not only did he have a record deal as a rapper, the list goes on and on of all the incredible things that he's done.

But we had him on the show to share his stories- incredible story. And by the way, he's married to Sarah Blakely. She's the founder and creator of Spanx.

This is a- with a B, billion dollar company as well, and they're just a power couple out of this world.

And so for Halloween, his entire family was actually the entire cast of Scooby Doo, one of my all-time favorite shows, alright? I love Scooby Doo. Shout-out to #jinkies. Alright? You could #jinkies today.

But he literally got his van- he just bought this crazy looking van and turned it into the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. It was nuts, like he goes hard.

And so on the show we had an incredible conversation, make sure to check out that episode if you haven't yet, but in this clip he's going to share how gratitude is about perspective, right?

Gratitude is about perspective, and also it's not that things have to be so big, it's that they need to be big for you in your life. Alright, check this out.

Jesse Itzler: Well I do, I think people think there's a lid on happiness, and I don't, and I think it is a choice. I think that it's a lifestyle, and it starts with gratitude, which we hear all the time.

But I don't feel- very often we don't feel grateful unless something tragic happens, like you hear someone gets sick, or someone dies, someone's in the hospital, they're like, "Oh my God, I feel so lucky," and then the next day it's gone.

I don't feel like I need someone to pass away that's close to me for me to feel grateful. I have a deep, deep appreciation for where I am, what I have, my kids- everything.

Every day, I say to my wife every day like, "Do you understand how lucky we are?" And I'm not talking about money at all, but just- so that's the starting point.

But when I first- my dad owned a plumbing supply house in Long Island where I grew up. I wasn't handed anything, and my first job was as a break-dancer, and believe it or not- I know I don't look the role.

The camera guys are laughing at me. They're laughing at me, man. They're laughing at me.

Shawn Stevenson: We've got to get some of that for the show.

Jesse Itzler: But I grew up in the eighties when I was fifteen years old or whatever, so I realized that there's no way the kids in Washington D.C.- there's a lot of competition in New York. We're as good as the kids in New York, like we invented this stuff, man.

So I convinced my sister, who had just got her driver's license, to drive my friend, Myron, and myself down to Washington D.C. and we would set up like in Georgetown for a couple of hours with a boombox, dance, and make some money.

So we go down to Washington D.C., we're driving down there - I'll give you the fast version - and we set up our boombox in this little parking lot, hit play, people started to gather around.

Myron does his thing, he passes it to me, I do my thing. A couple hours pass, now we've got a big crowd, I take my hat off, I pass my hat around to get the money, we collect like maybe $200 or something.

I pay my sister for driving us down, gas money, we separate some money for lunch and dinner, and Myron and I split like $82- $41 each. I give him his $41, I get my $41, and he counts it up, and then he looks at me, fifteen years old, and he comes over and he gives me a bear hug, and he says, "Man Jess, we're rich." He was like, "We're rich, man."

And we were, because like I realized at that moment that if you- and I was scared the whole ride up thinking about, "What if nobody shows up? What if we're not as good?"

But when you overcome fear, and you put yourself out there, you can get rewarded for doing things that you like, and you can make people feel good. It was a great feeling. It was the start of my entrepreneurial journey.

Fast-forward twenty years later, I was- maybe it was twenty-five years later, I was fifteen, probably twenty years later, I built this company Marquis Jet, we did $5 billion in cumulative sales, we get the phone call, we're selling the company to Warren Buffett, and I just remember at that moment- this is going to sound like a movie or like I'm making it up, but it's not.

I remember maybe not in that exact moment, but certainly now, that I didn't feel any more happy when we sold the company than that moment, and we made more money, than when I made $41. I really didn't.

I mean yes, did it change my life? Did it impact me? But it wasn't like- if I was weighing it on a scale, like, "Oh my God, I was so much more happy because we made this money." You know, I really wasn't.

So in between those two extremes of $41 and selling your company to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, in between those two extremes, what is the gatekeeper?

Shawn Stevenson: Next up we've got a clip from one of the most inspirational figures in my life personally, and somebody that I give gratitude and thanks for just about every day.

For even having the opportunity to spend time with her, and to know her, and to call her a friend, and this is Lisa Nichols.

I don't think that there is a more powerful speaker on the planet, and anyone that has a more powerful message, and a more powerful story.

It's one of my all-time favorite episodes of the show, and she flew into St. Louis to hang out with me in the studio, and just so many special moments came from that. So here is just one of them. Check it out.

Lisa Nichols: Nothing changed in my life but my mind. I was bankrupt, and I love to use the word 'bankrupt,' because bankrupt means there ain't nothing left. I'm done with this version, I'm ready to press reset.

I was bankrupt with being broke and broken. So I begin to search, I became an explorer. And I wasn't- in school I was a C average student. I never got above a C+.

I wasn't extraordinary in anything except for track. I've just got to say, I was state champion for the record.

Shawn Stevenson: Let's go.

Lisa Nichols: I held the 330 hurdle record for eighteen years at my high school, I'm just going to say, but academically I didn't surpass anything other than average.

Academically I struggled for twelve years in school. I was considered right above Special Ed. I found out in my twenties that it was primarily because I'm severely dyslexic.

But I didn't know my- now I use my dyslexia for my advantage. I teach holistically. I go both directions when I teach, right?

But then, I didn't know. And so $11.42, wrapping my son in towels until I can afford to buy him Pampers was my moment, and then I became an explorer of information.

I knew that if my external circumstance was going to change, I had to learn what I didn't know. I had to learn what I didn't know because I was already using everything I knew, and what I knew was getting me what I was receiving.

So apparently people must know something I don't know, and I'm just literally someone who didn't. I mean listen, the last time I took an English class, I got a fail.

The last time I took a speech class, I got a D- and my English teacher told me I was the weakest writer she had ever met in her entire life in front of the entire class.

And my speech teacher said, "Ms. Nichols, I recommend that you never speak in public, that you get a desk job." I kid you not. I kid you not. I kid you not.

So I had no confirmation of who I could become other than my mom and my dad, and they were just like, "Look, have a good life, and don't struggle too much."

You know what I mean? It wasn't like, "You can have everything." It was just, "Don't struggle too much." And when I told my dad I wanted to be a motivational speaker, he was like, "Well, what is that? Is that a real job? Does that come with benefits? You get vacation? Can you feed your baby on that?"

Like it wasn't even a created environment. Now it is, now it's getting hot, it's popular, but it didn't come with any structure.

And so I was bankrupt in who I had become, so I was willing to reinvent Lisa. I was willing to kill away any part of Lisa that was going to hold me back from being the woman that I hadn't even met yet.

That's a big statement because when you kill away, that means you have to sign up for being in constant disruption for a very long time.

And you also have to sign up to walk by yourself for a very long time possibly. You know? And so I was okay with that. I was okay with that.

It was scary, but I knew that I could not sentence myself and my son to a future that looked and resembled this.

So I got a glimpse in a very real way at 7-Eleven - $11.42 - of the life I wasn't willing to live, and the future I wasn't willing to repeat.

So all I kept looking for were new experiences that didn't repeat this. New experiences that didn't look like this. And the further away from what I knew I could get- and I wasn't physically aware. I was still living in Inglewood, you know?

Shawn Stevenson: Inglewood.

Lisa Nichols: I was still driving down Martin Luther King Boulevard. Right, Inglewood. And I was like, "I'm still driving my same little citation." I had a car that was so old, it didn't have two seats.

It had the one seat. Remember them old cars that had the one seat?

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, we drove one of them too.

Lisa Nichols: My grandmother had the car.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, my grandmother.

Lisa Nichols: And it was a hand-me-down, hand-me-down, and I was grateful for it. You know, I couldn't turn left, and when I turned left it got stuck, and then it came unstuck, and then it was dangerous everything on my left side because the car would swerve.

And I was okay with that. I was going to drive that bucket to my future if I needed to. I was okay with disrupting everything for the sake of something unfamiliar, and unfamiliar possibility.

Now I want to be clear, I wasn't running from my past, I'll bring it with me. You know about it in my books, about when I'm stage, I'm okay. I own all of Lisa. Every, every single aspect of Lisa.

Eight months after that moment, my son's father went to prison, and my son is twenty-three, and my son's father is still in prison today.

And I had the journey of pulling the blessing out of that, and understanding what was that about? And finding forgiveness in my heart, you know? And not using that as a crutch, you know?

And so I had all these beautiful gifts that came wrapped in sand paper. I had beautiful gifts, beautiful gifts that came wrapped in sand paper and some took me a month to understand, and some took me ten years to get to the gift because the sand paper was so thick. You know, and so that's who I am.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright, I hope you enjoyed that. Up next we've got Ed Mylett, alright? Ed is- he's just beast mode, alright? He's one of those guys- he's just an exceptional human being, but just massively successful.

And to see somebody who's achieved so much talk about gratitude should really shake us up and make us realize like, "Wait a minute, there might be something to this."

And he actually shared a really powerful little nugget here about how utilizing gratitude can instantly change your perception. Check it out.

Ed Mylett: Gratitude is the antidote to almost everything negative in your life. Gratitude is- love is the most powerful emotion, but gratitude is the emotion that will deliver you the most joy in your life. I'm just telling you.

And so I'm constantly taking inventory of what I'm grateful for, small and big things. I'm a gratitude addict because the normal human being, and my normal proclivity, is to worry, is to stress.

I was grown up because what was going on around me, I was wired to be a worrier. "Is Dad coming home? What if Mom and Dad are fighting? What's the environment going to be like? What's Dad's state going to be when he gets home?" You know?

And so I grew up worrying all the time. So as I got older, the antidote to that was being grateful. And so I'm constantly trying to seek things out I'm grateful for. I mean small and big things.

I mean like it sounds hokey, but like I have this experience, humans have it, like sometimes just the wind just hitting you the right way is like, "Man, thank you, Lord." Right?

So I'm constantly trying to find things that I'm grateful for because your mind goes to work on finding the things you want it to find, and for me I want it to find stuff I'm grateful for.

And the more successful you become - that's why so many successful people are so unhappy - it's the next material thing.

And what most people think is - here's what they think - "I'll be happy when." It's the most common human condition. "I will let myself feel gratitude and happiness when I find the right person in a relationship. When I get a certain amount of money. When I buy that car. When I buy that home. When I get that promotion."

So they delay their happiness until- and that until never arrives, it never shows up. So I always talk about being blissfully dissatisfied. Learning to live blissfully, being happy, but dissatisfied with others.

No relationship between being dissatisfied and unhappy. You can be happy and still dissatisfied at the same time. And so happiness to me is gratitude.

So I'm constantly trying to find things. Like just you being here today, and getting to know you, it's like I'm grateful for this time. Your beautiful wife. What a wonderful way to spend a day, what a wonderful experience, like I'm grateful for that.

And I make sure I remind myself. I interviewed you earlier today, right? I remember in the middle of the interview going, "I'm so grateful for this man. I'm just so grateful he's here." You know?

And so I'm constantly seeking anything I can find that I'm grateful for because it makes me happy. Why wouldn't I do that?

Shawn Stevenson: I hope you enjoyed that clip. Ed is an incredible, incredible individual. And listen, when we're talking about and having this conversation about giving and about gratitude, I just want to share something because there are so many things that I want to accomplish in my life, but I know that we can all do anything, but we can't do everything. Right?

We can do anything, but we can't do everything, and I wanted to, many years ago, 'How can I make high quality organic food more affordable for people?'

Because it's a huge barrier of entry for people, and fortunately over the years I focused on my craft and my gift, and there are other companies coming about that were focused on some of those things, and doing it at the level that they needed to be done at.

And one of those companies is Thrive Market. And so Thrive Market is providing many of the same products that you'd find at organic grocers like Whole Foods and local mom and pop shops all across the world, but they're providing them at 25% to 50% off the retail price that you would typically find. Alright?

Mind-blowing. How are they able to do this? They're cutting out the middle man, alright? They're getting you these incredible products.

Again, this could be- we get coconut oil, our almond butter, we get personal care products, we get household cleaning products.

They've got a whole array of categories that they've curated if you're looking for gluten-free foods, Paleo, vegan, whatever it is, whatever moniker that you're looking for, whatever category, they've curated the very best companies and providing those to you at the very best price.

So if you're not taking advantage, pop over, check them out. It's together as one word, 'modelhealth.' So

You get access- number one, free thirty-day membership, you get an additional- an additional 25% off your first purchase, your entire cart, and you also get free shipping. Alright?

It's a no-brainer. Keep the membership after you get this free trial. Use it, I promise you will not regret it. We save literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

I've got two boys, two growing boys, and I like to eat as well. And so for my family, we utilize Thrive Market all the time. I totally, totally love them, and there's that component as well of paying it forward.

Because for every paid membership that someone gets, they provide a free membership for somebody in need. This could be a low-income household, a teacher, a veteran, but they're looking to really make it so that everybody has access to healthy, high quality food.

Because it's something that we all really should have access to. So again, check them out,

And so now let's get to our next clip, and this one is from somebody who's a big inspiration to me as well, and this is Michael Hyatt.

Michael Hyatt has been on the show a couple of times, and he's provided some massive insights and value to my own life in the various episodes, especially talking about the power of no, and really being able to flex your 'no' muscle and really to identify and focus in on the things that matter most to us.

And I highly recommend popping back and checking out these episodes. As you hear Michael's voice, you're going to hear that there's this sincerity, and there's also this sense of wisdom that he carries, and he's got five daughters.

So I think that he does definitely have some wisdom, and he's also newly a grandfather as well. And so again, just always great talking with him, he's going to share how gratitude plays a role in accomplishing our goals. Check this out.

Michael Hyatt: Yeah, so there's this kind of myth that's out there that says you've got to be careful about being too grateful. And it sometimes shows up for employers.

Don't be too grateful in extending your gratitude to your people because they'll just get complacent. Right?

Or if you're grateful yourself, you might get complacent pursuing your goals, that gratitude leads to contentment, and contentment fights against goal setting.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There were a couple researchers - Robert Emmons and Anjali Mishra - who turned that whole thing on its head.

And so they compared grateful and non-grateful goal striving. They had a big study, and they had the participants keep a gratitude journal, along with a list of goals that they hoped to reach over a two-month period.

So they checked back ten weeks later after they initiated the study. They found that the grateful participants were significantly closer than the others to achieving their goals.

And actually gratitude helps us to achieve our goals. You're not going to get more of what you don't want- or excuse me. You're not going to get more of what you want until you're thankful for what you've got.

And that's where it starts, to be thankful, and to do our goal planning out of a sense of abundance. That's what creates possibilities and all the right feelings and emotions that enable us to achieve even bigger, better goals.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, I love it. So you talk about in the book the first way that gratitude helps us is that it makes us resilient, alright? It makes us resilient, and that's what keeps us hopeful.

And then another thing that you mention is that gratitude reminds us that we have agency. Can you talk about what you mean by that?

Michael Hyatt: Yeah, so when I talk about agency, it means you've got power to affect the outcomes in your life.

So again, it's the opposite of drifting, it's the opposite of thinking that we have no control over our lives, that we're just being pushed around by these invisible forces.

When we're grateful, it's just a reminder to us that there's things that we've accomplished, things that we've done, that actually we're the result of our agency.

And certainly we can acknowledge that other people helped us, that there were outside resources that came to bear, but it's just a reminder that we've got agency in this process, and gratitude helps us reach that.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. We're having an incredible episode dedicated to giving, gratitude, but also what about yourself? What are you giving to you?

I know for myself personally, especially when I've got a lot on my plate - I'm on the road right now, traveling, I've got multiple shows today, just did a little talk this morning, I've got my kids with me, I'm getting them where they need to be, making sure I feed these two youngsters, and of course spending time with my wife.

It's a lot, it can be a lot, but when I need to focus, and again I've got a lot going on, personally one of the things that I use is Alpha Brain from Onnit.

Now nootropics are- they're hot on the streets right now, but we want to look at do these actually work? And first of all, where are they coming from?

What I love about Onnit is that they're utilizing earth-grown nutrients for all of their products, but specifically we're talking about their nootropic product.

And listen to this, they actually did a placebo controlled double blind study to test their nootropic to see does this actually impact the function of your brain?

Here's what they found. This was Boston Center for Memory found that versus a placebo, Alpha Brain from Onnit had measurable significant improvement in verbal memory, brain wave patterns, and focus.

It actually does work. That's what sets this in a whole different category. And they decided, "You know what? We're going to put the money and resources behind it to do some double blind placebo controlled."

This is the gold standard of study to see does this nootropic actually work when it's stacked up against rigorous scientific testing? And it does.

And so if you've yet to do so, or try it out, I definitely recommend you pop over and give it a shot. Alpha Brain- and by the way, when I mention the brain wave improvements, we're talking about more alpha rhythms, and this is when you're getting out of that normal beta or even gamma state of waking.

And your brain waves actually slow down, and you're getting more into that alpha state, that alpha rhythm, and this is where you see a lot more focus take place.

When folks say that they're in the zone, they're dipping into that alpha, they're getting that alpha brain. Alright? So head over, check them out.

It's You get 10% off Alpha Brain and every other product that they carry, including fitness equipment. It's for 10% off everything, so definitely head over there, check them out.

Okay I hope that you're enjoying this as much as I am. Next up we've got Bedros Keuilian, one of my favorite humans, literally give thanks for Bedros every day for being a friend in my life, and inspiration, and wow.

This episode was just remarkable, and so he's going to share how he incorporates gratitude into his own daily success practice, and I think you might get a thing or two from it. So check it out.

Bedros Keuilian: And my morning routine starts in the evening, and it goes back to if you believe that you've got a greater gift in life, and I believe all humans do. You wouldn't by chance be put on this planet.

Like we've got a greater purpose, and the truth of that is someone who I believe has really tapped into one of their big purposes is Elon Musk.

The man right now- there's a rocket with a Tesla in it that's being shot to Mars, right? It's like en route. Like wow, that's big. That's big. Like there's a man reaching for his potential.

And so if you believe that you've got greater potential than where you're at in life, whether it's your health, your business, your relationship, your mindset, then you've got to have a more structured day than the average Joe who's just swimming in that sea of mediocrity.

So for me, my morning routine starts the night before. I make sure that I'm in bed by 10:00 PM, and before I go to bed, I make a list- I do a brain dump of the three to five things I need to do tomorrow morning when I wake up that will move the needle in my life.

Right? It will move the needle in my life in a positive way. And this way, two things happen.

One, by doing the brain dump, I'm not subconsciously thinking about this stuff while I'm sleeping, and it's not keeping me awake.

Two, when I wake up in the morning, and I always wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning, I never hit the snooze button. That's part of my morning routine.

I've conditioned myself that if I hit the snooze button, I've subconsciously accepted ten more minutes of horrible sleep over getting up and living my purpose on this planet.

Like I've chosen that that has a greater good. The ten more minutes of interrupted sleep has a greater value to me, right? And so part of my morning routine is to not hit the snooze button.

The alarm goes off, I turn it off, and I'm up. I'm showered, I drink my- it used to be sixteen ounces of water until you taught me just a few months ago, thirty ounces of water.

Drink my thirty ounces of cold water, make a protein shake and coffee, and I'm outside with my dog Cookie playing catch ten times while I go through my little gratitude exercise.

Our mutual friend Craig Ballantyne said, "Hey Bedros, you've got to start meditating." I tried, meditating was not for me. I choose not to meditate.

However, I've got a little gratitude exercise that anyone listening to this can do and it takes three to five minutes. Just think about three people that you're grateful for in your life, and then once you think about them, just really- like okay, Shawn Stevenson.

I'm really grateful for him. Why? He's just a genuine person, a kind person, a caring person, a family man, and I strive to be more like him in many of those areas.

Okay, well I've thought about it, I took that in, now I'm going to apply it to my life, but I'm going to do one more thing. The next thing is text Shawn a text message of gratitude. Right?

And so just think about three people that you're grateful for who helped you maybe in your life, in your journey, in your health, in your business, and then how did they help you?

Take that in, take two minutes to take that in, and then text the guy or gal and watch the response you get.

Like it's always, "Man, I can't believe you sent me this. Thank you so much. You came at a timely-" Like it is the most selfish thing I can do is to text you a gratitude message because then you're always going to be like, "Bedros, thank you. This meant so much."

I'm going to be just so happy, my morning starts off so well. Right?

Then I'll sit down on my couch, I turn on my phone, and I go into great detail. I put it on silent, screen side down, and two arm lengths away from me. Like look how much specificity.

Because I control my dates, because I don't want to see the screen flash, I don't want to hear it, and I don't want to be tempted by just grabbing it.

It's away from me, and now I take that list that I wrote down the night before, and I dominate that list, and by 9:00 AM I've done more things to move my business, my health, and my mindset forward than most people have done all day.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright next up we've got another really good friend of mine, Jay Ferruggia, and Jay is just- he's an OG in this field, alright?

He's been helping folks offline and online in the fitness domain for a couple decades, and he also- if you saw him, you'd be like, "I'm not messing with this guy."

You might not think that he was as kind and thoughtful as a person that he is. You know, we carry a lot of stereotypes in our minds.

You know, he looks like a gym- he looks like actually he lives at the gym, alright? He looks like he's got a mattress in there, and that's what he does, he lives and breathes and eats fitness.

But man, his heart is as big as his muscles, and he's just such a good guy, such a good friend, and his perspective on gratitude is one that's really special, and I think that it's going to add some value to your life as well, so check this out.

Jay Ferruggia: What's important for everybody to do is kind of do an 80/20 evaluation across the board. I love the book 'The One Thing,' and I think people try to do too many things.

We're all guilty of this. I still try to do it every day, so I have to remind myself. That's where I think habit and routine is important.

So you evaluate your life, "What do I need to stop doing, and what are the few things that are actually going to make a difference?"

So there's a question in 'The One Thing,' he calls it the focusing question, and I think it's what is the one thing I can do today? And you could apply it to all different- to your fitness, to your business, whatever.

What is the one thing I can do right now that will make it such that everything else is either unnecessary or easier to accomplish?

So you kind of dial in and focus, and so I've kind of gotten in this morning routine where I get up, I meditate. It's almost cliché now to meditate, but you know, meditation really does make a difference.

It's obviously not a gimmick, it's been around forever. So I get up, I meditate, I write in a journal because I want to start in a positive way.

So I don't write a to-do list, I do that the night before so I already know. You don't want to get up- you don't want to get up and react. You want to take action.

So if you get up, and you look at your phone, you check email, and you check Instagram, you're just kind of reacting. You want to take action.

So first thing in the morning, I believe it's super important that everything is off. Own that first hour, have that to yourself, and then you're taking action instead of reacting.

So I meditate, I journal. I'll write down the names of five people - minimum of five people. It ends up sometimes being seventeen people that I'm grateful for in my life.

I write three things that I'm grateful- five people, three things. Like the sun was out yesterday, or I got to the beach, or I had an amazing workout, or I had an amazing podcast with Shawn, whatever it might be.

So I do that so I'm happy, I'm grateful, and that kind of just carries into the rest of the day. Then I have one most important task that I'll work on before I turn on my phone and start reacting, and things like that.

Because even when something bad happens, like you don't want to react to that, because then your whole day is out of control, and what can you do if- let's say your favorite singer dies.

Like I was a huge Tom Petty fan, Tom Petty died. If I knew that first thing in the morning, my whole day would have been crushed, and the reality is that each of us has a gift, each of us can do something - like I talked about earlier - to make somebody else smile.

Like you have to be a beacon of light- and this is something like twenty years ago, or even ten years ago, if something happened, I would be down, I was one of those people who lived in the past a lot.

Like, "Oh man, it was way better back then, or I regret things." You always have to move forward, and just think people around you need you.

Like they need you to be that beacon of light. When things are bad, you need to smile and be happy and uplift people. So I'm kind of getting off on a tangent here.

Shawn Stevenson: That was awesome, man.

Jay Ferruggia: But anyways, so that's why I think it's important to just get up, do your thing, focus on you first thing in the morning to be your best self, because if you don't love yourself and if you're not your best self, you can't do all the things that we're talking about here, and that Shawn talks about every week to help other people.

So focus on yourself first thing in the morning before anyone else is up, do what you need to do, and then go about your day.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. I really hope that you enjoyed these clips today, and these very special moments from these incredibly special people, and you take these insights and this energy with you and carry that into this holiday season and also into the next year as a bit of a catalyst in understanding the power that you have within you to express gratitude and to get all of those incredible benefits that come along with it, alright?

This power is within us, and I love what Ed Mylett said, is that gratitude is the antidote- it's the antidote for frustration, fear, pain, regret.

Gratitude is an antidote, and we have access to that by expressing gratitude no matter how negative things might seem to be, there's always something that we can be grateful for.

Alright? And I love the statement that what you appreciate appreciates. And where you put that energy into, life is going to give back more things to be grateful for, if you practice that attitude of gratitude.

Another study I want to share, and there are so many coming out now, because now we have dedicated labs and entire parts of schools all across the world dedicated to something called positive psychology.

For years we were just studying problems, alright? We're good at problems. People have got problems, and we'd go looking for those instead of what makes a healthy, happy, sovereign human being, and studying those qualities. Right? What creates happiness?

And so here's another study, and this was published in the 'Journal of Applied Sports Psychology,' found that gratitude directly increases our perceived self-esteem. Alright?

So how we feel about ourselves, having a practice of gratitude makes us feel better about us. And everything else springs from that, it springs from you, and so you have the right to feel good, you have the right to feel empowered, and having a gratitude practice is going to help to uplift you, and then you can go out and share your gift with the rest of the world.

Alright, I appreciate you so much for tuning into this episode today. If you got some value out of this, please share it out with your friends and family on social media.

Tag me on Instagram, or Facebook, Twitter, all those good places, whatever universe you like to reside in. Tag me and let me know what you thought about the episode.

Alright, I've got some incredible episodes and guests coming up, so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.

And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much.

And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

Maximize Your Energy

Get the Free Checklist: “5 Keys That Could Radically Improve Your Energy Levels and Quality of Life”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Shaun, I’ve been listening to your podcasts for a few years. I’ve gained a plethora of applicable health and wellness practices that have changed my life. You’re absolutely awesome and I appreciate the effort it takes to “show up”. One day I hope to invite you to be a guest on my podcast show. Thanks for your leadership. Sincerely, Janette


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health

When you gather your family around the table to share nutritious food, you’re not only spending quality time with them - you’re setting them up for success in all areas of their lives.

The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes, plus the latest science to support the mental, physical and social health of your loved ones.

Eat Smarter Family Cookbook


The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes + the latest science to support your family’s mental, physical, and social health all in one place.

A family that eats together, thrives together.

Order the cookbook and get an amazing bonus today!