Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A big blog of gratitude.

       A friend and colleague I can count on for an insightful view of life gave me something to read. It's called "Stumbling toward Gratitude", by Catherine Price.

       Ms. Price writes about self-help books, and their offers of secrets to happiness. She notes that positive psychologists talk a lot about the same concept: gratitude. That people who try to become more grateful about everyday things are likely to become happier and even healthier. I began to wonder how this could apply to marketing.

       If I'm more grateful in my daily life, will a happier me become more sensitive to the people I work with (for whom I'm grateful), the place I work (grateful for that), and the students I teach (the ultimate gratitude)?

       As an advertising person, will gratitude help me become more conscious of the needs of the market? Will the happiness I derive make my writing more appealing, the products I write about more desirable?

       You know something? I think so. Sour people's work turns sour. Sour people are more concerned with their own needs, and get sourer when they tabulate how their own needs aren't met. However, sometimes sour people are sour for a good reason, such as sadness and loss. I'm not sure which comes first, happiness or gratitude.

       Ms. Price talks about "making a conscious effort to savor all the beauty and pleasures in daily life". Wouldn't that thought be great in a commercial right about now? Can't TV viewers use a breath of fresh air, a peaceful vision of a simpler life, or a robin, a bluejay, a petunia in times like these? 

       The author talks about taking her boyfriend out to dinner at Cafe Gratitude, here in Berkeley, where they are all focused on the topic. Not a bad focus to have if you're marketing anything. In fact, the time I was there, after dinner, the waitress asked everybody what they were grateful for. I asked her if she was grateful to have our group as customers. She thanked us profusely for coming.

       Try it. Be grateful and who knows? People just might be grateful back.

1 comment:

  1. I am grateful for your enthusiasm for teaching and sharing that spark with students and faculty.