In my other life, I’m an event producer. At 6:30 am on Day One, I asked everyone on headset what they were grateful for that day. Everyone had an answer. Well, everyone but the poor guy that was on his 7th consecutive week on the road and was suffering from a head cold. We gave him a pass.
I repeated this exercise on Day Two and again, everyone had an answer (even sick and tired dude). On the morning of Day Three the crew was volunteering things for which they were thankful.
“I’m grateful I’m going home day.”
“I’m grateful the client likes James Brown.”
“I’m grateful it’s National Drink a Beer Day.” (I love show business…)
So what? Why dedicate 400 words to gratitude on show site? Because it actually can make a difference. Smart people in colleges and research labs have been busily studying the effect of gratitude on us, average humans. The research shows what some cultures have known for eons. When we set our minds on gratitude we adjust our attitudes and perceptions.
A 2003 study by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology gives us several benefits of practicing gratitude.
The study showed that creating a daily list of all the things you are thankful for is linked with a brighter outlook on life and a greater sense of positivity.
The same study goes on to show that a consistent gratitude practice could also boost pro-social behaviors, such as helping other people. The production crew’s make or break success is dependent on how well we work as a team in our high stress, high adrenaline live show environment.
Web MD published an interview with University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons who said, “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress.” We all know that show site can be stressful. Practicing gratitude both onsite and in our “real lives” can help us cope with that stress more effectively.
Let’s face it, the work we do as live event planners and producers is hard. Maybe if we all paused daily to count our blessings, we would all be a little happier and productive.
What are you grateful for today?
Just for today
I will think of three things for which I am grateful, even if it’s something as simple as I have a bed, a refrigerator, a job, clean running water….
God, thank you.