CM 063: Janice Kaplan on the Power of Gratitude

blog-post-janice-kaplanGratitude has a dramatic impact on well-being and success, yet many of us are not aware of this research.

In this groundbreaking book, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life, Janice Kaplan explains the science behind the power of gratitude. The author of twelve books, including The New York Times bestselling memoir, I will See you Again, Janice was an award-winning producer at ABC-TV Good Morning America, Executive Producer of the TV Guide Television Group, and Editor-in-Chief of Parade Magazine.

In this episode, Janice explains the surprising, counterintuitive connection between gratitude and happiness. She also shares simple steps we can take today to increase the amount of gratitude we express and how doing it can change your life.

Here are some things that came up in our conversation:

  • how a mindset of gratitude gives us control over our own happiness
  • simple steps you can take to express gratitude right now with family and friends
  • the mental and physical health benefits of practicing gratitude
  • 90 percent believe gratitude makes us happier yet under 50 percent express it
  • Our attitude toward life events determines how they impact us
  • Choosing gratitude means gaining control and not waiting for happiness to arrive
  • Gratitude is as simple as finding one thing each day to be grateful for
  • When we appreciate others and show gratitude, they flourish
  • Gratitude changes our brain
  • Gratitude helps us sleep better, and lowers stress and blood pressure
  • Experiences and interactions with others makes us happier than buying stuff
  • Prioritizing gratitude helps us pay more attention
  • Recognizing how fortunate we are helps us be more generous
  • 81 percent say they would work harder for a grateful boss
  • 90 percent believe grateful bosses are more successful
  • Being appreciated is highly motivating
  • Ambition and gratitude play nicely together – can achieve and be appreciative
  • Gratitude can get us out of the comparison game
  • We are built to find redeeming value in difficult life events
  • It is not happiness that makes us grateful but rather gratitude that makes us happy
  • Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers figured out gratitude a long time ago
  • Share a photo of something you are grateful for
  • Send a text of gratitude

Links to Topics Discussed

Parade Magazine

John Templeton Foundation

National Gratitude Survey



Massachusetts General Hospital

Tom Gilovich

Paul Piff

Monopoly game

Daniel Gilbert

David Steindl Rast

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. As always, thanks for listening!

Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise!