Wondering how to be grateful and stay ambitious at the same time? Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to increase your happiness but how can you continue to be ambitious whilst being grateful for what you have?
I mean, we all want to ensure we’re fulfilling our full potential right? Well, this isn’t easy, but we’ve got all of the answers for you in this episode. Prepare to be motivated & inspired to grab today by the balls & take over the world (sort of).
00:00 – 05:01 Intro
05:02 – 12:27 How to balance Gratitude + Ambition
12:28 – 14:36 How Lloyd learnt how to become more ambitious
14:37 – 20:07 Where to start if you don’t feel gratitude or ambition
20:08 – 24:09 Dan’s switch to becoming more grateful as well as staying ambitious
24:10 – 26:50 Outro
Hi, Pat, the podcast editor here. What's more important, gratitude or ambition? Well today, Dan and Lloyd look to find out. But more importantly, they'll take a look at the benefits of striking a balance between the two.
Because I don't want this to just be an episode where like, Oh, we're so grateful and we're so ambitious. It's like we've been on this journey, and we still are, some of those things will help you and these stories will help you.
Yeah, whether it's ambition or gratitude you're struggling with, you'll hear about practical steps that anyone can take starting today, to help strike that balance and further that, improve your happiness.
If you want to be more ambitious, setting goals and achieving them, even in a small way, is a way of making you more ambitious.
Right, let's get stuck in this is episode 89 of the business anchors podcast.
This is a big question, Lloyd. How can you be grateful for what you have? But stay ambitious.
Oh, I don't know Dan.
This is going to be a good episode.
Thank you for listening. No, this is something I've been reflecting on a lot recently. So have been reflecting a lot on what makes me happy and that sort of thing. And to continue to try and improve those things. The important stuff in life and this is something I identified as being two really important things is being able to be grateful, and kind of feeling content, but also being ambitious. And it's two things that often people don't manage to do together. And often I haven't managed to do it together. I think it's a massive opportunity. If we can manage those two things effectively.
And for those who are listening, thinking, oh this is a fluffy episode, I'm going to skip it. I've got some really practical, actionable things you can do to feel grateful and stay ambitious, and Lloyd's just gonna talk about fluffy like oooh.
So if you are concerned this will be rubbish, because some of it will include me talking. Don't worry, because Dan is also talking and you'll enjoy that.
We did ask the listeners last week to tell us if they like you being on the podcast or if they'd like to solo episodes.
We haven't heard yet. Because last week was five minutes ago in the recording world. But yeah, you know, the consequences may be embarrassing for me.
So Lloyd, would you say you're grateful? Do you practice gratefulness? Is that even a thing?
Dan, I often practice gratefulness while I'm feeling the emotion of entertainment. Yeah, I think personally, I have massive improvements that need to be made feeling gratefulness and gratitude. But I think I also think I'm pretty good at it. But I think I guess when I was thinking about this, I feel like the feeling now that I've developed some things, and I focus on gratitude, and I kind of have gratitude and like feeling content in the same way. In my mind, that's kind of how I feel about it. It brings me a lot of happiness. And, sorry, go ahead Dan.
I was just going to ask why. Why would we talk about being grateful? Yeah. Why would people even want that? Like, what listeners will action some of the stuff we talked about in this episode? What was good about being grateful? Well, why don't you carry on with what you're doing?
From my perspective, stopping and thinking actively putting things in place to think how grateful you are and how lucky you are? To put it simply just makes you a lot happier? That is like, for me, it's as simple as that feeling. Grateful. That's what I get from it.
Can I tell you why I think that's the case? Yeah. Okay. So, you know, it comes back to Mo Gowdat that the happiness expert guy, we've done an episode on him before his happiness equation, which is the classic happiness is expectation minus reality. Yeah. I feel like taking action to show gratitude reduces that gap daily.
So rather than thinking, Oh, I wish I had a Ferrari and I wish I had this. You're like, I've got food and water and I've got a healthy family. I'm so grateful for that. And it like reduces that expectation like if you expect if you lower your expectations in a way and feel grateful for the things that you've got, but again, that At the same time, that's kind of going against the thing of being ambitious.
That's the challenge we're talking about. So exactly this, I think this is why this is interesting. So you're saying, in reality, lower you're, your expectations in some ways to make sure that you are grateful for what you have, you've got amazing things in your life, no matter who you are, there is a level of amazing things you have in your life, I'm sure.
But it's balancing that that's the whole point is that this episode, I think of, if you just say low, your expectations within saying what we're not gonna, we're not going to aim to ever do anything better, we're not going to be ambitious, we're not gonna have goals to work towards.
I think that's the interesting point. And I think this is, so a lot of people, they either have a level of gratitude and they feel content, they feel happy with their lives, and that's a positive thing. And but they, they then lack the ambition, because they're feeling so happy and content, why would I? Why would I have a motivational drive to improve things, I feel so grateful for what I have, and content in this or the opposite.
People aren't grateful for what they have, they just can't see that what they have is good enough. And that drives them to be ultra-ambitious, they're always aiming for something bigger and better, which can be a positive thing to improve elements of your life, but they never get that positive feeling of feeling happy where they are because they're always aiming for to improve and, and being so what's more important, gratitude or ambition.
I wouldn't say personally, there's a more important thing, I think, I think the importance is learning how you can have both of those things.
Okay, how could you have both of those things? This is the big question you want to answer.
Yeah, so I guess so on the gratitude side. I think to am truly grateful. A big thing for me is empathy, and a spectrum of empathy, being a big part of my life and so important in previous episodes, but understanding if you can truly understand the lives of others, you can see the amazingly positive things that you have in your life. And be grateful for those. Right? Can I just give you a few things that will help us feel grateful now?
Okay go on let’s do this.
If you have more than 3195 pounds.
What do you mean, just in the bank? Or?
In any way? Yeah, if you have a car that's worth that you have savings?
3000? How much sorry, 3195 pounds?
Yeah, you are richer than half of the world.
So, if like I'm saying, if you own a car, that is worth three and a half thousand pounds, you are financially better off than half of the world. So even if, you know, if you don't own a home, if you don't own anything else, if you've got and if you've got 1000 pounds in the bank, and you've got a Lego collection worth two and a half 1000 pounds, you're richer than so and I know a lot of people won't have that.
But I just think some people have, financially all these lovely things, and money and savings. And they feel like they're not good enough. When, if you compare yourself to every human, you are in a really good position and a lot of the time.
You've got more?
Yeah, if you're in a country that's at peace, and you're free to do what you want to do. You're extremely lucky. But like most of the listeners to this podcast, are listening from a country that you know, and there are recent things in the news about Russia and Ukraine. Just think, I think that has brought it home for a lot of people how fortunate we are, we have these things.
Oh, but I didn't get that promotion that I was hoping for Steven got it. And you think like, oh, that's I'm in such a terrible situation, I think looking at the bigger picture and realising there's another opportunity in six months for that, and I can work towards it.
But I'm extremely lucky. If you've got any friends. If you've got any sort of support network, a lot of people don't have that. And when I was working with the homeless a couple of years ago, that was a major difference. Like they, a lot of them had the same sort of things as me in their life, other than they no longer had any friends or family.
And that was the difference. And I think just realising even if you've got, oh, you know, I don't have a massive family, but I've got a really good relationship with my sister. Or like, you know, oh, yeah, my family is quite small. But I've got these two friends, I can rely on. If you're focusing on those things. It's really good to think about that sometimes. And you think like, bloody hell yeah. A lot of people don't have that. And I'm fortunate.
So how can you, so I get all that? How can you stay grateful whilst also being ambitious, though? What? Like, how does it work?
Yeah, I think this is the challenge. So I think, I think focusing on that gratitude, but then not doing what I did throughout my 20s. And just thought, which is brilliant by the way, if you're in this position, it's still a good position to be. I am so happy and like, so I just really need to do anything. I'm just really happy, I think.
Now I've like unlocked a cheat code for a new level of happiness, if you can be grateful, but then still set yourself goals to achieve new things, unlocks a whole new level of happiness. Yeah. And I think that's it. So you're at the stage where you've got to like, oh, yeah, I feel grateful. But then not allowing it to make you think, well, I'll just stay where I am. Going oh, even though I'm so happy and grateful, I'm now going to set some goals.
And they could be hugely ambitious goals of growing a business that's worth 50 million pounds, or raising 2 million pounds for charity, or your goals could be, I want to improve my relationship with my brother, or I want to get at least eight hours sleep a night and setting those goals and working towards them, then you get this hugely more positive feeling than you had of just being grateful. And you get the science behind it of setting goals and working towards them.
Even if you're an overall happy person. Have you heard you know doing a to-do list you get a dopamine hit? When your brain anticipates a reward, you get a dopamine hit, which makes you feel good and makes you feel happy.
Anticipates a reward?
Yeah and your brain sees ticking off the thing from your to-do list or a goal you've set as a reward, it likes that. So if you if you've got a massive goal, you break it down into chunks, and then you know well each day, I need to stay under 2000 calories and my diet or each day, I need to make sure I contact three new people to make relationships for my business, whatever it is, whatever goal is in or outside of your business.
And then when you tick those each day have a thing where you go yeah. You get this hit every single day, every single thing. There's a level where it says it gives you that dopamine hit. And you have that in addition to the positive feelings you get from being grateful and grateful.
So what was your switch? Because I remember Lloyd in his 20s, early 20s, who was very happy, but a bit of a coaster. Not like you're, I class you now as very ambitious. And like that kind of stuff. What was the switch? Because I think there might be some listeners who might think I'm just happy doing what I'm doing. So, you're saying you got this new thing of like, if you did that, and you were ambitious as well. It's like this new thing. What switched in your head?
And for me personally, it was probably feeling that even though I was happy. This could get deep I suppose but even though I was happy, I felt like I needed to prove to you and to our dad, that I could achieve things if I wanted to. That's the reality of it. Like I was just happy. And I knew and I would say to dad and stuff. I'd say, Oh yeah, if I wanted to do that I could. He was very supportive. Yeah, but I could see that he didn't believe it.
But you get the logic of if someone says yeah.
So then then I think had the thing of well, I want to make, I want to make my family proud of me. And even if I'm feeling happy in my head, if they are kind of and it was through my all of my school, and everything was always he's got so much potential if he tried at anything. And so yeah, I think eventually I kind of thought, well, I want I want people to believe what I feel in my head that I can do these things. So I started actually trying Yeah, and then unlock this thing of, Oh, wow.
If you can that that feels even better. When you're grateful and content in your life and have that good feeling but you're also getting the dopamine hits of achieving a goal and being ambitious. And then I realised like, oh, that's even better than when I was just happy and grateful content for what I had in my life. Yeah, so that's where it came from. For me, I think and what made me try it and then realized, oh, shit, this is even better.
So what can I share something that I think with gratitude and ambition, I think if someone's listening, because I think there's some people listening who have neither who or who would say, you know, we just talked about you, you had the gratitude and we're happier. You didn't weren't ambitious.
I think there's some people who are listening who think oh, I want to improve both. What should I do? And I recently listened to a few good podcasts and stuff and learn some stuff. Right? So there's a really good podcast I discovered called what Shawn Spooners podcast life and lessons.
15:10 LloydIs that a real name? Okay, cool.
Yeah, it's an interesting podcast, I actually discovered him because he did an interview with Chris Williamson, who has modern wisdom podcast, which is another really good podcast. And he taught was talking about this gratitude journaling. And previously, I've thought it to be very fluffy and like, oh, yeah, sure do that like, but he talks to through this thing of every day, he made this rule where he would have to write in the notes on his phone, something he was grateful for.
And I read this in Mo Gawdat’s book about happiness. Solve for happy yeah, where he talks about this activity called three good things, where, throughout the day, you pick three good things that you're grateful for. And at the end, you look at it and, and it just made complete sense. Because on Shawn spooners podcast, he mentioned, when he started doing this, here's, oh, I've got to think of something, got to find something grateful when it was just tedious.
Eventually, he noticed himself throughout the day, looking for things he was grateful for. And it made him feel better, because he was actively like, oh, you know, lm sitting here, record this podcast, wow, this is a real cool send that the team have built that we've enabled them to build by hiring them.
And like you can, you can just if you sit down for a second and start to think about things, you can show more gratitude. So I think if you're someone who wants to be more grateful, then there's certain activities you can do and things you can do like that journaling. And every day make me do that.
As a first step. I used to do something when I wasn't feeling as happy for a short period, I got into a routine. I remember this vividly because it was in my old house. And I heard I don't think it was Shawn Spooner, but it's a similar thing or Mo Gawdat. But the similar thing, I'd get up, I'd make my cup of green tea, and I'd look out the window.
And I'd think of three things that I'm grateful for. This was like before anyone in the house got up, so you kind of got your own time. And then I think of three things I wanted to achieve that day. And none of them had to be hugely big things.
But I, you know, it might, you know, wake up, and I'm grateful that my son is enjoying his karate that I took him to yesterday. That's brilliant, like, so cool to see. I'm grateful that today, I'm going to work, and I've got a job that I genuinely enjoy. Most people would love to be doing what I'm doing. And then like, grateful I've got this lovely house.
And each day, there could be things that repeated from the day before, whatever, but it's amazing how just it making your brain think of those things just for a moment does boost you. It sounds too fluffy and like, oh, yeah, that's Is that going to have an effect. But it genuinely does.
I think you've moved on to the thing that I was going to talk about, which is the ambition side.
No, but that's good. Like, you know, you just said you thought of three things you were grateful for, which is, in terms of what I've been listening and reading about is one step you can take actively scheduled time to think of them or write them down or wherever you want to do that. There are other ones I've seen where it's like a grateful jar where you write on a bit of paper and put it in a jar and whatever either way you want to do it, you just actually think about it, do something, do something. On the other side, the ambition side, you hit on this with your thing where you said set three goals for the day.
And I've been thinking a lot about this. And setting goals and achieving them even in a small way is a way of making you more ambitious. Because once you get a taste of the feeling of setting a goal and achieving it, no matter how small. So my goal today is to do 20 minutes of exercise or to do this piece of work and get it done, whatever, it's not massive goals, you then get a flavour of what it's like to achieve them and you get that dopamine hit or whatever it is that like oh, that was good.
And then you kind of get addicted to it and you're like I want more of that and you know you want a bigger, better dopamine hit so you think right the next thing I want to achieve and I've from a sales perspective as the business has grown you know, our first sale when someone agreed to spend 100 pounds with us.
We were jumping around like oh my god, someone will pay us 100 pounds for our time. And now see we've you know on significantly bigger deals and each time it's stepped up a bit and you're looking for that bigger hit, bigger hit, bigger hit and so yeah, I think as a starting point, if you want to be more ambitious, start by setting small daily goals.
And as you start to achieve those, then start to set bigger ones and it will be like The Steppingstone effectively, eventually, you'll be setting like us. Now we've got to a stage where we're setting a 10-year goal or 2030 plan that we want to achieve, which is very ambitious.
Interestingly, I think for me, I was quite good at being grateful and feeling gratitude and tense side for a long period of my life and needed to work on ambition. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like perhaps you've always been quite good at the ambitious side. Yeah. And in earlier years, I would say, from my perspective, weren't as good at the gratitude side. So how do you think, well firstly, is that true? And what, why? Or how do you think that's happened? Have you thought about it?
So I think in my early days, you're exactly right. Very ambitious. But, and I think I had the thing where my expectations, I wanted the Ferrari and I wanted a lot of stuff. I was like, the end goal is to have a massive house, and a nice car, and all that kind of stuff. And I guess as I've gone through this journey, and had a son, and that kind of thing, and built a family. My priority, I still I do like, I'd say I'm a lot more than you on that side of things in that I still want more stuff, where's your very content, but I think my priorities kind of shifted a bit.
And now I'm more like, I want to build a wicked life for my family. And like a Ferrari isn't going to help them much. Whereas, you know, renovating my house for them, which I'm currently doing is more of a thing that I'd be wanting to spend money on. I'm trying to think of what was the shift? I think it must, it probably was when maybe when Brody my son was born. And I think that's quite a big life change. So it's a bit of a shock to the system.
And you're suddenly like, Oh, there's another person I need to look after. So the selfish thing of, I'm going to work hard. And I'm going to buy myself this, and I'm going to get that it sort of gets boiled down a bit.
Big time, for reflection on how, are you feeling and what you're doing?
Yeah. Oh, and another thing was, which was a big shift for me, was the feeling and very fortunate feeling of getting to a point in my life where I felt comfortable in the sense of, it wasn't getting me to the end of the month thinking, Ah, how am I going to pay for that? Or what if my car breaks down?
And, again, I know, I'm grateful for being able to get in that position. But feeling like that, I felt was the feeling of not being stressed about that side of things was better than buying something nice that I want and then be having the stress as well. Does that make sense?
That's good. I think is being you're about being grateful for your position of, of being kind of comfortable financially as in you. You're not worrying. Can I put food on the table? Yeah. And that sort of thing. Feeling that gratitude? And for what you already have, which I think is, rather than just purely focused on your goals, like because you could a lot of people and you could just ignore that stuff? Like, yeah, yeah, of course, I'm managing to do well enough.
I was I had those goals years ago. Yeah. Like, I'm aiming for this, and this, but I think, yeah, good to reflect on that. Like, it's great things going on.
But now where I'm at now, I feel like I'm there. I want both now. So I'm now feeling super ambitious, to not just get Ferrari or whatever. But to build the business and build this thing. And be successful in the sense of building something that has a positive impact, you know, we've just been developing a positive impact plan.
Yeah, positive impact on our employees' lives, the people around us, and, you know, me and my family, and you and I feel superb. But now I feel in that comfortable place. Now. It's like full steam ahead for taking things to the next level. But it's taken shitloads of time to get here. So it's not just a thing that's happened overnight.
It's really interesting that for both of us, obviously, we this, this whole episode is how to how we feel, being able to be grateful and ambitious at the same time is, it's such an amazing thing to get to if you can, and it's interesting. I feel we both had one at one side of that and we've had to learn how to get the other one over time. I think a lot of people will be in the same position people will either be listening like you thinking oh yeah, I'm always like young Dan aiming for the next thing but not thinking about how lucky I am or they're like me thinking,
Yeah, I'm just I'm quite happy with what's going on but I'm not pushing myself to achieve bigger things. So hopefully, it's a bit of one of those Wake-Up Calls of like, you know, give the other side a go and see if you can improve your happiness and how you're feeling through that.
And if you're not, like you said earlier if you don't have either, you know, make a start with one of them either start the kind of goal setting and ticking that thing of each day and getting that dopamine hit of achieving something, or the exercise of gratitude, I think it'd be good if you're thinking I'm a, I don't do well with either of these things, start with one of them, and, and improve it.
And then at some point when you think, Okay, now I'm feeling grateful for everything. I'm getting that happiness from being grateful. Now I can go on to the ambition thing of what goals do I want to achieve? So? Yeah, interesting how different people have different things naturally. And yeah, interesting that we had to go from either side and learn the other half. Yeah.
And I'm hoping people listening to this will get value from maybe because they're in a position we were in or are in and because I don't want this to just be an episode where like, Oh, we're so grateful. And we're so ambitious. It's like, we've been on this journey, and we still and still got a long way to go. But there are certain things that we've done that have helped and because some of those things will help you and these stories will help you.
Yeah. A bit of a different episode today. That was interesting. For me, sorry. But yeah, but different. Hope you enjoyed it, guys. And we'll be back or just Dan, depending on your feedback. For the next episode. Really good chat Dan. Thank you. See you next week. I see you next week. See you next Tuesday. Oh, god. Isn't it Thursday? Nice.
See you next Thursday.
See you next Thursday.
Hopefully this has been useful and helped to understand how to be more grateful for what you have and also stay ambitious. If you have any more questions or want to know how Knowlton can support you Start A Conversation.