I have been keeping a daily gratitude journal for more than five years. It has changed my life as a business leader, husband and father, but mostly, as a person.

My gratitude practice started as a New Year’s resolution. Just 14 days after my new endeavor began, my newborn passed away in my arms. It was a moment of immense pain that unleashed the worst year in my life. Later, however, I realized that it was also my best.

Despite the pain, I continued my gratitude journal. On the day of my loss, I was grateful for the opportunity to hold and kiss Thiago, my baby boy, before his early departure. Making the decision to journal allowed me to learn that in any given day there is always a reason to be grateful. This philosophy applies to my personal, family and business lives. It is all about attitude and choosing the right lens to view life. My decision led me to a fulfilling and endless journey; one that keeps my enthusiasm alive and kicking.

On 23 January 2021, I wrote my 1,850th gratitude entry. Each day, I write a bite-size phrase expressing gratitude for anything about my day: a moment, an event or simply a feeling. Gratitude has become a habit. I have become a “gratitude explorer.” I look for gratitude everywhere. I enjoy its positive effects, which are backed by science: better health, positive emotions, and deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Find the opportunities

Challenges and setbacks are part of growth, and thus, are a part of the CEO´s agenda. By developing a gratitude mindset, you focus on what you already have, not on what you are missing. That´s the key to abundance — in business, in family, in life. That is how you learn to reframe any context and find gratitude within the hidden opportunities in adversity. It is not about being blinded by optimism but rather about choosing where and how you focus your energy. This is how you grow as a person and as a business leader. If you grow, your business is more likely to flourish.

It is not about being blinded by optimism but rather about choosing where and how you focus your energy. ”
— Luis Pedro Recinos, Managing Director, CMI Corporate share twitter

Self-help businessman, motivational speaker and convicted felon James Arthur Ray says:

“A person of power embraces challenges in complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, rather all is experienced as an opportunity and a privilege to venture and grow.”

The best way to develop a gratitude mindset is through habit, which you can nurture by journaling. You can keep a simple list in your smartphone notepad (as I do), or you can choose from a plethora of apps that help you keep your gratitude project on track. You can also go the classic route and use a fancy notebook with a nice cover. Choose whatever works for you, but keep it real. Be inspired. Be consistent. Be enthusiastic about your project and write your words with intent. Share your adventure with friends and colleagues. Drop the veil and be vulnerable.

The 6 domains of gratitude

There are infinite reasons to be grateful. Become a gratitude explorer yourself. I have identified The 6 Domains of Gratitude® that serve as your compass in your voyage, and shed light on all the blessings that are in front of you.

Domain 1: Wonders

Rediscover the awesomeness in nature and life.

Life is amazing. But life is also busy, and technology is increasing the pace. When you fail to stop and enjoy the view along your journey, you begin to take things for granted. Don´t let familiarization blind you from the miracles of life and nature. Slow down. Enjoy. Be grateful. Live in awe, as a state of everyday consciousness.

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

Domain 2: Adventures

Live in the present and collect memories.

Any moment, despite how small or simple, can become an adventure. Experiences create memories, and memories awake our feelings. Feelings are the raw material for happiness. This is how experiences are not just moments. They are adventures. By being aware of the joy in each moment, you will multiply the adventures in your life.

Domain 3: Milestones

Acknowledge your hard work and those who helped you.

When your reach the top of the mountain, be proud of yourself. Be grateful for your achievement and for overcoming the obstacles along the way. Enjoy success, but never forget those who pushed you along the way. Nobody becomes successful without the help of others. And don’t forget to be grateful for your adversaries. They made you stronger.

And don’t forget to be grateful for your adversaries. They made you stronger. ”
— Luis Pedro Recinos, Managing Director, CMI Corporate share twitter

Domain 4: The sweet and simple

Make every moment count. Make it a perfect moment.

The greatest benefits of gratitude come from the simple things and moments in life. Unlike big life milestones, they are all around you. Every day, every time. Enjoying the sweet and simple is how you learn to be happy, and you learn such enjoyment through gratitude. Any ordinary day can become extraordinary when you are grateful. When you learn to turn simple moments into perfect moments, you learn to savor life.

Domain 5: Life coincidences and luck

Connect the dots and find meaning.

Finding meaning in life coincidences is how you make sense out of life, and when you find gratefulness in the improbable (good or bad), you learn that everything in life happens for a reason. The view is yours to choose, and when you do, you amplify your radar strength to detect more coincidences and find more meaning. In other words, you multiply your luck. Gratitude is the alchemist of opportunities and serendipity.

Domain 6: Challenges and setbacks

Find the hidden opportunities within adversity.

We all have negative moments that arouse unwanted feelings. Tough moments are part of life. So are pain and loss. Give yourself permission to experience negative emotions. It is human. But don’t get stuck. When you find the opportunity to grow, you will find the reason to be grateful for. Find the hidden gift. Find the collateral beauty.  Learning how to translate the negative into something positive is the best example of gratitude expressed in its maximum potential. Bad days are part of the happiness formula. Face them head on, with an optimistic perspective to learn, grow and mature.

Take a moment and think of your most challenging setback. Try hard to find gratitude in it. If you dig deep, you will venture and grow. When you are grateful, you become more aware of life, and that leads to happiness. If you are happier, you will sprinkle those benefits to those around you: at home, work, society. As business leaders, we have a gigantic network; we have the capability to share such joy with a profound impact. And this is how, by developing an attitude of gratitude, we can all spread happiness to the world.

Good luck on your journey. Be grateful, venture and grow!