Giving thanks is probably on your mind this week if you’re here in the US. And there’s a lot to be grateful for. There’s science behind gratitude and how it can enhance your health and well-being. Dr. Glenn Fox from the University of Southern California joins us to chat about the research on gratitude and how to apply it in your daily life. We also touch base on how gratitude plays a role in high performance and what he’s learned from his work with entrepreneurs and Navy SEALS.
The Science of Gratitude
- How gratitude is defined
- The benefits of gratitude
- What gets in the way of gratitude
- Why gratitude is a positive emotion and also a skill
- The practices he uses in his daily life to apply the research on gratitude
- How to start a gratitude practice
- How gratitude plays a role in high-performance among entrepreneurs
- What to consider before becoming an entrepreneur
- And…what he learned from being in Back to the Future 3 way back in the day
Glenn joins us from California.
Dr. Glenn Fox is a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, in the Marshall School of Business. His current projects focus on neural systems for emotion regulation, high stakes training, and developing entrepreneurial mindset skills in founders and business leaders.
Glenn received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from USC, where he focused on the neural correlates of gratitude, empathy, and neuroplasticity. Following graduate school, he started a company, Ph.D. Insight L.L.C., which focused on providing data science consulting for small businesses and early-stage startups. Prior to joining Marshall as a faculty member, Glenn led the Performance Science Institute at USC where he worked with the United States Marine Corps, Army Research Laboratories, Seattle Seahawks, and numerous Olympic athletes and Fortune 500 companies to examine the role of mindset in business and high stakes pursuits.
Currently, Glenn is the Director and Founder of the USC Found Well Initiative which aims to understand and promote entrepreneurial mindset in founders and business leaders. He also serves as a Principal Investigator at the USC Sensorimotor Assessment and Rehabilitation Training in Virtual Reality Center (SMART-VR) and a fellow of the Brain and Creativity Institute.
Outside of USC, Glenn serves as the Chief Science Officer of the C4 Foundation, which serves to strengthen and protect Navy SEAL families. Glenn is also currently on the advisory board of the Flow Research Collective, where he works with Steven Kotler on projects related to gratitude, flow, and high performance. He consults regularly with companies and media outlets on topics ranging from small business management, gratitude, and high performance.
Glenn is an avid maker and restorer of things old and metal. He lives in LA with his wife and son.
For More on Dr. Glenn Fox
Follow on Twitter @glennrfox
“Gratitude is a word we hear thrown around a lot, and I think that’s a good thing. And we only begin to understand gratitude more. The more we begin to look for it. And as you start to look and observe gratitude, you realize that it’s so much more than what people talk about. We hear the word gratitude, and we think about it as a synonym for happiness, a lot of the time, but this limits what I think gratitude really is – and what it really can do for people. It’s more than happiness. It’s more than just getting something nice. It is a framework. It’s part of our moral compass for how we keep track of our relationships to others. It’s part of our deepest motivational circuits.”
On Paying Attention
“I think it’s as simple as paying attention. So there are ways to nudge ourselves to feel grateful – leave your gratitude journal on your desk so that when you go to work, you’ve got to move your gratitude journal. Or put it by a side of your bed, so every time you go to bed, you’ll have to move your gratitude journal and turn on your light and say ‘Oh, I better fill this thing out right now.’ So little nudges like that I think can make a big difference – and soon you’re starting to pay attention. So I really think the biggest hurdle, honestly is just not treating it like a skill, treating it like a trait that you’re born with, or you have, or you don’t, and that’s completely false. So treating it as a skill to be developed and then designing ways so that we pay attention is the best way. We lose gratitude when we’re not paying attention to what’s around us – when we’re not paying attention to the present moment. And we all do this. I say, we intentionally, I’m not saying this is me. I’m right there with you. That’s when I notice it personally it’s like: ‘Oh, if I designed my life to practice this a little better, I get more of it.’ So really, it’s as simple as paying attention. But the ramifications of that are pretty profound in terms of setting our life around our mental health and mental recovery and mental flourishing.”
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