Lesson 1: On Gratitude

Let’s jump right in with this excellent video from Soul Pancake on the importance of gratitude in finding happiness. Please view the following 7:13 video below:


I wanted to mix up my approach for those who are taking all six of my courses in the Reframe Your Career Game curriculum. This video kicks us off to a great start for two important reasons:

  1. Career work is about finding happiness in life. At least, I see this search as the root of all client help seeking behaviors.
  2. Emotional states are scientifically connected to important career development factors such as decision-making, self-efficacy, and workplace conflict.

My hunch is that these two reasons are connected which means a discussion of fostering gratitude in career practice is an important element of career services work. In other words, you came to the right place.

Let’s take a moment and put this idea to the test. Now, I want you to keep a journal throughout this course. This can be an existing journal you use, a document you keep on your computer desktop, or a sketchbook you choose to doodle in throughout this course. The important thing is that your journal works for you AND that you use it!

Many of the journal prompts will come from me as written text but for this first entry I am going to rely on our friends at the WellCast Channel on youtube.com to explain your journaling assignment in this 4:43 video below:


Now, please take 5 minutes and write your first gratitude journal entry.

Take a mindful moment and check in with yourself. Do you feel a difference in your own emotional state after journaling? How would you feel if you contacted someone included in your gratitude reflection and shared with them? You may do this if you choose.

Please follow through and write journal entries throughout the week as prompted by the video. I also encourage you to continue with these check-ins on your mood or emotional states as it connects to this gratitude activity.

Now, our exercises in this class are not a controlled experiment thus they are not reliably scientific. The emerging field of neuroscience is helping accelerate our understanding of happiness, well-being, and the human experiences that foster them.  Let’s take a moment and look at some of the relevant existing science.

Please read the article below that describes some of studies referenced in the video above in greater detail as well as many more that support the science behind fostering gratitude.

I want to try something here before we watch the final video in this first lesson. I am going to have you follow a short-guided meditation that fosters gratitude. Before pushing play on the video below, please do the following:

  1. Tune out distractions by closing your door/moving somewhere private, closing your email other distractions on your computer, etc.
  2. Make your body comfortable. You may do this by sitting squarely and straight in your chair, moving to a seated position on a pillow, or laying down comfortably.
  3. Take off your shoes, cover yourself with a blanket, or do anything else that makes you feel physically comfortable.

I am not a guided imagery or meditation expert, yet I do incorporate a short gratitude meditation that I will reference in the closing dialogue below. Before learning about my approach, please view the full 6-minute guided meditation found at the link below.


Now, I would like to guide you through the first dialogue for the course. I use the term dialogue versus lecture or presentation because I hope to engage you in a dynamic process of personal exploration and learning. Please read a sample score report for the Career Beliefs Inventory found here. 

Familiarity with this will help you better understand some of the content of the dialogue.

As a reminder, please have a writing utensil and paper (at least one blank) with you before you begin. This first video is a longer than the rest in this course (29 minutes) but I think sets the stage for future lessons. Please view the first dialogue below.


Now that you have finished with Lesson 1, answer questions 1-3 on your worksheet. Mark this section complete and go to Lesson 2!