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Gratitude Made Easy

Information about the importance and validity of the role that gratitude can play in improving your performance has become commonplace. People from all walks of life are utilizing the act of being grateful to get better in some aspect of their performance. Being grateful helps them resolve issues and increase their levels of health and happiness.

These people have discovered the truth of what Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, points out: “It is not joy that makes us grateful, but rather gratitude that makes us joyful.” 

Brother David goes on to describe the process of being able to utilize the benefits of “the gentle power” of being grateful. Energy comes to you when you are able to be aware of this gift, that present opportunities to stay present and take advantage of each moment. Brother David breaks down the process into the simple steps of Stop – Look – Go.

To appreciate Brother David and his process is to be aware of the devotion that Benedictine Monks make each day to meditation, chanting, praying, being kind to one another and living in harmony with their principles. Indeed, the life of a Benedictine Monk involves an extreme devotion much like a professional athlete.

While the Monk is devoted to living a life of spiritual truth, the professional athlete must adhere to a similiar devotion to the develpoment and maintenance of his/her physical skill set. Hence, the Stop–Look–Go process works well with performance coaching and it is a great way to convey how gratitude isn’t just a passive feeling but an ACTIVE engagement with life.

While it may seem strange to compare a Benedictine Monk with a professional athlete, they actually share seven traits in common: patience, focus, discipline, passion, skill, determination and competency.


Gratitude provides the focus and feeling to appreciate the moment.

In baseball, imagaine the batter on deck focused on feeling how much he loves to hit under pressure.

Or in every day life, if we are standing in line or stuck in traffic, and we’re annoyed by a long wait, we can decide to shift our focus towards gratitude and realize that we have the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the moment. We could, for example, transform waiting time into a moment of calm reflection on an area of personal growth.


Gratitude provides the clarity to make the right decisions and establish a process that works.

In baseball again, the infielder that spends a liftime fielding ground balls, incorporating performance breathing and focusing on the sensations, feelings and core process that produces the desired results on a competitive basis.

Or in everyday life, I’m thinking of an artist facing a creative block. Appreciation for the present moment, even something as simple as noticing sunlight on a canvas, can ground an artist, allowing them to transcend the block. Gratitude can shift focus from what's lacking to what's abundant, and that leads to a positive change in thinking and a lightness of heart. And those can then lead to possibilities, facilitate relaxation, enhance creativity, and spark passion.


Gratitude provides the energy to follow through and complete the process.undefined

In baseball, the player that gets up to bat in a pressure situation. He is able to breathe, settle down and focus on doing it for the team. This focus takes the pressure off and allows him to swing easy and drive the ball.

In life the go is a summary of my understanding of the step. Instead of being driven by the pressure of perfection or fear of failure, if we anchor our expectations in gratitude, the journey or assignment or challenge will be grounded in a sense of calm and resilience that allows us to learn from the successes and setbacks.

In closing, the Stop–Look–Go process shows how gratitude can transform challenges into opportunities, rekindle passion in our endeavors, and set a foundation for realistic, fulfilling ambitions.

Please consider the devotion that has been reguired of Isiah Kinner Falefa to complete the Stop–Look–Go process daily basis and remain competitive. From being an undersized freshman in high school, to producing one of the best performances ever in a high school baseball tournament in Hawaii.

To being drafted by the Texas Rangers. Two years later and he's a starter in the major leagues. Winning a golden glove playing every position in the infield. Being traded to the Yankee’s, handling the pressure of playing in front of the fans in New York, and winning the award for being the best teammate.

Then being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Rehabing from a serious injury, playing three positions; catcher, short stop, and third base. And the whole time he has seized every opportunity to play and improve his attitude, fitness, endurance and his acceptance, passion and skill level! Bravo Isaiah, you have excelled at a life that is as demanding as a Monk-like existence. You have maintained the devotion that has made you successful in the Major Leagues!

That’s HiLevel!