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This week we want to talk about gratitude in an ungrateful world.

But first, our Daily Domination Journal is now available for pre-order! If you enjoy the podcast, you will love the DDJ. We put together all the tools, routines, and templates we use into the journal to make it really easy for you to follow and save more time, make more money, and be more productive. Check it out here.

Why Gratitude?

We’ve been talking a lot about how we are an accumulation of our habits. After going through a lot of school or owning your own business for awhile, you can get bitter, fatigued, robotic, emotionless, or many other things.

We need to intentionally practice feeling grateful and practice expressing gratitudes. If you do this day in and day out, you will notice a big difference in how you feel and how you react.
Now it’s important to note that this takes time. Like months. Don’t expect to write down a few things on a piece of paper for 2 days and suddenly your world is going to be non-stop sunshine and rainbows and lollipops. It takes a long time to make this mental shift. I think for me it took 6-12 months until I really noticed a difference, which was purely retrospective.

The More Successful You Are, The More You Need This

When you are successful and have big dreams, there can be a discrepancy. You can achieve big success, but because you think so big and dream so big, your success is relatively small in your own mind.

What would have a year ago been a huge victor now feels like nothing. This is a dilemma because you should feel successful but you want so much more and know you can achieve so much more. There is a sense of frustration.

So despite in reality you being successful, you never feel that way. This is a very important situation in which you need to practice gratitude.

It keeps you grounded. Celebrate the small victories. Find the things you can feel proud of. It’s an accumulation of small battles that you win to win the war.

This Week’s Challenge

For the next week (but hopefully year), write down 3-5 things each morning you are grateful for.

Side note: The Daily Domination Journal, which ships soon, includes the framework for the morning and includes gratitudes. Check it out here.

And now, you know what time it is…time to…




Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back to the Health Fit Biz Podcast. This is episode 17 and before we get started, if you’ve been enjoying these podcasts, Anthony and I would greatly appreciate it if you could head over to iTunes and give it a rating. Hopefully five stars but use your judgement. Anyways this episode number 17, what we want to share with you guys is how practicing gratitude and gratefulness as a habit can help you react differently to the world, to see the world differently and really completely change a lot of who you are for the better. This is something that we found that takes a long time of doing to make the kind of changes that are desirable but we’ve both been through this in a way that we have seen dramatic changes, so we wanted to share with you guys ‘cause we felt that had a very positive impact on us as well as our business lives. So without further ado, let’s listen in to episode 17 of the Health Fit Biz Podcast.

Ryan: Dr. Anthony Gustin, welcome back to the…

Anthony: …Movement Fix?

Ryan: The Health Fit

Anthony: Is this the Movement Fix Podcast?

Ryan: No this the Health Fit Biz!

Anthony: Oh Health Fit Biz. Okay, I see. Yeah. Another episode, another day.

Ryan: Another day, another episode of the Health Fit Business Podcast. What are we talking about today?

Anthony: We’re talking about a concept that I struggled to start doing a lot initially when I first started doing it as I thought it was some weird hippie thing. Kind of the same is I don’t know if we’ve talked about meditation or mindfulness before?

Ryan: Probably sprinkled in there.

Anthony: One of these concepts where I just thought it was completely unnecessary, completely ridiculous which is being grateful. It sounds like some chic with a flower dress is like has oils and like she’s talking about being grateful and that’s what I–kind of what I…

Ryan: We just lost a subscriber.

Anthony: Down to seven. Uh, this is kind of, you know, this person also has crystals and they, you know. And the thing with like, the positive energy…

Ryan: Six.

Anthony: and the stuff it is

Ryan: Five.

Anthony: And so when I first thought about this concept about being grateful and having a positive attitude and making that a part of your daily habit to do that? Is ridiculous. Like what is this going to do for me?

Ryan: Well I think two of you are already kind of like…it’s easy when you’re running a business to become bitter and jaded? Can I say jaded?

Anthony: Yeah or even just like robotic and emotionless.

Ryan: Oh, gosh. Yeah. You have no ups, you have no downs. You’re just…blah. That’s especially like coming out of a really in-depth training program. Like a grad school.

Anthony: Oh, zombie-mode.

Ryan: Totally zombie mode, you know? It took me a lot of long time to recover from that. But yeah you have no…you’re just not a fun human being.

Anthony: Yeah so there’s definitely a lot of power of positivity and just thinking of things and being grateful for things you have. It’s…so once I start making it as a habit and doing it in my daily journal which I think we’ve talked about that in an episode right? Game-changer. Like just my attitude and oh kind of everything has just been completely different which allows for so much more success.

Ryan: And it doesn’t happen immediately. It’s not like “Oh! I’m gonna spend two minutes being grateful and then suddenly i’m totally different.” It really takes quite a bit of time. And maybe you don’t even realize that it’s had an effect on you until it’s been several months. So then you look back then you go…and maybe you’re even kind of surprised by how you react to certain things in life and you go “Man, just three or four months ago I would not have acted this way.”

Anthony: Well I know a boy Napoleon Hill?

Ryan: Yeah?

Anthony: This guy talks about this power of the mind and framing and your thoughts will manifest themselves.

Ryan: Or it’s Norman Vincent Peale. Power of Positive Thinking.

Anthony: Right. Same thing.

Ryan: A lot of people are talking of, you know, high-level achievers, they understand this.

Anthony: Yeah so really what you focus on is how your brain will be kind of surveying the scene, right? And so, the mind’s a powerful thing just like so example of this is like as far as mental framing and keeping things in a certain light so let’s say you think positively about things you’re thinking very grateful, you’re um… you’re just…your head’s in the right place. Just like when you let’s say you buy a new car. Do you just suddenly realize that now everybody is driving this car around you like “Oh, this model’s just a little bit different and there’s that color.”

Ryan: Yeah everybody has a Range Rover.

Anthony: Yeah you notice that car everywhere. It’s because you have this mental frame that’s scanning now for that.

Ryan: Yes.

Anthony: And so, let’s say you’re in an airport and there’s a thousand things going around you. Right? Um, this baby’s screaming, this announcement is happening or whatever. But the one announcement happens that is echoing the background that you can barely hear it’s your name.

Ryan: “Dr. Ryan Debell, to the front desk.” You’re like “Oh, sh*t.” “Someone’s deadlifting incorrectly we need your help.” “Someone’s taking a less than optimal supplement. Dr. Anthony Gustin we need your help!”

Anthony: There’s a…there’s this mental scanning always going on in the background. And this framing based upon your past experiences. So, when you have this mindset of positivity and being grateful, your brain’s gonna be scanning for that and having you set in that mindset. Instead of either nothing or negative, negative reactions, or negativity.

Ryan: Yeah and you know if you’re not practicing this daily, it almost doesn’t even make sense.

Anthony: No.

Ryan: It almost doesn’t even make sense. What I’ve noticed in doing this is I’m much more patient. Slow to be annoyed and I’m slow to be angered. Because, like you said, I’m framed differently. Like when I had that interesting run-in with Oscar at Fred Meyer.

Anthony: Yeah.

Ryan: Can I tell the story?

Anthony: Please.

Ryan: So I was at Fred Meyer in the pepper aisle. I was looking for pepper. And this guy asked me, because I was wearing this nice leather bag that I got in Greece.

Anthony: What were you shopping for?

Ryan: Pepper. I’m not going beyond the pepper and some feminine products. Not for me, but–

Anthony: Weird combo, but–

Ryan: Weird combination. So this guy’s “Hey man that’s a nice bag, where’d you get that?” And I told him, I looked him straight in the eyes and I said “I got this on the Greek island of Crete.” And then…and then, you know, usually someone would go “Oh ok, uh, yeah I guess so. Yeah, thanks.” And walk away. He kept asking me follow-up questions. Like “Oh, do you travel a lot?” “Where else have you gone?” “What do you do?” “How do you…?” Like normally, and this is what I meant like a year ago, I would have been so annoyed by this guy. Like dude just stop asking me questions; I just want to get this stuff and go home.

Anthony: Yeah, the mental framing would be like “This guy’s taking my time.”

Ryan: Exactly.

Anthony: Instead it went to…

Ryan: Instead I was like “I wanna see where this conversation goes.”

Anthony: Yeah this…this is a positive thing because this guy wants to talk to me.

Ryan: It’s just two collections of atomic particles conversing in a store. Okay this is taking an interesting angle. So, we’ll put a link to that in the ‘show notes’ the reference to that. If anybody reads “Wait but why” you’ll love that. But because I…and I really do think this is because I meditate daily and or I sh.. I practice mindfulness and gratefulness. I’m actually like grateful that another human being actually wants to have like a conversation. Rather than like the very fast paced world that we live and like “Oh, this can’t help me.” Then I don’t want to have this conversation. Instead it was like “Sure, what’s up?” “Yeah. Let’s chat, Oscar.”

Anthony: Yeah, and it was fun, it was a good time.

Ryan: It was fun and I look back in it fondly but had I not been practicing gr–like these things over a long period of time, it would not have been that way. I would have been a total a-hole to this guy. I would have been rude and short and you know, not really a pleasant human being. And that, you just never know how these things will turn out in the future too. Like I’m sure you’ve seen where things pan out where you’re like “Man if that wasn’t for this, for this, for this, for this, this thing wouldn’t have happened.”

Anthony: Exactly.

Ryan: And, who knows what will happen with Oscar? Maybe nothing. Maybe it will turn out that we do some amazing project together. I don’t know. But the point is, by practicing gratefulness and do this gratitude daily and maybe we’ll talk more specifically how we do that. The way I interact with other human beings has…has totally changed.

Anthony: Right, and so now for me, especially anytime anything happens that is…something I wouldn’t like in the past. I have this immediate reaction of like “Oh, well how is this good?” And just like think about how it would actually be a good thing. That’s such a more powerful way to look at scenarios. So like it’s–

Ryan: Yeah.

Anthony: Nothing can like affect my attitude now how it used to.

Ryan: Versus like “Augh, this sucks. This is dumb. This doesn’t…” And then how are you ever gonna do anything worthwhile if you’re always looking at just the negative, bad side of things? Versus “Okay, this happened. Well, what can I do about it?” “What–how can I, you know, how can I make that work for me?” “How could I do extra Y or Z?”

Anthony: Right. And so actually the other day, I had a flight delayed. And I was thinking “Oh, this is awesome! I get to be at the airport with free WiFi and crush out some work. I have the opportunity to do more work.”
Ryan: Versus?

Anthony: Versus “god dammit! this airline sucks like why would they, you know, like why don’t they just be on time blah blah blah.”

Ryan: “Yeah these people suck now I’m gonna be rude to these flight like the flight crew. I’m gonna be rude to the front desk.” And who knows what…how that affects them?

Anthony: Yeah and so instead, I have positive outlook and I got a bunch of work done.

Ryan: How can I use this to…like it almost cross your mind if like dang it it’s like “Oh okay, it’s delayed. Now I can finish this thing that I’m working on.”

Anthony: “Yeah, oh great.”

Ryan: And again, those are just two small examples.

Anthony: Yeah and this…this, like you were saying earlier does not happen automatically or after one or two days. Like this has been a long time like I wouldn’t say like I was generally like negative before. But, it definitely didn’t have this “Oh.” like and stuff. And it’s about the daily practice. Writing it down, day in and day out.

Ryan: Yeah. I used to think like you said the stuff was kind of woo woo out there, until I was reading some research on this and where they showed when they did MRIs on the brain that there’s actually like structure and chemical changes in the brain by practicing these things. When I read that I went “Okay I’m doing it.” You know…I guess I’m very, I don’t know…evidence-based I guess? Like I need to know like the mechanism. I guess they would call me mechanistic. So I wanna know the…once I knew the mechanism and that there’s actual like physio- like things that could be measured, I said I wanna try this. So how do you practice this daily, Anthony?

Anthony: I think we…I don’t know we’ve talked about this in an episode about our sketchbook and our journal and all stuff like that but it’s definitely in the morning when I first wake up, I just feel like starting your day off with that level of positivity is key and so just three-five things I just write down in the morning so…morning journals like this I wake up like do a few things, have some morning routines, coffee, some movement stuff, some mindfulness meditation or what however you wanna call it. And then some free-form journaling where I just kinda write whatever’s on my mind, anything that could be… things I need to do whatever..and then after that idea-generation . And then after that, three to five things I’m grateful for. And so, this doesn’t have to be huge, don’t have to be small, can be I think was it Tim Ferris on a podcast, somebody told him to think about…maybe it was Tony Robbins actually. Like think about something day to day, think about something very large and grand and think something about…think of something like in the room. And so for instance like “I’m grateful for this warm fireplace that Ryan has burning for me that’s warming my toes.” “I am grateful for being in Seattle where it’s beautiful and green and it doesn’t really get that cold.”

Ryan: I’m grateful that as soon as we’re done recording podcasts we’re gonna go get this amazing poke. We’re gonna get some amazing poke out of this like gas station place but it’s like so good it’s such a hidden jewel.

Anthony: Put this place in the ‘show notes’ because anybody who visits this place has

Ryan: Yeah if you’re ever in Seattle you gotta go this–

Anthony: Pokestop or something?

Ryan: Pokestop whatever it is I don’t even know what it’s called.

Anthony: We’ll link it in the show notes.  They don’t sponsor the podcast yet.

Ryan: Maybe they will.

Anthony: Yeah, it says…then again I thought that stuff was just completely silly and it takes 30 seconds. But now looking back, there’s a lot to be grateful for. Like there’s always gonna be someone who’s in a worse position than you in the world and it’s like to not be grateful is just an insult to those people.

Ryan: It’s an insult to them, yeah. It’s hard though. And I think one of the struggles too is like when you have big grand goals, and you have a large vision for yourself, when you feel like you aren’t there yet, it can make you feel not grateful. But it’s important to find the things you do feel grateful for to stay grounded. Now, a word of caution perhaps, it’s very…it’s very easy to go like…get really too far into like grateful and positive thinking and all this stuff, and you end up doing nothing. And all you end up doing is sitting around feeling good about yourself. That happens to a lot of people.

Anthony: “Yeah everything’s so great.”

Ryan: “Yeah, this is awesome!” And in reality things are going terribly. So instead of actually doing things to make their business or whatever succeed, they try to do more positive thinking. So, that’s great if you do positive thinking and gratefulness, but that’s where you need self-discipline and habits to make sure that “Yes, I’ve changed my outlook but I’m also being objective in getting things done.” Because people who start a business have to be very optimistic by just nature. Because if you’re not, you would never go out on a limb and think that you can achieve something great. So if you go do that and you’re super optimistic and you spend all this time trying to be super grateful and think about big things and all this positivity but you don’t have the self-discipline to do the deep work, to get the things done, that’s a dangerous place. ‘Cause you’re living with your head in the clouds and you’re never actually doing anything. So that’s why everything that we’re talking about is so important to work together because you want these gratitudes, you want this gratefulness and this positive thinking. But it has to be rooted in self-discipline and getting things done.

Anthony: Right, and actually a good example of that, how to kind of frame mentally things you’re going to do in a positive light.  I know i’ve seen this thing about a study where they had people go to sleep and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. They had half the people think repeatedly “Oh, I better get up for my alarm but I’m probably gonna sleep in.” “I better get up at, you know, 4 a.m. The time the you usually go to bed.” “But oh man, I’m worried about sleeping in. “ And they had the other half people say “I have to get up at 4 a.m. I’m gonna get up at 4 a.m. I’m gonna have no problem with that. And be positive with it.”

Ryan: What happened?

Anthony: People who thought they were gonna sleep…
Anthony: …things you want to get done.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s the critical component.

Anthony: Yeah.

Ryan: That’s the critical component.

Anthony: And so, when he practices daily gratefulness, it will make thinking positively about the things you want to get done, so much easier and automatic.

Ryan: Yup, yeah. So the way I practiced this everyday, in my journal when I’m doing stuff in the morning, I’ll just think about things that I’m happy about. It’s not more complicated than that.

Anthony: Nope.

Ryan: And just do that everyday. It takes a minute. One minute. But it’s like, training the brain like a muscle. When you train it, it becomes easier to express it in a certain way. So, do we have a challenge?

Anthony: Doctor? How are these people gonna get after it today?

Ryan: I think that the challenge is for the next week, spend a little bit of time in the morning thinking about things that make you happy and thinking about things in your life that you can be grateful for and write them down.

Anthony: Three things.

Ryan: Just three things. Maybe four. Maybe two. About a couple.

Anthony: Right.

Ryan: And do that for a week and then you’re not gonna have a huge effect after a week but you need to do it for weeks, then do it for months, then you do it for a year. So that it can have these positive impact on… the positive impact on how you process information and how you essentially live you day to day life.

Anthony: I think you guys should get after it.

Ryan: I agree. Get after it.

Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.