Five Techniques To Develop A Grateful Mindset and Build Wealth


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! It’s that time of year where we focus a little harder on the things we’re thankful for. And honestly, being grateful is part of the reason why the holiday season is so special and healing. Gratitude, it seems, gives us lasting happiness. 

And this is backed by science. A recent article in the Harvard Medical Journal confirms that there’s a positive association between gratitude and our overall health and well-being. This doesn’t surprise me. It just feels good to be around the people you love and let them know why they matter.


Shifting into a gratitude mindset all year round, then, could scale the benefits that your body and mind receives from being grateful. Not only can it improve your health, but it could lead to more intentional planning and actionable steps to make your dreams a reality. For example, if success to you is becoming financially free enough to retire early to spend more time with your family, friends, or to experience the things you’re grateful for, being grateful could lead to the intentional mindset that supports that dream.  

In other words, gratitude can help you on your journey to financial freedom. I’d go so far as to say that without gratitude, true wealth—or being able to control your time and not let the cost of things dictate your choices—isn’t possible. 

In the best of times, it can be hard to be grateful. But it’s especially difficult when life throws us a curveball and presents us with a challenge. However, when you develop a gratitude mindset, you can pursue your goals and live intentionally regardless of life’s external factors. 


So, how can we develop our gratitude? Here are five techniques to help you foster a gratitude mindset all year round. 

TECHNIQUE 1 – Start a Gratitude Journal

At first, the concept of a journal might sound intimidating. We doctors are busy professionals, and many balk at the idea of carving out time in our daily routine to journal.

Here’s the good news: A gratitude journal can be as structured or unstructured as you like. Don’t have time to write in your journal daily? Try once a week. Don’t have time to jot down several paragraphs? Make a simple list and add to it with each new entry. 


Your journal can be as long and flowy or as brief and concise as you want. Regardless, you will have taken physical action (pen to paper, fingertips to keyboard, or voice into a phone recorder) to express the good things happening to you as you live your life. By taking this action, you are slowly normalizing gratitude into your body’s muscle memory—instead of letting this energy go unused—thus allowing you to reap the health benefits. 

Consider that there are many pre-made gratitude journals on the market, each with unique formats and entry options. There are also many recording and gratitude-oriented apps available for download on your smartphone. Research products and find something that best fits your needs. Myself? I prefer my Five-Minute Journal

want to know the pivotal moments that led Dr. Peter to pursue passive income? SUBSCRIBE AND TUNE IN TO OUR PODCAST: #186 3 Moments I’m Grateful For ft. Peter Kim, MD

TECHNIQUE 2 – Stop “Keeping Up with the Joneses”

Comparison is the thief of joy

It seems like comparison is a normal part of our lives. With the glitz and glamor of influencers on social media or celebrity culture, it’s tough not to make comparisons between ourselves and others. The giant houses, fancy cars, fat bank accounts, and fancy job titles create a narrative of who high-income professionals are supposed to be. From this, we may start comparing ourselves to others, such as our friends or coworkers.

This comparison culture creates a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we can grow resentful of what others have. These feelings of inferiority stifle our ambition and ability to focus on our own goals. On the other hand, it’s not productive to motivate oneself with the aim to achieve simply people others have achieved the same things. Our goals and dreams should be our own, not somebody else’s. 

To avoid falling into the comparison trap, build the habit of intentional spending. What is that? It means spending money in a way that supports your personal goals and priorities. In addition to budgeting and tracking your spending, this hack also encourages you to let loose every so often. Always try to make room for a big splash of enjoyment. To give yourself that leeway, develop a backward budget that meets your big-picture goals first. 

When you stop comparing yourself to others, you give yourself an opportunity to 1) show gratitude for the things you already have and 2) to work toward your self-directed future. 

TECHNIQUE 3 – Share Your Gratitude With Others

It sounds simple to tell people you are grateful for what they do, but how often do we really do it? 

Give it a try. Tell the nurse that went the extra mile how much you appreciated their efforts. Let that friendly cashier in the cafeteria know that their positive attitude changed the course of your day for the better. Acknowledge all of the little (and big) things your spouse does to support the family. Thank your children for who they are, expressing your gratitude for the awesome people they are becoming. 

Just like keeping a gratitude journal, verbalizing your gratitude physically contributes to our overall health, transforming the neural pathways in the brain to carry hormones associated with happiness. Over time, this can change our outlook on the world. 

Verbalizing your gratitude isn’t your only option here. Also consider writing a heartfelt thank you note. The thank you note is a dying art, and here is your opportunity to bring it back into the fold. You’d be surprised how much gratitude both the giver and the receiver of a thank you note might feel—not to mention the health benefits. 

TECHNIQUE 4 – Enjoy the Little Things

In my experience, the smallest things can have the biggest impact. The simple pleasures in life significantly affect our health and well-being, but they often go unnoticed. Instead of the little things, self-care is often thought of as a weekend away or an hour-long massage. Don’t get me wrong, both things are wonderful forms of self-care. 

But when those become our sole moments of self-care, though, we can block our well of gratitude and its mindset benefits. To cultivate a daily sense of self-care, look to the little things in life to find gratitude. 

For instance, have you ever walked across campus just to take in how fabulous and fresh the air feels on your face?! (I hope you have.) Take the time to experience and internalize what we would otherwise let slip through the cracks of the daily routine. If your hairdo is on point today, give that a quick acknowledgement. If you have the opportunity to stay in your pajamas to lounge with your family for an extra hour, shout that out. Did the barista put the perfect ratio of cream and sugar in your coffee? Boom! Why not take a moment to celebrate? 

What these moments look like for you will vary. But these moments, however small, can swell into a tsunami of gratitude that sustains a daily, growth-mindset attitude. Routinely finding thanks in the small stuff can help you live a better life, feel healthier, and give yourself the opportunity and space to pursue your goals. 

TECHNIQUE 5 – Cultivate Contentment Everywhere

Take a moment to stop reading and look around you. Think about your surroundings and what you are grateful for. Think about your family, friends, hobbies, and all the things you’ve worked hard to cultivate. Realize that you have quite a lot already, and that will foster a feeling of contentment. 

Sustainable happiness is possible through cultivating a contented life. And that starts with gratitude. When contentment becomes your primary emotion, perpetual gratitude naturally follows, as do the health rewards that come with gratitude. And when you face down moments of hardship or challenges on the way to achieving a goal, your gratitude will help you courageously face those obstacles. 

If you want a growth mindset, an abundance mindset, and a gratitude mindset that frees you from the smothering effects of life’s rat race, consider pursuing contentment. 

I’m Grateful For You

You, the folks of the Passive Income MD community, are among the many people I’m grateful for in my life. We support each other on the path to financial freedom and to achieving our life’s goals. What are you most thankful for? Let us know in the comments!

Keep that gratitude going in Passive Income MD’s many social communities, whether that’s at the next PIMDCON, on Facebook, or somewhere else. Do the same in your own circles. Let people know what they mean to you and foster that gratitude mindset. We’ll reap the well-being benefits, and it just might push us into a life of enduring wealth. 

Stay connected and stay contented! Happy Thanksgiving!

Join our community at Passive Income Doc Facebook Group. And let us know in the comments below the freedoms you are excited to pursue. 

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