Radical Shift: Mindset, Strategy, Habits & Productivity for Creative Entrepreneurs

The Truth About Gratitude & What Gurus Don't Tell You

Episode Summary

Over the past 12 years, I got a front row seat to the “gratitude” movement, watching it go from a buzz word in the movie “The Secret” to landing a spot in all self development books. But most of the gurus have it all wrong, holding you back from Gratitude's real power. In this episode, learn the truth about Gratitude, how it works and why it’s where you start the transformation you’ve been looking for.

Episode Notes

Get Carla's Gratitude Journal app:

Click here to download GRATITUDE JOURNAL from the Apple App Store! 

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Instagram - @heycarlawhite

Facebook - @heycarlawhite

Website - carlawhite.org

Carla White is the first woman to launch an iPhone app (top of the charts for 10+ years), high level success coach and a self-proclaimed happiness cattle prod who’s helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her apps, public speaking, newsletters, seminars and books. Her #1 bestseller app, Gratitude, has been downloaded by thousands, featured on Oprah, NBC, NYTimes and countless other publications, and continues to grow in popularity around the globe. She shares everything she knows about producing successful apps in her best seller “Idea to iPhone” (2013). Due to popular demand, she now offers direct coaching to powerful thought leaders who want to make an impact and a legacy.

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Episode Transcription

Let's talk about Gratitude and what the gurus don't tell you. If you have heard gratitude as a buzzword and you're trying to adapt a practice, and things aren't working out for you, and your life is still stuck, I'm going to clear up a lot of the confusion out there. And I'm going to give you some amazing tips, and how you can make gratitude drastically ship your life, starting today.

I think everything starts with gratitude. And I want to debunk these myths that have been flying around in the self development world for cash well over a decade now. First, let me explain how I got here- accumulating a whole library of books on neuroscience, positive psychology books, ancient wisdom and money mindset. And going to seminars and conferences, taking my money out on a date, I wrote love letters to my to my bills.  I've done so many different things to shift my mindset. And gratitude is where it all starts.

If you read a lot of these different self development books, you'll notice that they will throw gratitude in towards like chapter 17 or 18. And I'm telling you, that's all wrong. And once you read this post, and I really advise you to read to the end, because I'm going to give you some pretty amazing tools, ways, super simple, but super powerful ways to create a radical shift in your life just using gratitude.

I want to start by using "appreciation" instead of  "gratitude". Because the word "gratitude" feels like your you overcame something to achieve something. So you're so grateful the pain is finally over and you have something to show for it. It's like you're wishing for pain in your life because you believe you need that to receive abundance.

You have a problem with creating abundance. There's a ton of abundance. What you have is you're creating limitations to the abundance. So I'm going to share with you some powerful ways to break through that. But first, let me just share a little bit of my backstory and how I discovered this because it's a very important piece to the puzzle.

See if you would appeared into my window in London, probably about 15 years ago, you would have seen this woman curled up on the sofa with a wine bottle and probably a bucket of Haagen Daas, binge watching to some brilliant British sitcom until way late in the evening until I couldn't get to keep my eyes open anymore. And then mumbling something pretty poorly to myself about how fat and lazy I am. As I went to bed, bloodshot eyes, terribly tired, waking up with massive headaches, getting ulcers, getting migraines for the first time in my life.

I moved to London as the top exec with Microsoft, but I decided to branch off and start my own business. And I wasn't handling the stress very well.

Then, in November of 2005, I received an email from my mom saying that a family friend had passed away. Now that news wasn't to earth shattering because the family friend was poorly in hospice, and we were expecting him to leave his physical body anyway. But what happened was my intuition went into overdrive in said, Carla, you gotta go home. Now I didn't have the money. I didn't what I was planning to go home in February, my brother was expecting a baby, I wanted to see this new baby in home with South Dakota. So it's not like it was a cheap place to just get to you know, I needed a good grand to get there. And so, but when I got that email it I just instinctively knew I had to get a ticket home. So I booked for Christmas, and flew home for Christmas 2005. And when I arrived, my dad, he he wasn't himself.  

I was the only one who noticed this, I was the only one who noticed that he was having a hard time walking and breathing in his whole body seemed heavy on his on his bones. And because I was the only one who noticed it. I didn't say anything to anybody. Because I didn't want to rock the boat. I wanted this to be a really nice visit. I didn't want to upset anybody. I didn't want to be the one who causes problems. And so I kept my mouth shut. And I spent I think about 10 days at home with my family doing the usual stuff, you know, Kitty parties and dinner's over at my sisters and hanging out with my mom doing dishes. nothing spectacular but nice and fun in the my parents take me to the airport, I go home to London. And I barely have my bags unpacked when I get a phone call in the middle of the night from my brother back in America. And he's telling me through choking tears, that dad suddenly passed away. Now I had no coping mechanisms for stress to begin with at that point. And when I got that phone call, I just crumbled, I fell to the floor and I crumbled. And I went home to the states went to the funeral went through the motions, you know, the ups and downs of a funeral. And when I made it back to London, I just threw myself into this failing business. I'm work late into the evening, binge eat, binge watch, binge, whatever, binge smoke, whatever. And basically self medicate myself trying to get the pain away. And I remember one time I was flying down the M4 and I just had to get like, I couldn't get away from my thoughts. And the thoughts were driving me so nuts, telling me Carla, you like it, I blamed myself for my dad's death because I didn't say anything. I didn't get him into the hospital. It was my fault that he died. And so the thoughts kept going, like you're such a failure, you're so awful, you know, like such deprecating thoughts. And I was flying down the M4 for just hoping that the little Honda would like go tail over front and just total itself out and all my pain would be done, then it'd be done. But I got home. And my husband's scared to have for my well being said, "Look, we got to get you back to the America, we got to get you back home to be closer with your family." He didn't know what else to do. And he didn't know that I worked my tail off to get to London to begin with, like going from a farm and middle of America where you barely have two cents to pay for a pair of shoes to getting a high end, corporate executive role with one of the top companies in the world takes a lot of work. I mean, I had to live out of my car for a good part of my life.

I had to like financing through waiting tables, babysitting, walking dogs, whatever I could. And going home seemed like the biggest complete failure. But I didn't trust my own judgment. I mean, it was I blamed myself from my dad, I blamed My poor judgment for my dad's death. So who was I to say whether we should go back to America or not. So I think told them, we packed up a couple of bags, I told him I give them a year. And spoiler alert, we're still here. The vortex, but I, we got home. And here's the sad thing things got actually worse, things got worse, I got double pneumonia. I mean, failed business behind me walking no more, because we drove big to 10 trucks everywhere, eating some chips thinking they were healthy foods. Drinking micro brews, you know, working that I had a job, a government job. And I mean, just wanted to poke my eyes out with a fork just did not like it at all, and ended up in the hospital with double pneumonia. And the doctor says, Here's something for you double pneumonia, and hey, you better get something for your depression to now that's the first time anybody labeled my condition as depression. Nobody knew my husband did not call and say I was depressed. My family did not say I was depressed. Why? Because I could hide it. depressed people can hide their depression, we become masters at it, we put a big smile on our face. And we can hide it very, very well. In this podcast, I'm going to give you all sorts of tools and tips. So you do not have to hide it anymore. You can be your full, genuine self. But at that point, I was still hiding it. And when she saw it the doctor side, that was news to me, it was a wake up call. And I went home. And I did what everybody does, when they want to change their life around.

I googled, like Google depression gears. And in the list, I found something that it was an article about a mother who lost a baby and a family who lost their home, a woman who went through cancer, a man who came back from my rack and all these people who like who had horrific stories found meaning and purpose in their life again, they like had like they were actually happy again. And the one thing they attributed it to was focusing on what was working. Now at that time, in the planet Earth. The Secret was just starting to become popular. And gratitude was starting to become a buzzword Oprah was starting to promote its well be like it's worth but for the most part, people didn't really know what it was in. I didn't know what it was. But I like this idea of writing down a few good things each day that were pretty decent. So I pulled a notebook right then in there and started writing. Like I started writing things like, hey, my last words to dad where I love you. I got to give him a hug. He didn't go through any pain. I'm with my family, moms, okay. You know, I just started writing all these different things. And I kept it up every single day, every day, right 510 things. And then, about two months later, I'm out for a walk. The weather's turned its nice out. And I'm going through all the different things I'm going to write in this new journal of mine. I'm writing things like hey, NASA offered me a job and I lost a few more pounds, and I'm sleeping great through the night. And Gosh, I haven't cried since I don't remember when. And as I was going through this list, it hit me that my life had done a complete one at from when I was in the hospital just a couple months prior, barely able to breathe, not sleeping at all through the night like taking every sort of sleeping aid under the sun to just get an hour sleep two hours sleep. And here I was sleeping through the night money increasing health increasing relationships better. My life completely changed in at first. What pill did I take what it boiled? What did I do? It took me a while to realize that it was because of that journal that I would keeping. And when I put the two and two together that it was a gratitude journal when I made that connection. I thought oh my god, this is way too easy. Why isn't everybody doing this? Why didn't somebody Teach me this in school? This is so remarkable. And I thought I get to tell the world about this. Now, the Steve Jobs had just held up that new spectacular iPhone, the version one and marveled the world with that, probably about three or four months prior. And the SDK was just rumored to hit the market. So I said to myself, Honey, you're going to make an app for this, you're going to make a gratitude app. And there's going to be like one woman out there who's going to download it, you're going to save her life. And she's not going to want to go fly and head over tail out of her car, down the highway to get rid of her pain. And you're going to save her. So every morning at 5am. Before going into my day job, I buckled down and figure out how to make this thing happen. I had people helping me though, halfway through the project and all the way through my money, money all gone. They'd say, Hey, I can't work in this project anymore. Because apps are a fly by the night sort of thing. And they can work. And by next year, this time, nobody's even going to be using them. This was 2008 friends. Yeah. So yeah. 2008. So anyway, gratitude launched, it's helped hundreds of thousands of people, it's connected me to the most remarkable people on the planet, changed thousands of lives. I still use it every single day. But more so I have dug deep into the subject of gratitude. And I have discovered that there's some, it's what's being told to us is like the universe of Santa Claus. And if you say thank you, you're going on the nice list, and you're gonna get some more good things in your life.

The universe is not like Santa Claus, putting you on a good list. Okay. First off, it goes like this, let's talk about the law of expectation, which is you get what you expect. It's pretty simple. So but let's break it down a little bit more, let's put it into a scenario. Let's say you're looking for a job, or you want this job. And it's a pretty decent job, you know, you're pretty, you're, you're good for the job. But you also heard somebody else what is going for it as well. And they seem to have a lot more skills. And so your confidence is a lot lower, and you're probably not expecting to get it, you're expecting it to maybe be or something so your emotions, your feelings, you go into it with anxious apprehension. And that anxious apprehension plays out in your subconscious in different actions, movements. Because if you're anxious, and you're apprehensive, and there's any sort of threat of this outcome, your subconscious is going to do what it can to either take you away from pain or bring you to pleasure, that's it. It's not like you're a bad person or anything, it's just everybody's wired the same like that. Now, let's take that same job. And let's say that the boss invited you out for lunch, she thinks she'd be perfect for the job, she just begging you to take it. Well, then in a new all the time most of the time 99% of the time, because competence is so key to achieving things. I mean, you don't The world is not that you're short of ideas, you have a ton of really great ideas. It's having the confidence to execute on those ideas to get out of your own way and do up. How do you have that? How do you have that day in and day out? How do you know your purpose and go out and just actually do it? It's through gratitude. It's a gratitude or appreciation. Okay, so let me get into this a little deeper. When you sit down, and you physically write out eight things, and I say at least eight. I mean, there's some journals. I mean, they're like the one minute gratitude journal Come on, when you realize how powerful gratitude is, why would you just give it one minute, you do a 24 seven gratitude, honestly. So here's what happens when you're writing it down your brain, as smart as it is, doesn't know whether that moment it's feeling. Because the feeling part is really key is happening now or in the past, it just knows that it's happening. And you can choose that emotion, your brain cannot be anxious and grateful. At the same time, it doesn't have a dual processor, it has a single processor. And so you pick which emotion. And even when I was in my darkest days with my dad's death, and anybody who has gone gone through mourning the loss of a loved one, especially when it's unexpected, I don't care like any loss of a loved one. It's hard, it's crippling, the simplest things turn out to be super hard. But you can find gratitude, if you in the smallest of things. And it's really key that you can find it in the smallest of things. 

Most people think I'll start a gratitude journal, when I have good things coming into my life that I can actually write down. And that's completely backwards. Because if we look at it from a quantum physics way, quantum physics states that everything is nowhere and everywhere. At the same time, it's by giving your attention to it that it comes to being Okay, yeah, that's crazy, right. So what it means is, the more you give your attention to something, the more it comes to be. And a lot of people like to call this the law of attraction, you have to give it energy and action to you can't just be staring at a picture of money, and it's going to appear in your mailbox, consistently. Over and over again, it doesn't work that way. Although some people would like you to think that it doesn't work that way. It's training your brain to find the best in everything. Because when you do that, when you're writing it down every single day, eight things, at least eight things. And the reason I say eight is because eight is the number for abundance. When you turn it on its side, it's a symbol for infinity. And I believe the word gold or abundance appears in the Bible eight times. So eight, at least eight, don't go for five minutes, or do. It's so powerful, I'm going to give you a really good trick at the end of this too. So let's get back into quantum physics, you're giving your attention to what it's there. And you get to pick what's there, you can pick that you're not enough that there's last in the world that your spouse isn't enough, your kids aren't doing enough, your bosses aren't doing enough. Or you can choose to see things like you have so much going for you you have these gifts. There was one of my mentors said that nothing is done to me, everything is done for me.

And you take that attitude, you change every situation into having joyful anticipation. And you have the expected outcome that you want to achieve. Even if it isn't the outcome that you thought you needed. It's an outcome that you ultimately appreciate getting. And that's so, so key. If my dad didn't have his untimely death, I wouldn't have gone on this spiritual soul searching journey, and had the opportunity to help hundreds of thousands of people. Now, which one what I rather choose? That's not the question. The question is, did I find meaning and purpose in a really dark situation? Did I change change my mess and make it my message?


And that's exactly what all of you are capable of achieving. So here's my little trick number one, write down like every single day, write gratitude, as you wake up, focus on the abundance focus on the appreciation, it shifts everything in your day, when we wake up, our minds want to find its identity, it wants to know geographically where it's located, what time it is, and what's happening. And to find that identity, we normally instinctively reach our phones. And our phones are designed to be addictive as crack cocaine. And I'm going to go into that in another episode, because I think it's really important to understand how this works. As somebody who's been creating iPhone apps for well over a decade, now, the science of addiction is well defined. And so they know that they know that that's going to be addictive for you and they'll want you'll want to reach for your phone, like in the middle of the night, or when you first wake up before you go to bed to help you fall asleep. It's all very addictive. And it's you're losing your power because those devices are also designed.

And they're not so much designed, but they're a produce of fear and lack. In the top three industries in the United States depend on everybody to feel fear and lack. They are arms. And I worked for a Pentagon program in Washington DC. It was a $3.5 billion program, which sounds like a lot of money. But it was also just a sliver of the overall budget. And I'm going to get into an episode about that whole experience as well. So anyway, that's how much it's a ton of ton of money, crap ton of money that goes into arms. And then just behind in arms, of course, you got to feel fearful of these people who are just like you. I mean, it's so crazy, all these different ideas about individuals, if you if you never traveled internationally, I highly recommend it because you will realize just how much alike everybody is. And then the next industry is pharmaceuticals, which talk about the white elephant in the room, can we please. When I went to go get my teeth clean the other day, the dental hygienist she asked, what medications are you on? Not? Are you on any? what medications are you on? And I said I'm not taking any. And she seemed a little bit dumbfounded. And I said, Does everybody have a medication? And she said, Yeah, pretty much even the kids. Lo and behold, over 75% of Americans aren't least one prescription drug or more. Whereas 25% take five or more because you know, you got all those side effects. Yeah, take this for your depression. And be sure to carry a pair of extra panties around because you're going to put your pants, I mean, seriously. And here's the other kicker, eight of the top 10 prescribed drugs are for stress related illnesses, stress. So let's nip this in the bud. And let me give you something that will help you overcome that help you get unstuck really super quick. This works every single time I give us to all my top clients. So here's what you do. It's called 3430. Every day for 30 days, you write down 30 things that you absolutely love. I love the smell of cat grass. I love the smell of rain, it doesn't matter. Write down 33 things and then say them out loud. do this every single day for 30 days. Now, here's the kicker, you can't read anything on the list. So if you wrote I love playing with my kids on day one. He can't write that again. But the good news is, is that you can write about things that you don't have yet you can write about the new lake house a trip to Vermont, it doesn't matter. Now, here's what will trip most people up, don't give up at around day 17. Why? Because they aren't really seeing the returns. It's a lot like this. It's compound interest. So let's say you have a choice of getting a million dollars today, or one penny that doubles every single day for 31 days. What would you take? Well, most people would take the million dollars, right? But here's what's cool. If you take that penny in one day, it's one penny two pennies for 816. Right? By day 17 you only have a few thousand dollars. So you're kind of looking around at the other guy going man, I got the short end of the stick. But when you get into day 27 and day 2829 by day 31 you have overcome $3 million. And that's how gratitude works. You put the focus on you put the focus on you put the focus on and before you know it, your whole life is different. 

All right rock stars. Thank you so much for tuning in. Now if you have a question for me, head on over to the Apple podcast too. Radical Shift, rate this podcast, leave a comment with your question. And if you want me to give you a shout out on Instagram, leave your Instagram handle as well. 

Thank you so much. And be sure to join me for the next episode of Radical Shift where you discover how your identity can change everything. Thank you so much for listening. Now if you want to create a radical shift in your life, all you have to do is head over to the gratitude app.com and that will take you directly to the app store where you can download it and start using the gratitude app today. Now if you're the type of person who loves to help out family and friends, be sure to share this episode. And if you ever want to reach out to me just head on over to Instagram at Hey, Carla White. I'd love to hear from you and hear your comments. Until then keeping limitless keep being adventurous and keep creating radical shifts.