Is This Gratitude Journal The Greatest Gift For Mind And Heart?
This morning a beautiful package arrived at THE DAILY MEDITATION’s office: a box title The Greatest Gift.
The Greatest Gift is a new gratitude journal with a twist. It’s made by Habit Nest, a company that uses scientific research to help “hack your habits”.
Habit Nest previously raised funds for The Morning Sidekick Journal, a journal designed to help peak-performers make the most of their lives.
This time around they’re releasing The Greatest Gift, which is all about expressing gratitude to one special person in your life.
It’s a new kind of tool for meditators. It trains us to be more grateful.
The Greatest Gift works by
- Choosing one person you’re close to
- Re-living your relationship by writing 21 entries about why you’re grateful for them
- Surprising them with the finished journal afterwards
This is a gift for two, really. Because while you are creating something nice for someone else, you are also developing gratitude in your own mind, which is huge.
Why Gratitude Matters So Much
Gratitude is immensely important to our health and wellbeing.
There are many important health benefits of gratitude (1):
- Makes you happier
- Makes people like you
- Makes you physically healthier
- Strengthens emotions
- Makes you more optimistic
- Increases spirituality
- Improves sleep
- Increases longevity
- Increases energy
- Improves resilience
- Helps with relationships
- Helps with friendships
- Improves personal management
- Increases networking skills
- Improves decision making
- Increases productivity
Gratitude is one of the keys to actually feeling satisfied in life.
Being grateful is vital to our health, happiness and well-being.
And of course, it is wonderful for people to feel appreciated—the ultimate result of gratitude.
I was intrigued to see whether The Greatest Gift would:
- a) increase my gratitude and
- b) make that special someone feel even more appreciated than they already do.
Given that I practice gratitude meditation for two hours a week, I wasn’t confident about point a). But we shall see.
My initial impressions of The Greatest Gift
Right off the bat, The Greatest Gift put a smile on my face.
The visual designer has done an excellent job with The Greatest Gift. It looks beautiful.
The combination of the simplistic colour combination (white and red), together with the gorgeous fonts, make The Greatest Gift look beautiful.
Then there’s the little touches, like the hashtag #teamgratitude on the box, and a little smiley face when you open it.
This thing has personality in spades. It looks truly beautiful and positive.
I previously wrote about starting the day positively. Well, starting the day by receiving The Greatest Gift was a real treat!
I was optimistic that the actual product would be as good as it looked.
Actually making The Greatest Gift
The purpose of The Greatest Gift is to actually make a gift for another person.
This is a two-way street.
You want to feel good when making the gift, and you want the person receiving it (for me it’s my girlfriend) to feel great when they get it.
The Greatest Gift comes with an instruction book (which is beautiful presented and definitely not your typical Ikea-style instructions).
The instruction book tells you how to complete The Greatest Gift. And It also tells you how the act of kindness is rewiring your brain.
More, itit repeatedly tells you how amazing you are for being such a grateful person.
Well, thank you! although it did feel like it was pandering to me at times.
The Painful Realisation: I’m drowning in stuff
About 20 minutes into starting this review, I was struck by a painful realisation:
There is literally not way I can complete The Greatest Gift without investing some serious time to it.
I usually schedule reviews for about an hour. Truth is, there is absolutely no way I could possibly finish The Greatest Gift in one hour.
There is so much going on in this thing.
Seriously, here is what The Greatest Gift includes:
- A huge gratitude journal to complete
- A ton of stickers to put on the journal
- A storytelling guide (love this bit). This guide tells you how to write the journal and it is also a powerful exercise in gratitude
- A card to complete once you’re finished
- A whole bunch of different gratitude postcards
- A wristband (cute)
- A ton of self-promotional marketing designed to make you get Habit Nest’s next item
So unfortunately I was not able to complete The Greatest Gift before writing this review.
I have definitely gotten a solid impression of it, though.
So where am I left?
What I love
There’s a lot about The Greatest Gift that I love.
For starters, it’s a neat little idea.
Giving one special person in your life a truly special gratitude journal full of all the reasons you are thankful for them. They’ll love it.
I am going to complete my The Greatest Gift gratitude journal for Christmas and give it to my girlfriend. And I am confident she will shed a tear of joy.
The shining glory of The Greatest Gift is its presentation.
Everything about it is wonderful. The colours. The fonts. The copywriting. Every little thing about it is beautiful.
The Greatest Gift teaches us about gratitude. And even though all the information here is readily available online, it is still very well told.
The storytelling book is a treat too. This thing tells you precisely how to write your gratitude journal (for bonus points, write it mindfully). And in doing so, it shows you how to be grateful, too.
What I love less
Too much self-promotion
Companies need to sell products, obviously. But there’s a fine line, and I feel like Habit Nest stuck a toe or two over that line.
It felt like every other page was a reminder to either get someone else to buy The Greatest Gift or to purchase one of Habit Nest’s other products.
This irritates me because I prefer to focus on what I have rather than what I don’t have (which, ironically, is one of the points The Greatest Gift makes about gratitude—focus on what you have).
It is basically just a journal
At some point, you are going to realise that The Greatest Gift is just a glorified journal.
There, I said it.
Yes, there are helpful tips telling you how to complete it. And there are nice additions like stickers. But when it is all said and done it is still just a gratitude journal.
That said, it is a beautiful gratitude journal.
My final impressions
I like The Greatest Gift a lot. And when I finish it and give it to my girlfriend as one of her Christmas gifts I know she will love it. And that is the most important thing.
I am just a little disappointed that it is only a journal, really. I feel like it needs a little je ne sais qois.
Give this to someone who feels lowly about themselves (someone with low self esteem), for instance, and I genuinely believe it will mean the world to them.
Overall this really is a good gift, but it didn’t quite make my list of the best gifts for meditation lovers.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation