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The Formula and Conditions of Gratitude

Gratitude cannot be inspired, it is the result of a formulaic process that has conditions that must be met before it can be triggered.

Photo of Joseph Bazbaz
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Understanding that gratitude is triggered reflexively when certain conditions are met means that this project is focused on the wrong question.  Instead of asking, "How do we inspire gratitude?", we should be asking, "What is the formula and conditions that trigger gratitude?"  

The answer is simple:

Here's the formula.

A + B = C

The following are the terms and conditions.

(A) Someone makes a decision to go out of their way to help someone.

(B) The person receiving the help is able to determine that the person helping doesn't have to do it.

(C) The person receiving the help then feels gratitude.

Conditions of gratitude:

  • gratitude cannot be forced
  • aggressive behaviors create the opposite effect, regardless of intention to help
  • some people cannot be helped
  • many times people can't be helped because of language issues; more specific differences in understanding.
  • the person receiving the help has to have had enough experience to understand that the person helping is going out of their way to help them 
    • fox example:  a baby cannot show gratitude towards its mother for being fed; they don't understand what's required to achieve that goal.  

Challenges to gratitude:

  • lack of experience
  • subconscious expectations of gratitude no matter what
    • meaning: rarely is the possibility considered that perhaps the person is not capable of demonstrating gratitude because they lack the experience to understand.
      • for example...a doctor telling a patient that he has cancer is going to die should probably.
  • General obliviousness

Generalized Solution:

  • Change expectations
  • Understand what's required for gratitude to be expressed
  • Learn to quickly resolve differences in understanding...also a formulaic process I can dive deeper into at a different time.

My apologies to everyone...I have a conference to prepare for so I can't dive deeper than this at this time.  I hope this helps...there is more and it works at creating the right perspective on gratitude.  I know some will say this is self-promotion but it's not intended as such but, you can listen to my podcasts to better understand what the problem is.


Idea Title

The Bazbaz Blueprint for Gratitude

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

It will put them in control of their expectations, dampen their disappointment and reduce stress.

Who are you innovating for?

Everyone on the planet.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Every work place on the planet.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

I have a presentation that makes the awakening process very easy and usually takes about an hour.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

Most of the problems we face come from expectations that our subconscious. Since they are subconscious most will not think that their expectations are the cause of so much strife, pain, and dissatisfaction in life. Instead, they will blame other people for their woes instead of being able to control their sense of happiness.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

I have a working model that has been 100% effective.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

Get the word out and literally change the world to save humanity from itself. Get help making the presentation look better.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

During a meeting with a client, a became aware of a critical mistake I had been making during the communication process. However, I also became aware that the mistake I was making was not on a conscious was subconscious. Becoming consciously aware of the mistake enabled me to correct it.

Tell us about yourself

An autodidact with an insatiable need to do well, help others thrive and enjoy life. I'm a person who has a continuous improvement mindset and loves to spend time helping others and enjoying life with my family and friends.

Where are you / your team located?

Frisco, Texas USA

Please describe your legal and organizational structure


Company / Organization Name


Tell us about your experience

Financial advisor for decades and now a social skills coach that uses the psychological framework that guarantees success in life.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Joseph Bazbaz ,

Great to see you in the Ideas Phase of the Challenge! I'm curious about how this formula can be applied internally in companies?

Also, is there any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Please update your post within the next hour! The Ideas Phase closes today at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Excited to learn more!

Photo of Joseph Bazbaz

I’m at a conference and I don’t have time till late tonight. I am so sorry because I could if I had more time. The question about how it can be applied at companies sounds like an easy question but I think it requires some input from others or a conversation.