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Being grateful improves your chances of success, studies show

It's not just moguls like Daymond John who discuss the importance of gratitude. Science says it boosts your chances of success.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The word appreciation has two meanings: to be thankful and to increase in value over time. Now, it turns out, the more you appreciate life, the more your happiness and productivity appreciates over time.

Scientific research from notable psychologists shows that grateful people are more likely to be happy and successful.

The gratitude effect

A highly cited study by UCLA and the University of Miami found that people who wrote down what they were grateful for on a weekly basis were more cheerful and optimistic about the upcoming week than those who didn't. They also had fewer doctors visits and missed fewer days of work.

A separate study published in The Journal of Psychology supports these conclusions. Keeping a daily journal of moments or events of things you're grateful for is linked to increased happiness, researchers conclude.

And happiness plays an important role in our careers.

Positive people are more likely to perform better on assigned tasks and are more likely to get favorable evaluations by supervisors, research shows.

Billionaire and media mogul Oprah Winfrey has long been an advocate of keeping a journal for tracking gratitude.

"You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots," Winfrey writes on her website.

"Shark Tank" judge and multi-millionaire Daymond John is another successful businessperson who publicly discusses the importance of gratitude.

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Not only does gratitude help boost general well being, it also specifically improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that athletes who were more grateful had higher self-esteem, which also has been linked to higher job performance.

In fact, for "Shark Tank" investor and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec, appreciating where you are in life is key to career success.

One of the ways you know you're on the right career path, Herjavec writes, is that "You feel good — about yourself, about your life, about all you have achieved and all the things you plan to achieve."

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."