As the end of the year approaches, it’s common for people to focus on the upcoming one. We ask ourselves: “What’s next?”; “What’s new?”; “In what ways do I want to create a new start?”. We spend time and money buying calendars and planners so we can document our future-thinking. As a coach, I applaud these efforts; it’s good stuff.
Yet, I am noticing that another calendar milestone seems to be woefully underutilized. According to Britannica, Thanksgiving Day is about celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Instead of reflecting on the abundances in our lives and expressing our gratitude for all the wonderful things we have and have experienced, most of us tend to simply correlate this week with taking time off from work and eating tasty meals.
So, let’s change that … and not just for this Thursday, but also for the rest of this year. (And then keep it going in 2022.) Being outwardly thankful takes practice – from writing down something every day that you are thankful for to saying “thank you” to someone for an act or deed done. At first, the obvious things will come to mind quickly; over time, it can be more difficult … especially in difficult times. Stick with it. Many scientific and psychological studies have shown that gratitude has many benefits. Examples include, improved: outlook on life; physical wellness; relationships; empathy and understanding others; and self-esteem.
Here are a few things for which I am thankful:
- a loving husband, who believes in me and encourages me to take risks and think big
- family members who love unconditionally and give of themselves in support of one another
- the craftsmen who are renovating our new home – not only for their skills but also because they care about the details as if it were their own home
- my two business partners who have my back and show me that the power of three is, indeed, magic
May your Thanksgiving Day be filled with the renewed wonder of the blessings in your life!
This Week’s Challenge: Write down at least 10 things for which you are thankful. In addition to stating the “what” also write down the “why”. After you are done, read it aloud to yourself or to someone else. Put the words out in the world. Feel the abundance in your life. Then, make this a daily practice. You’ll find that the more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for.
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