Happy Thanksgiving week. Thursday is going to be a big day here in the US and we’ll celebrate like we Americans normally do, eating entirely way too much and watching football. Somewhere in there we get together with relatives and we’re reminded of how good we have it. I think it’s a great tradition (the “how good we have it” reminder part, although the food + football part is pretty good too), but I don’t see the need to confine it to once a year. Gratitude is a value I’ve tried to incorporate year-round.
Why Gratitude Matters
If you’re reading this, there’s a high likelihood that:
- You’re free.
- You’re healthy.
- You’re literate
- You have clean water.
- You have the ability to choose.
Billions (literally billions) of people go their entire life without all 5 of those things. Let that sink in.
You get the chance to wake up in the morning and choose how you spend your day. We can choose what work we’d like to do and where we’d like to live. Lots of people don’t get that chance.
I get the opportunity to write down the things in my head, attempt impossible things, and have people interested enough to read it.
The fact that anyone cares what you have to say is amazing – Gary Vaynerchuk
That was one of the things I read before I started blogging that really made an impact and stayed with me. It’s why I try to say thanks as often as possible and why it’s the #1 word in my twitter stream. I don’t take your attention for granted and I’m thankful you’re along for the ride and for your encouragement.
The Benefits of Gratitude
I’m firmly convinced the more grateful you are, the more opportunities you being to see. Instead of seeing constraints, you see opportunities and instead of focusing on the things you wished were better, you see all the things that are already amazing. I’m not trying to go all “law-of-attraction” on you (it’s a little too woo-woo for me), but I do think there is something powerful in being grateful the things you have, and actually living it out. Looking at life from an place of gratitude gives you a whole different perspective and often opens up doors you might have missed from a vantage point of ungratefulness.
How To Be Grateful
- Think Bigger – The world is much, much bigger than just yourself. Take a step back and realize it.
- Gain Context – Travel. Research. Learn. Look (or even better, experience) how other people live and realize how fortunate you are.
- Help Others – I would not be where I am today without the help of a lot of different people. Chances are neither would you. Pass it on. Need help with something impossible? Send me an email.
- Make a list (surprise, surprise) – Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Look at it every day.
- Serve – You can volunteer on trips or on the weekend, but you can also serve other people on a day to day basis every time you interact.
Celebrate Thanksgiving and practice gratitude this Thursday, but be grateful on Wednesday and Friday too. Find reasons to be grateful this season, but do more than that. Be grateful year-round.