Living With a Sense of Gratitude

November 13, 2010

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, I am reminded of the key elements that make the holiday special to me: thankfulness and gratitude.  Sure the turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie all make the holiday special too.  But for me, it’s about family and gratitude. Oh, and hopefully a good football game.

There have been plenty of books published on gratitude and I know Oprah has probably dedicated several episodes of her show to this important topic.  I haven’t read any of the books (yet), but I have been incorporating a sense of gratitude in my life for several years.  And it is an amazing feeling.

I also realize that living with a sense of gratitude in the United States can be difficult at times because the media teaches us to want and to have more.  More money.  More hair.  More friends.  More cars.  More blades on my razor (what are we at, four blades?  Isn’t that overkill?).  More followers on Twitter.  More contacts on LinkedIn.  More friends on Facebook.  More shoes.  More clothes.  You get the idea.

Let’s face it…there’s always somebody out there who’s going to make more than you, have more stuff, more blog traffic, more attention, etc.

A few years ago, I started a daily routine of thinking of three things that I was grateful for.  I would do this as I walked from the train to my office.  It could be something as simple as being grateful for the warmth of the sun on a cool day, my health and the ability to see the beautiful blue sky.  But this sense of gratitude comforted me.  And it reminded me that whatever circumstances I was in, it could certainly be worse.

Not to get overly happy and optimistic, but life really is amazing.  We need to recognize this as we approach our day.  I invite you to think of three things each day you are grateful for.  You can do this in your car, in the shower or walking down the street.

I’d also like to invite you to visit my blog friend Marissa Bracke as she celebrates 30 days of gratitude on her blog.  I think it’s a great topic to explore in November and beyond.  To visit her blog, click here.

How about you…what are you grateful for?
Flickr Creative Commons photo courtesy of Per Ola Wiberg Powi.

1 Lance November 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Hey Tim,
Hmmm….that “more hair” thing….yep, that’s one I can relate to. Maybe it’s because my kids point out (a little TOO often!!) the thinning of said hair!

On a more *ahem* serious note – I really love this idea – of expressing gratitude everyday. I know that when I do do this, I just feel better about myself, and about the world all around me. And that’s pretty great (as is this life we’re living…even if it’s a few hair follicles short of a full head…).

2 Jay Schryer November 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Hey Tim!

The thing that I love about gratitude is that is kinda serves as a “gateway drug” for other great feelings such as love, peace, and happiness. Being thankful for what you already have invites more great stuff into your life. Plus, it works to raise your vibration or to lift you out of a funk—no matter how low you might be. A healthy dose of gratitude works miracles.

3 Tim November 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Hi Lance: Yep, I’m right there with you in the hair dept. But thankful for the remaining hair I have 😉 Yeah, gratitude is such a simple thing but it can really flip your thinking from “I wish I had more __” to “I’m thankful I have _____” Fore some, it’s very easy to focus on what you don’t have. I prefer to focus on what I do have. Better for my piece of mind. Thanks for stopping by, Lance, and have a great day!

Hi Jay: I absolutely agree with you about gratitude raising our vibration and attracting more good stuff into our life. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but so true for me. Thanks for bringing up a great point and hope you’re having an awesome Sunday!

4 Lori November 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Hi Tim,
You already probably know I love this, big time.
(LOL: More blades on a razor, yeah, totally. So goofy!)

I remember you mentioning this awhile back, your three-things-on-your-way-to-work practice. This is a sure-fire way to pull one’s self out of the dumps and remember who we are — amazing urns of light. I really liked Marissa’s posts, too. Thanks for linking them here.

What am I grateful for today? I’m grateful for caregivers and those in service to others. I recently had an experience that left me nearly speechless at the level of care and compassion afforded to me and others in the room. Grateful falls short for explaining how I feel. Amazing, really.
Great post, Mr. Tim!
P.S. Wishing you and early Thanksgiving blessing full of love, gratitude, and laughter, too.

5 Tim November 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

Hi Lori: Thanks for sharing what you did here. Yeah, my walk to work was always improved by reflecting on my three things I was thankful for. Many days, I was thankful for the same thing…but I still felt good about things when I did this. I can absolutely identify with the things you’re thankful for. I second your thoughts about caregivers…I haven’t shared this on my blog, but my mother has spent a good amount of time in the hospital lately. While I am aware of the challenges of fewer nurses and nurses assistants treating more and more patients (due to economic challenges), I have been blown away by their compassion and service despite these challenges. These people, I’m sure you will agree, are absolute angels. Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes and I hope you enjoy the magic of Thanksgiving with your family, too!

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