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.