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Be Grateful

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not because of the volumes of calories and liquids that I’ll consume, or because of the pumpkin pies that will be served or the televised football games. No, I like Thanksgiving because it’s the official day when our focus should be on giving thanks.

Thanksgiving for me growing up in northern New Jersey meant going to the annual Montclair vs. Bloomfield High School football game to watch ole Clary Anderson coach the Montclair Bulldogs hopefully to victory. The game was followed by a Thanksgiving feast with immediate and extended family. Turkey was the focal point of those feasts with my father slicing the bird into succulent portions for eating. But the highlight, at least for me, was my grandmother’s pumpkin pie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. That’s what Thanksgiving meant to me and means to millions of Americans…feast, football and fun away from school or work.

With the passing of years I’ve begun giving “thanks” each and every day and not just on this special day. Why do we need a special day to remind us to stop and appreciate everything that we have? Why do we dwell on what we don’t have? Or, what’s preventing us from accomplishing what we want? Why do we spend more time worrying, fearing and denying instead of appreciating what we have and the opportunities that lie before us?

I believe that we become what we think. If we fill our minds with fear, worry, blame, or “woe is me” thoughts our overall disposition and outlook become negative. Earl Nightingale compared the fertility of our minds to that of rich soil. What we plant in our soil (mind) is like a farmer planting seeds. The soil (our mind) doesn’t care what we plant and will yield whatever we plant. We can either plant positive seeds (thoughts) that grow into abundance or we can plant negative seeds/thoughts that become poisonous. The choice is ours.

I prefer to focus on all the good around me; to be grateful for all that I have been blessed with. The choice is yours. Will you daily focus on gratitude and appreciate all that you have? Or, will you succumb to the “dark side” by worrying, fearing and bemoaning life? If you choose the former, how will you focus on being grateful? I challenge you to be disciplined in daily focusing (min. 3 – 5 times each day) on being Thankful. You’ll be amazed how this commitment will change your disposition and your life. See my business tips for a couple ideas.

Business Tip

What will you do to daily incite your focus on gratitude? Two years ago while in Colorado I picked my “gratitude stone” out of Gore Creek. The purpose of this rock is to help me focus on gratitude. Every time I touch my rock, I stop what I’m doing and for 10 – 15 seconds think about all the wonderful things that I have. I’ve rubbed that rock so many times that it’s smooth as glass.

How about each morning before your day begins write down 3 or 4 areas for which you are Thankful. Then throughout the day recite these points of gratitude. Before you nod off into dreamland, let your last thoughts be around giving “thanks” for what you have.

Whatever you do, make it a commitment that becomes part of your daily routine.

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