Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not because of all the food – although I do enjoy a good pumpkin pie – but because it reminds me to have an attitude of gratitude. It reminds me to give thanks for my faith because it helps me stay optimistic even in times of challenge. It reminds me to give thanks for grace and forgiveness because my wife tells me I do plenty of things that need forgiving and don’t always deserve that forgiveness so it’s a good thing for grace. It reminds me to give thanks for my family and friends, because of the joy they bring to me simply by being in my life. And it reminds me to give thanks for my health because it’s what allows me to enjoy life as I do.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.” Giving thanks continuously may sound like a challenge. But a friend recently shared how she manages to continue to be grateful each and every day. I’m sharing it with you because it helped me develop an attitude of gratitude.
A few years ago, my friend was going through a tough time and wanted to be more positive and bring more joy to others. After doing research and visiting with several mentors, she decided that making a habit of being grateful could help her see more of the light in life rather than the dark. One mentor suggested she start each day by thanking God for just one thing. Over time, she’s expanded it to three things every day. She also shares why she’s thankful for them because she felt that some of them sounded pretty silly without explanation. For example, why would she be grateful for a broken dishwasher? Because her husband now helps her wash the dishes and it shows her how supportive he is of her.
So I challenge you this Thanksgiving: join me in starting a habit of gratitude. You can begin with naming just one thing you’re grateful for every day – or go all the way to three each day. It’s okay to start small – maybe you’re thankful for the fall colors, for the sunshine today, or for the ability to put food on the table for your family this Thanksgiving. As Mark Sanborn said in one of my favorite quotes, “Fear nothing but to waste the present moment.” Take advantage of all the blessings you have today – and be grateful for them!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving from all of us here at Levo!