Thanksgiving is upon us and countless families will gather around a table overloaded with turkey and all the trimmings, and one by one, state those things for which they are thankful. Some will express their gratitude for family or health, while others will give thanks for professional or personal success. Regardless, it’s a holiday that encourages us to reflect and be grateful for what we have (or in some cases, don’t have). It’s also the only day of the year where giving thanks is heavily promoted, encouraged and celebrated.
Why wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks? Being thankful is something we should aspire to do each and every day. It’s not as if there aren’t many things for which we can be thankful. Perhaps your spouse hands you the butter knife at the dinner table, or at a work meeting where you forgot to bring a pen, a colleague lends you one. Many times throughout each and every day, we’re presented with opportunities to express our gratitude for something that someone else did. You never know how much “Thank you” will brighten someone’s day.
It’s easy to say thank you when you:
- Receive a gift
- Land a significant client
- Get the job offer
- Hear people say “congratulations” to you
Other, less obvious, but just as worthy “thank you” moments include:
- Someone, either directly or indirectly, says they believe in you
- You feel inspired by something you’ve read, or after a chat you had with another person
- Hearing words of encouragement when you’re having “one of those days”
- The muse strikes as a result of a conversation you have with another person
- Being let go from a company on the verge of it folding and subsequently having an epiphany about what truly inspires you
- Prospects that say “No”, since we learn more from our failures than successes
- Receiving feedback from colleagues, clients, prospects or managers that redirects your efforts
While there are seemingly endless “thank you” moments, the gist of this post is to say that we should all be willing to express our thankfulness.
I get it. It can be hard to say “thank you” to someone when things go awry. You might need time to pass to fully appreciate the situation and how it ultimately helps you. Having the humility to give thanks when any of the more difficult situations arise makes us stronger. It gives us courage and hardens our resolve to see things through. So, for me, having experienced each of the seven moments listed above, I am thankful.