I am continually impressed with how powerful Thanksgiving can be. Below are just a few things I am personally thankful for:
- I’m thankful for my family because they support me no matter where I am in my journey and I know they will always have my back.
- I’m thankful for our clients because they give our work meaning. There is no better feeling than knowing we have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
- I am thankful for my friends and colleagues. Because of them, I am continually supported, motivated and inspired to keep growing and pushing myself.
- I am thankful for mentors and coaches. Because of them we have been able to learn more quickly, hit our goals sooner and enjoy the journey.
- I am thankful for my team because they are an enjoyable group and help us accomplish more, complimenting each other and providing backup when needed.
- I am thankful because my work is my passion. By focusing on activities we love with people we love, we can make a difference in other’s lives so they can also pursue what they love and find fulfilment.
- I am thankful to be able to focus on what we love and do best. It’s funny how some people love and are great at things that we might enjoy less.
- I am thankful for the top of the mountain experiences. These experiences help put me in a peak state for future endeavors.
- I am thankful for the painful memories. Because of the multitude of spectacular highs and lows, the wins and the losses, I can give more and provide meaning to what others may be going through.
- I am thankful for continued opportunities to grow and improve. Because of this, I believe our best days are ahead as we continually make improvements together by overcoming limiting beliefs and destructive behavioral tendencies.
- I am thankful for the country we live in. Because we live in a country where we are free to pursue happiness, free to rejoice in our faith and free to pursue our dreams, we have more opportunity for personal fulfillment than most have throughout history.
I’ve written on the power of Thanksgiving several times, but I feel this message deserves repeating. Feel free to meditate on this message again over this Thanksgiving season.
There is so much all of us have to be thankful for. We just have to put ourselves in the right frame of mind. It’s amazing how much better we feel and how more productive we are when in the right frame of mind.
Giving thanks also helps us focus on how far we have come and what we have going for us rather than comparing to an arbitrary ideal and fretting over the fact that we have not reached perfection yet. When we are continually focused on progress instead of perfection and give ourselves time to think over how much we can be grateful for, life has so much more joy.
One of the most powerful favors you can do for yourself is expressing authentic gratitude. Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive especially during this season of Thanksgiving. Isn’t saying thanks a gift to the other person?
Think again. Authentic gratitude is a deep benefit to everyone involved.
OUR BRAINS ON GRATITUDE
According to experts who study gratitude and its effect on our ability to survive and thrive, when we say thanks, we program our brain to see positive change.
“When we intentionally and steadily cultivate a practice of gratitude for the people and processes that sustain our life, we expand our perception of our experience back out of a narrow, contracted, survival mode… to a more expansive, more optimistic perspective, where we can again discern options and possibilities,” said Linda Graham, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being. “Resilience is a reliably measurable outcome of cultivating positive emotions such as gratitude.”
A few years back, after hearing from Happiness Recipe author Shawn Achor in a conference, we even created our own internal gratitude procedures within our office. For more on this, please feel free to click one of the links above.
Some of my favorite quotes on gratitude are included below:
- “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
- “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” -Alfred North Whitehead
- “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” -H.A. Ironside
- “The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” -Charles Schwab
- “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward
- “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” -Gertrude Stein
- “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John F. Kennedy
- “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” -Alphonse Karr
- “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” -Voltaire
- “So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder that which I don’t have.” -Helen Keller
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Joe D. Franklin, CFP is Founder and President of Franklin Wealth Management, and CEO of Innovative Advisory Partners, a registered investment advisory firm in Hixson, Tennessee. A 20+year industry veteran, he contributes guest articles for Money Magazine and authors the Franklin Backstage Pass blog. Joe has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s Magazine, USA Today and other publications.
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