Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all the good in our lives, but what if we could use gratitude to improve our lives every day?
Many people think that gratitude is just a cheesy thing that people do around Thanksgiving, but I’m here to tell you that it’s so much more than that. You can use gratitude to improve your relationships, career, and health.
Eckhart Tolle said, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Thanksgiving will change the trajectory of your life. Your choice to be grateful for the things you have will open the path toward an overflowing life.
As you’ll enjoy the delicious turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and silky pumpkin pie, I invite you to pause and say a prayer of thanksgiving.
Being thankful can be challenging. It’s a choice we have to make every day.
The good news is that you can learn it.
I learned it.
Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to me. I realized that I needed to be intentional about being grateful. That’s why I wired a gratitude practice into my daily routine.
As an engineer, I learned to spot improvement potentials. The more I worked with left-brain people I noticed we paid attention to the things that were not working. It shocked me that I had forgotten to see the many things working in my life.
Likewise, high achievers rob themselves of happiness. Why? Because they tend to focus on what’s lacking.
Dan Sullivan noticed how omnipresent this toxic mindset was in his successful coaching clients. He said, “Your future growth and progress are now based on your understanding of the difference between the two ways in which you can measure yourself: against an ideal, which puts you in what I call ‘the GAP,’ and against your starting point, which puts you in ‘the GAIN,’ appreciating all that you’ve accomplished.”
That’s your choice too.
Living in ‘the GAIN’ sets you up for enjoyment, satisfaction, and happiness.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for these seven things (and much more).
I realized how precious my friends were during the various lockdowns first-hand. I took them for granted until I could not leave my house anymore. Spending two weeks alone, confined within my walls, was challenging. And I began to miss my friends’ smiles and words of encouragement. Few things mean more to me than sharing a wonderful moment with a dear friend face-to-face.
I recently celebrated my birthday and felt honored to have my friends over at my house to celebrate the joyful moment. I resolved to be grateful for every minute I could enjoy. I cherish the excellent advice of my grandmother. “You only celebrate this birthday once in your life,” she said. “Enjoy it!”
I’ll never forget that precious wisdom of an older woman who learned to remain grateful despite the curve balls life threw at her.
I resolved that no virus, circumstance, or regulation would hinder me from spending quality time with my family.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to schedule regular video calls with my family.
The use of technology enabled me to spend quality time with my loved ones during times I could not travel.
The other day, I hopped on my mountain bike and drove early in the morning through the bright-green rice fields covering the vast plains like a carpet.
I get to experience such beautiful moments because I’m in shape. That’s a tremendous reason to pause and say, “Thank you!”
This year, I had the opportunity to learn to dive. The stunning underwater world opened to me. Again, that’s possible because I get to enjoy an excellent health status. I feel incredibly blessed and thankful.
When did you give thanks for your health the last time?
My counselor made a memorable statement in one of my sessions. That day, I was complaining about the dullness of my work. “The dying people my wife works with can’t go to work anymore,” he said. “You have an immense privilege. You get to go to work every day.”
That moment changed the trajectory of my life. I began to look for the positive things about that job. And guess what? I did find many things. All it takes is that you need to open your eyes. I began to recognize the many qualities I got to enjoy, even though it was by far not my dream job. And through this process, I became happier.
You will always find something that’s great. And if everything is a mess at your work, say at least thank you for your paycheck.
I’m immensely grateful for the book I published earlier this year.
I soon discovered that crafting a book to encourage single people while being transparent about my struggles is more demanding than I ever imagined.
Looking back, I appreciate that I did not give up. In the last couple of months, I’ve received multiple opportunities to share my message on podcasts, Instagram Lives, blog articles, and radio.
And through my book, I get to run online courses all around the world. And what’s even more fulfilling is that I can do what I love. Isn’t that, once again, a reason to give thanks?
When I had been a couple of years into my chemical engineering career, I began to get a longing to do research. And I regretted that I had not pursued a Ph.D.
A crazy idea did not leave. “Why not do a Ph.D. now in my thirties?” I felt excited and scared at the same time.
For two years, I browsed through myriad ads for vacant Ph.D. positions in labs worldwide, but despite my intense search efforts, I didn’t find a suitable situation. I gave up, thinking it would not be the right thing for me to do then.
Then, one day I arrived at work and walked by the job board. I couldn’t believe the posting I saw: “Ph.D. position in the R&D department.” Immediately, I knew this was the position I’d been seeking. I applied for it and was accepted.
God opened a supernatural door. He made a way to that opportunity that exceeded my dreams and imagination.
In 2020, I experienced a dramatic loss of security: all-important life areas, including my work, relationships, and where I belong, became shaky. I had to let go of my control.
And when I let go, I found peace. And I’m grateful for it.
His promise still stands:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
Why don’t you take a moment right now to put your trust in Him again?
The ancient King David experienced such peace. He wrote:
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. -Psalm 4:7
And God wants to give you that overflowing joy despite the frightening changes you’re facing.
Let’s pause for a moment at Thanksgiving.
Why not say a word of gratitude when the irresistible smell of the well-roasted turkey enters your nose?
Reflect on the goodness in your life! I’m sure there is at least one thing you can be grateful for.
If I’m not careful, I focus on the negative in my life.
That’s why I cherish my daily habit of gratitude. It proved to be a game-changer in my life.
I’m happier, more fulfilled, and more optimistic.
What are the seven things that you are grateful for at Thanksgiving?
Are you ready to say, “Thank you?”
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action — not just a once-in-a-year celebration. Happy Thanksgiving!