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Tag Archives: be thankful

We’re back, friends. We’ve all made one more trip around the sun together and we’re back in the holiday season. In many parts of the world, it is cold and dark (and getting colder and darker!), but there is still much to be thankful for. If you’re reading this, you can be thankful for literacy and for access to an electronic device. If you are indoors, you can be thankful for shelter. If you ate today, you can be grateful for access to food. Most of us can also be thankful for family members and/or friends—those who lift us up, check in, remember our birthdays.

The truth is, most of us have a lot more than we realize. We just don’t always remember what we have or remember to be grateful.

Today, I challenge you to pause and reflect. Think about what went well this year, instead of dwelling on any failures you might have experienced. Think of the people who made a positive impact in your life—even strangers who said a kind word or helped in some way. Think of your favorite moments from this past year—where were you and who were you with? If you’d like to jot some notes about favorite moments or positive experiences from the past year, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!

Don’t you feel better? Isn’t it nice to set aside self-criticism and negativity for a while and focus on all the good that surrounds us?

Reflecting on the positive aspects of life should not be reserved for once a year, and yet we tend to throw all our gratitude energy into Thanksgiving. Why not spread it out? Why not carry a feeling of gratitude with us all year round?

Some people do try to live a life of gratitude, and those people, in my experience, are some of the happiest and most compassionate people I know. Instead of letting others’ negative actions or comments weigh them down, they “let it slide” and move on. Instead of getting tripped up by bumps in the road, they get into problem-solving mode.

My wish is that we will all learn to be a bit more gentle and forgiving with ourselves and others. I wish we would spend more time focusing on the rainbow, instead of the rain. By adopting this attitude, even the most difficult paths become possible. Just put one foot in front of the other and start seeing all the good that surrounds you, each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

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be grateful, show gratitude

Last month’s newsletter was on the importance of gratitude, but I wanted to give you five quick ways you can show it. During the holiday season, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with a long list of things to do—buy presents, prepare food, clean the house, shovel the driveway, etc.—and it’s easy to forget our manners in the shuffle.

Think about the wonderful people around you and remember why we celebrate this time of year. Be grateful for those people and show them your appreciation when they open their home, share their food with you, or buy you a present. Here are five easy ways you can show your gratitude:

  1. Say (and write) thank you.

Even if you act grateful (enjoying your meal, praising the gift someone gave you, etc.), it’s still nice to hear the words Thank You. They are worth a lot, especially when said with meaning. And don’t forget the power of a handwritten thank you note. It’s a gesture that shows that you cared enough about the other person that you took time out of your busy day to write something thoughtful.

  1. Listen

Too often, we are so busy with all the thoughts in our own heads that we miss what others are saying. Show the person across the table from you that you are grateful for their presence. Sincerely listen to what they have to say before jumping in with your own story or opinion.

  1. Extend an invitation and follow through

If there is someone at the office (or perhaps an old friend or relative) with whom you’d like to connect, reach out to them! Too often, we become comfortable in our own cozy bubbles and forget the people at the peripheries of our lives. It’s as simple as asking someone to lunch or a quick cup of coffee.

  1. Lend a hand

Whether it’s cleaning up the dishes after a friend’s holiday party or offering to help your secretary prepare for the next office get together, it’s always nice to give others support by helping out.

  1. Acknowledge others’ successes

It could be a co-worker, it could be your son or daughter—practice showing gratitude to others by acknowledging their good work. You could do this publicly (i.e. in a company meeting or when you’re gathered together at lunch) or privately. Share a specific example of what that person did or accomplished and let them know you appreciate their excellent work.

It is not difficult to show gratitude, but sometimes it does take conscious effort. Practice being mindful this holiday season and focus on the positive aspects of your life, rather than the negative ones. This way, gratitude will be at the top of your mind and saying things like “thank you” or “I appreciate you because…” will come naturally.

Happy holidays! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.

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