Why is it that Thanksgiving is only one day? Why is it that thankfulness and appreciation are so seemingly difficult for so many of us? Why is it that each year, when I used to make the family go around the table and share one thing they were thankful for, they all rolled their eyes? Why is it that we’re reluctant to include gratitude and appreciation in our daily lives…when it gives us so much? When research has shown that finding time to be thankful has been linked to better health, less anxiety, and longer-term satisfaction with life. When research has also shown that truly appreciating others, and thanking them out loud, yields more productive and enjoyable relationships, at work and at home.
We are an extremely driven culture. I work with extremely driven clients. I can be an extremely driven person. And there’s nothing wrong with all of this. Except when our “driven-ness” drives us too hard or pushes us too far. Sometimes we raise the bar, for ourselves and others, to such a high place – which in and of itself is not bad. It can be very motivating and inspiring to have a stretch goal and high aspirations. However, when we get to the point that nothing is quite good enough and we’re never satisfied, our driven-ness is working against us.
And so we stop, for one day in the year, and give thanks. Maybe. Or maybe we just eat too much, endure our families, and watch football on TV. But I think that a revolution must occur, because I think there is much to be gained by being thankful, truly thankful, on Thanksgiving and beyond. I know Thanksgiving is just one day and by next week we’re all tired of leftover turkey, but I challenge all of us (myself included) to continue our thankfulness and appreciation. Because when we notice what we love, we feel better. When we notice all we have, we feel blessed. When we notice the wonderfulness of the people around us, our relationships actually improve. When we appreciate what we enjoy about our work, our home, and our daily life…our daily life seems to take on a glow.
So keep the Thanks-giving spirit alive. Continue being grateful and see what happens.