A few years ago, as Thanksgiving approached, I wrote a blog about gratitude, service to others, and living life with enthusiasm. I think I’ve re-run that blog every year since, thinking there’s not much more to say. It’s become sort of a Thanksgiving blogging tradition.
And yet, this year I feel compelled to say a little bit more, seeing where I’ve got so much to be grateful for these days: a loving wife, a brand new baby daughter, professional success, and the unconditional love of family and friends. I am truly blessed.
That said, the only thing I would add is that we should be grateful for what is yet to come. You see, I truly believe that we make our own futures and that gratitude for what we have leads to even more for which we can be grateful down the road—not just material things, mind you, but those things that really matter, such as relationships and love.
Try it. Be grateful, be positive, be loving, and be helpful. A recipe for a life well lived doesn’t get much simpler (or better) than that.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!
A Winning Combination: Gratitude and Service to Others
(Originally posted on November 22, 2011 by Paul June)
This time of year, people tend to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that they are often unable to enjoy them. Are you one of these people? How about switching things up this year?
As a starter, I invite you to hop off the post-Halloween holiday treadmill, take a deep breath, consider those things in life for which you are grateful, and ask how you could better serve others.
I always start by acknowledging how grateful I am to be alive, knowing how quickly one’s hold on life and good health can change. Of course, I could then think about how my Mom and Dad are not with me, that my sister and niece have long since left me, that my start-up company and dreams were destroyed by corporate America, or how hard the recession has hit my pocket book and let such reflection get me down . . . but I choose not to. I choose to look at my “cup” as being half-full and, what’s more, as being twice too big to begin with!
Here are some of the things for which I am most grateful . . .
- Being born and raised in the God-blessed USA
- A roof over my head
- Food on the table
- Credit cards with revolving balances
- Clothes on my back
- Having family and friends who love me
- Knowing love
- A positive outlook
- Strong faith
- Being able to fit into size 34-inch jeans
- My surgically repaired shoulder being better
- Being able to walk, smell, and see the glories around us
- Being well-educated.
The bottom line is we all want to matter in this world. We all want to be significant. How we matter and how we are significant can vary. We all can’t be chiefs, and that’s OK. Sometimes we just need to embrace being servants. But whatever the role, chief or servant, we need to approach our lives with enthusiasm.
I challenge you to attack life with a positive attitude. It’s a choice of attitude and perspective, which takes tremendous energy to maintain (staying enthusiastic through good times and bad is hard work!), but reaps many gifts over the long haul.
So in that vein, let’s choose to serve each other this holiday season—asking for nothing in return—and let’s do it with zeal! Giving without asking is a wonderful thing, and something for which we can all be grateful.
A good place to start is to make your own list of things for which you are grateful, and then to help others expand their lists.
For what are you most thankful? Share it here.