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What Are You Thankful For?

November 22 2010

give thanksThe Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”  ~H.U. Westermayer

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, at giving thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy

Happy Monday! I hope you look forward to Thanksgiving and making this short week count! It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the inevitable Black Friday are already upon us. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and it generally signifies the start of the holiday season no matter what your beliefs are.  Maybe it is just me, but people really seem friendlier around the holidays.   I like Thanksgiving because it is a holiday centered on family and friends and appreciating what we have.  It is one reason I send Thanksgiving cards not “Happy Holiday” cards.

I read an interesting article this week entitled “How the power of Thank You changed my life” by John Karla.  It was written by an attorney who was at a low point in his life. His second marriage had failed, his business was about to go bankrupt, he had clients suing him, and he was filled with despair. Questioning whether  his life was worth living, he decides to go on a hike. While hiking he hears a little voice that says “Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have you won’t receive the things you want”.  He embarks on a mission to write a thank you note every day for things he often took for granted.   Funny thing happens. He starts to appreciate the little things in life and realizes all the people in his life he has neglected.  He reconnects and it makes him reprioritize his life. It changes his attitude when he realizes all he has to be thankful for.  Soon his life is back on track and he doesn’t question whether life is worth living.

Last week, I needed a bulb in my car to pass inspection. I pulled into Jiffy Lube and asked how much they would charge to put the bulb in. Six bucks was the fee, which was a bargain in my mind. I started talking to the guy behind the counter until the work was done.  Every time I am in Jiffy Lube it is either the air filter,  fuel injectors,  or transmission fluid that I get the up sell on. Not this time. Once my bulb was in, the guy behind the counter leaned  in and said “hey bud don’t worry about the bulb, no charge”. Are you kidding me? This never happens! Small thing, yes, but it made my day. I was so surprised I think I thanked him three times!  He leaned in furtherand gave me two free car washes!  I really don’t know what is was other then my attitude and the holiday season. I am guessing being in customer service he was more accustomed to complaints then praise.  Anyway, at the first opportunity I wrote him a thank you note. While the intent was to make him feel good and show my appreciation, it really made me feel good just like it did with the failing attorney.

So during this week of Thanks, make it a point to write one thank you note to someone in your life. No emails, no phone calls, a handwritten thank you note. I guarantee it will brighten your day as much as the person that receives it. Perhaps it is your kid’s school bus driver that always waits when they are late.  Maybe it is your son or daughter that took the garbage out without being asked. It doesn’t matter!  This week I am particularly thankful for my wife’s ability to forgive me when, after two back to back trips away, I totally screw things up. What are you thankful for?

Over the years my family has always tried to invite people we know are alone during Thanksgiving into our home. It has always led to enlightening dinner conversation. If you are alone this Holiday let me know. We will find room at our table.

Rock on and have an awesome Thanksgiving!