Every Day Is Thanksgiving!
Jeff Keller

Did anything great happen to you in the last 24 hours?  I mean something monumental. . . something you're so thankful for that you felt like breaking out in song?  Go ahead, review your day.

Maybe you're thinking about whether you received any checks in the mail; or perhaps you're just delighted because today's mail didn't include any bills!  As you consider this question, you might reach the conclusion that nothing truly spectacular occurred.

But, hold on for a moment.

Did you have a place to stay last night, shielded from the elements?  Imagine what it might be like if you and your family didn't have a roof over your heads.

Is there a bathroom, plumbing or hot water where you live?  Does that make your life a little more comfortable?  From the time you awoke, did you have the use of your eyesight to see the sun and the beautiful blue sky?  Were you able to get out of bed, walk around and go outside?  Some people won't have that luxury today.

How about your hearing?  Can you hear the sounds of the birds chirping or the wind rustling through the trees?  At breakfast, could you smell the fresh coffee brewing or the toast after it popped up in the toaster?

What would a day be like if you couldn't hear or smell. . . or if you couldn't taste your food?  Yes, there ARE people who don't have the full use of these senses.  And what about those things that aren't necessary to survive, but that
enhance your day-to-day existence -- items like a car, a radio, a television or a computer?  Are you truly thankful for these and other gifts you regularly use?

Celebrate Each Precious Gift

I'm sure that you get my point.  Each day, we have dozens of reasons to give thanks.  Yet we generally take these things for granted and fail to see them as precious items to be cherished.  Of course, when any one of them is taken from us, even temporarily, we take notice.  But, day in and day out, we rarely consider our blessings.

Why am I making such a big fuss about this?  It's simple.  When you focus on gratitude and other positive emotions, you feel better and are more relaxed, more creative and more productive.  You also have a positive influence on those around you, at work and at home.

Here, then, are a few things you can do to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" in your life:

1.  Think about your blessings daily.  The key is to develop a habit of focusing on things you are grateful for.  Put a note on your bathroom mirror or carry a card in your wallet or purse with the message, "Count Your Blessings."

Set aside time each day to reflect on how fortunate you are.  This isn't a time-consuming chore, and you'll be amazed at the results!

2.  Verbalize your gratitude.  During conversations at work and at home, express your appreciation for all of the wonderful things and people in your life.  If you live in a country that allows you freedom of expression and the right to pursue your dreams, tell others how much you appreciate that.

Express your gratitude to supportive coworkers and family members.  Call your parents and let them know how much you value the sacrifices they made for you while you were growing up.

3.  Shift the focus away from difficulties.  When problems arise and you've done all you can to remedy them, train your mind to bring your attention back to your blessings.  This helps you to keep things in perspective -- e.g., recognizing that your health and basic necessities in life are more important than the fact that the office copier will be out of order for a few hours. Besides, when you are relaxed and experiencing positive emotions, you stand a far better chance of coming up with solutions to your difficulties.

4.  Lift others in need.  One of the best ways to use your gifts (health, energy, attitude, etc.) is to share them with others who are having a rough time.  Can you lend a helping hand to a co-worker, friend, relative or other person in your

Merely spending time with someone in need, or giving a few words of encouragement can make a tremendous difference to that person, while helping you to develop a deeper sense of gratitude about how well-off you are.

It costs you nothing to be grateful and appreciative, yet it has a considerable impact on the quality of your life.  So, don't waste another minute.  Every day, reflect on the priceless gifts you've been enjoying.  Openly share your gratitude with others.

And, the next time somebody asks if anything great happened to you today, you'll have plenty to say!

* * * * *

Jeff Keller is the President of Attitude is Everything, Inc.  For more than 17 years, Jeff has delivered presentations on attitude and motivation to businesses, groups and trade associations throughout the United States and abroad. Jeff is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, Attitude is Everything. For more information, go to http://www.attitudeiseverything.com.

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