Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gratitude. Derived from the Latin word gratis, it simply refers to "the state of being thankful."

The definition of gratitude goes on even further to refer to it as "an indebtedness for life." Now that is some serious thankfulness, don't you think?

Psychological research (Emmons & McCullough, 2003) has suggested that feelings of gratitude are beneficial to subjective emotional well-being. In people who are grateful in general, life events have little influence on experienced gratitude (McCullough, Tsang & Emmons, 2004). In other words, these persons live their life within a "state of thankfulness."

As we experience another Thanksgiving celebration this year, I would encourage you to make it a goal that from now until the beginning of the new year, try something new. Rather than offer thanks for only a few given moments on a November Thursday, make a pledge to yourself that you will attempt (if you don't already do so) to live the following 37 days in a state of thankfulness.

  • Leave a note on every mirror asking yourself, "For what are you thankful today?"
  • Challenge yourself to come up with an honest-to-goodness silver lining thought for every nongrateful or cynical thought you have - stop yourself immediately and remind yourself of something which to be thankful.
  • Make a pledge to do one nice - and anonymous - deed for someone else for each of these 37 days.
  • Think of one kind - and different - compliment for your spouse/significant other for each of the 37 days.
  • Think of one nice thing about yourself for each of the 37 days - kindness starts at home.
  • Think of one person for each of the 37 days to whom you are "indebted" for their presence in and impact on your life.

Offering a life of thankfulness instead of a few words of thanks can make all the difference between being moved by Life and simply moving through it.


Post Note: I would love to take the time to call you personally, my friend, but this post note of thanks will have to do. Do know that I think of you and so many other wonderful relatives and friends and remain thankful for your presence and impact on my life. Thank you and blessings to you on this Thanksgiving Thursday, these next 37 days... and beyond...