“There is always something for which to be thankful.” Charles Dickens
I know that the Thanksgiving holiday is over in the U.S., but I’d like to stay on the topic of gratitude a little longer.
Last week, I shared a list of things I am grateful for; I did something similar the year prior.
Making a gratitude list each year is a voyage of discovery. Some of these are not things I stop to think about very often. I simply take them for granted. They include tools that facilitate my work and life, tools like toothbrushes, eyeglasses, and exercise equipment. Apps that fuel my curiosity and help me mark the passage of time and events with a meaningful record and other technology make it possible to have a career I love.
I have clean, running water. A home in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA. Abundant, nutritious food. Uncommon freedoms. Opportunities unknown to women of earlier generations, and some opportunities unknown to men, too. I am grateful for the chance to learn continuously, constantly moving up new S Curves.
And, of course, any list of things I’m grateful for includes people and relationships. It’s hard to be too grateful for Keith, a handyman who can fix anything in our house. But it’s easy to take him for granted. It is even easier to forget to express adequate thanks to my husband, my children, and my God, who are always present and supportive with their love.
Gratitude is always a choice. I’ve had years where gratitude was harder for me to choose than it is this year. 2012 was that kind of year. Some wonderful things happened that year, but some tremendously hard life events seemed to overshadow them. I then learned that no matter how rich and blessed our life is, we can still choose to be ungrateful, and some people do. Conversely, no matter how difficult and poor circumstances are, some people find things to be thankful for and ways to express their gratitude.
Maybe this is a challenging year for you to choose gratitude. It inevitably will be for some or perhaps many. I'm hopeful, however, that we all can still discover reasons to be grateful.
I'm thinking of three things I'm grateful for right now, this minute. I hope you will too.
In what ways can you express gratitude today?
What discoveries have you made for which you are grateful?
This week, our podcast guest is General Stanley McChrystal, most recently the author of Risk: A User’s Guide.
What lessons, you might ask, could we possibly apply from war zones and global conflicts to our own professional development? Well, many, as you’ll hear from my fascinating conversation with General McChrystal.
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. We are giving away five copies of his book. Hit reply and say, ‘I am grateful for….’ and you’ll be eligible.
I am grateful you are here!
P.S. Join me next week on 12/9 for my LinkedIn Live at 9am ET! Special guest Michael Bungay Stanier and I will have a very BIG announcement that’s time-sensitive! Follow me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitneyjohnson/ to get notifications, so you don’t miss it!