In The Spirit of Gratitude
It’s Thanksgiving! ‘Tis the season for gratitude. Of course, feeling thankful shouldn’t be an annual occurrence – daily is optimal. But, there is something about this time of year when the expressions of gratitude are most abundant that is especially heart warming. No matter what you celebrate, how you celebrate, or if you celebrate, it just feels good to pause and reflect on the people and circumstances that have led you to be at this place, right now.
Gratitude has been linked to increased levels of happiness and life satisfaction so it is one of those simple exercises that yields positive results. But don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not always easy to achieve and when you’re searching for a rewarding career path or feeling stuck in a job, sometimes feeling thankful is the last thing on your mind. We’re only human. We do our best.
Consider your story. Pause and reflect. Ask yourself the following questions:
– Who believed in me and gave me an opportunity when they didn’t have to?
– Who has helped me when I’ve felt stuck?
– Who has been my best boss and why? (note: even if it’s from a part-time job in high school, let your mind try and come up with a person or a few people)?
– Who are the people/ What were the circumstances that brought the most important people into my life (non-family)?
– Who was an early role model or inspiration for me?
As you look at the names of people who have influenced your story, helped you, given you an opportunity, or made you laugh on the toughest of days, consider how you might be shaping someone else’s story. Maybe there’s a person you feel compelled to call, write or just smile at their memory. It’s easy to be consumed by job search or career goals and put the emphasis on all the reasons that we’re not at our happiest yet. When you allow yourself to experience gratitude, you are rekindled – even for a moment. Sometimes it compels us to return the feeling to whomever created it.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” — The Hausa of Nigeria
Have a happy, peaceful and warm Thanksgiving.
Tava and Donna