“Making an itemized list of everything we’re thankful for can really be an eye-opener.”
This Thanksgiving, try making an extensive list of EVERYTHING you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. You can even make it a fun challenge involving the whole family. For example, simply see how many items you can list in 5 minutes or less.
OK, so how can this list exercise be an eye-opener for us?
- It forces us to think beyond the obvious. (family, house, job, etc.)
- We are usually surprised at how many things we can actually list.
- Often we will notice things on our list that we recently viewed as trials or difficulties.
I once did this regarding our Anniversary. I intended to list the top 21 attributes I love about my wife. You know what happened? I couldn’t stop. I ended with many more simply because I took time to really think on the issue.
And this can have a profound effect on our personal lives as well as professional, especially in leadership.
“Focused gratitude allows leaders to not take things for granted.”
Maybe you’d say to me, “I can’t do this this week. I really don’t have anything to be thankful for. You don’t know the year I’ve had.” While that is true, I don’t know what kind of year you have had, I do know this. No matter how bad a situation seems, there’s always a deeper level of ‘BAD.’ In other words, things can always get worse than they are. So, one way to be thankful is to notice all the things have not happened yet and rejoice in those truths.
For me, I can name 3 or 4 things we’ve endured in 2014 that I hope to never go through again. The pain and exhaustion almost crushed me. And without God’s grace and guidance, they would have. But, I choose to focus on the many other amazing things that have blessed me this past year. When I do that, it overshadows all the negative.