What are you thankful for? Growing up and still up to this day, my mother always says, “Have you counted your blessings today? As I have grown and matured, I have come to realize that this is a really good exercise that everyone may want to consider doing as well as teaching your kids this same valuable lesson. It is a way of reflecting on the positives of your life and what truly matters. I find it particularly helpful on those days that I feel are less than ideal.
I would roll my eyes when my mother would ask as I was either telling her that I was “bored”, saying something along the lines of “this isn’t fair,” or that life in general was a little overwhelming on a particular day. I have now come to appreciate my mother’s wisdom and began implementing it in my life, both personally and with family. Thinking of what you’re thankful for can help put things in perspective by thinking of what you’re most thankful for; family, friends, a roof over your head, health, education… It can go deeper too by thinking of things that may be counterintuitive to what you may think of as being thankful for such as pressure, failure, struggle and this very moment.
A little over 6 years ago, sitting around the table getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner, my friend’s mother would have everyone around the table say what they were thankful for. As described to me by his mother, Aaron taking this more seriously for the first time responded with one word, “family.” A month later just after Christmas, my friend was gone. He went out doing what he loved while working for his family’s tree service business. He had this presence of someone who lived life to its fullest and inspired others to do the same through his actions as well as how he interacted with others. I often reflect back to this story and my friend, my brother, and how it inspires me to be my best. As a husband, father, to everything I do and how I present myself.
I realize now that no matter how challenging life can get, it really isn’t that bad. Here are 5 helpful suggestions that can be used to help you count your blessings and be grateful.
1) Keep a journal and write down what you are thankful for.
2) Express to someone what you are thankful for and why.
3) Be respectful to everyone you encounter.
4) Take time to pause and reflect and avoid complaining.
5) Volunteer and give back to the community.
Take time to count your blessings and share what you are thankful for.