This Thanksgiving, I’m looking back as much as I’m looking forward. How about you?
You can’t have a spirit of thankfulness without being grateful for blessings of the past and of those to come.
On one hand, I’m finding myself feeling rather nostalgic as I look back to pictures of Thanksgiving from a couple years ago (this picture was taken in October 2013).
But with a new baby due next month, I’m also consumed with an overwhelming feeling of appreciation for all that is to come. The holidays are emotional, sure, but throw in some pregnancy hormones and it’s a little crazy-pants around here.
I found this blog post today. I wrote it a couple years ago, but you haven’t read it, so it’s new to you. (Or, if you are one of the two people who read it two years ago, you’ve forgotten it and could probably use the reminder. I know I sure did.) So, as we roll into the holidays, join me in appreciating the opportunity to be thankful for all that we had, have, and have to come.
Thankfulness: A Missed Opportunity
(Originally written in November, 2013)
Thanksgiving is only days away, and as I look through family photos to see the living proof of the many things for which I’m deeply grateful, I’m also reminded that thankfulness is a missed opportunity to truly appreciate our gifts until it’s paired with acknowledgement and action.
What I mean is that the act of being thankful is passive; it requires no action and it offers no results. We can be thankful for our family without appreciating the specific things about them that bring us joy, without deepening our relationships in measurable ways, and without building upon those relationships to ensure they’ll continue to grow.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be thankful. You should. We all should. But if we want to express gratitude in a way that will more richly bless us (and teach those we influence to more richly bless themselves), we need to acknowledge the depth of our blessings and create a plan of action to put them to great use.
And no one guides this process better than one of my favorite authors, Napoleon Hill.
Napoleon Hill on Gratitude
I’ve written about Hill many times because I think he really “gets it”. He is self-aware, bright, humble, and intent on achieving his every goal by pulling greatness out of himself rather than trampling down others to achieve it.
Hill’s statement of gratitude is widely published and highly revered:
“I ask not for divine providence, or more riches, but more wisdom with which to accept and use wisely the riches I received at birth in the form of the power to direct and control my mind to whatever ends I desire.”
During this season of thankfulness, it’s my hope that each of you will be blessed with the wisdom to put your God-given talents to great use and direct your mind to miss no opportunities for attaining your every desire.