How often do we take a moment, unprompted by a holiday, to reflect and give thanks? Sometimes it appears that we try to wait until the exact correct moment to say thank you, to give feedback, or to process through an experience. We tend to feel those times come with predetermined situations. We look at performance reviews as the opportunities to give feedback, at January 1st as the opportunity to set new goals, and Thanksgiving to say thank you and think about what we are grateful for.
Martin Seligman discusses the benefits of writing down what we are grateful for in his book, Flourish. He asks us to “set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well.” He makes a point to remind us that these three things do not have to be of “earthshaking importance.” They may be little things that made a positive difference or major changes that will influence your life. Not only did he find this to increase his happiness and joy in his own life, but also tried it with his family, his students, and eventually patients who were struggling with depression. The success this exercise had with all of these individuals is special- but certainly not surprising. We can replicate this success in our own lives and in the lives of those we interact with on a regular basis. BUT… it means we have to call attention to what we are thankful for more then once a year.
Thanksgiving is a beautiful time where family comes together and we have the opportunity to tangibly see all that we have accomplished, all we are proud of, and all we are thankful for. But don’t let this be the only time you verbalize these things. As we step into the last month of 2013, we have an opportunity to extend the energy of Thanksgiving. And on that note, I would like to share three things I am thankful for today:
- Completing my first year at Luck Companies.
- Finding the perfect Hanukkah gift for my brother.
- The hot cup of tea I am getting ready to drink on this very cold and rainy day.