The Power of Thankfulness

The busiest travel day of the year is the day before Thanksgiving.  I think the stress of traveling on this day helps to give people a new found thankfulness on Thanksgiving.  After all, they’ve survived the ride and they can just sit in a chair and watch football now.  That’s something to be Thankful for.

I’ve seen quite a few of my friends posting on Facebook the things that they are Thankful for each day this month.  I think this is great but I doubt they’re really truly reflecting and being overwhelmed with thankfulness.  I saw a lady on TV today crying because someone had done so much to help her out of a bad situation.  That, is real Thankfulness.

Being thankful, truly overwhelmingly thankful, is a powerful force.  We are all so used to the sun coming up every day that we rarely stop to consider what the world would be like if the sun didn’t rise.  I hate to even think about living in a cold, dark, world in which chaos breaks loose.  I’m thankful that the sun came up this morning.

But even that level of thankfulness isn’t enough to move my soul.  When you can find and harness a level of thankfulness that leaves you excited just to be alive, you’ll find yourself in the happiest place of your life.  Joy will spill through you and into those around you.  You’ll be contagious and inspiring.  Real thankfulness is a powerful force.  Thankfulness has the power to:

  • Shift The Soul – In Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan, he discusses asking his daughters at dinner what was the best part of their day?  Sometimes they’d respond with “nothing good happened today.”  We’ve all been here.  But Gail Hyatt would ask “what was the best thing of all the bad things?”  What a powerful question.  When you can find something to be thankful for in the midst of a bad day, you’ll find a new reason to be joyful, and you’ll instantly break through that depression that often accompanies a bad day.
  • Brighten The Day – When you stop to reflect on your life and the good you have in it, you allow a little light to shine into your heart and illuminate your soul. In The Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews, David Ponder meets Anne Frank.  He is blown away by how upbeat she is amid such tragedy.  She explains that she chooses to be happy and focuses on the good rather than the bad.
  • Lower Expectation – Reading Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years I was surprised to hear that the Danish are the “happiest” people in the world.  I was even more surprised to hear that this is because they have lower than normal expectations.  When we look toward what we are thankful for we are able to remember why.  If you drive a car to work every day you’d be upset if someone took your car and gave you a bicycle.  But if you ride a bike you work, you’d be thrilled if someone took your bike away and gave you a car!  Get over yourself and consider how bad things could be.
  • Regain Love – Being a leader can be hard work.  Sometimes I think life would be easier if I just had others tell me what to do for a change.  Giving up to go up can be hard.  But when I stop to think why I love leadership, I’m thankful again to be in a position of leadership and I’m jazzed to have the opportunity to influence those around me in a positive way.

Enough is never enough and more is always better.  This is the biggest lie we tell ourselves.  The truth about it, however, is that once we gain a little, we lose our thankfulness for it and just become accustomed to our gains.  We then look for more.  This is a deadly cycle.  Choose today to reflect on what you’re thankful for.  This can be through prayer, a daily journal, or a conversation at the dinner table.  To truly be thankful is to truly be happy.

What are you thankful for?

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About Jayson Feltner