Thanksgiving is coming up. And while it is generally a celebration of the bountiful harvest of the past year, commercialism has turned it into an annual event that waters down its meaning.
It was created to commemorate the bountiful harvest shared in 1621 by the Plymouth Rock pilgrims and the people of the Wampanoag tribe. However, as the years went by, it became an annual remembrance of all the great things that happened within the past year. Folks gave thanks for their successes, achievements, relationships, opportunities, and pretty much anything and everything good.
From trivial stuff like finally getting a drivers’ license to men having enough money to buy diamond engagement rings, people from different corners of the nation celebrated their personal wins.
As we enter the last quarter of the year, plenty of people begin to look back at the past few months and evaluate how things are going and where they are currently. With almost two years of being in a pandemic, people have learned to adapt and just settle into the new normal with lots of what-ifs and regrets in their minds. With all of these things hanging over our heads now, it’s hard to be festive and thankful.
This shouldn’t be the case.
The Gratitude Attitude
When it comes to gratitude, people need to understand that it is more than circumstantial. It has more to do with conditioning the mind and heart, with changing the way we look at and process things and events. Gratitude is not just a feeling that comes and goes. It is an attitude that needs to be built, established, and developed. It is a trait that will take us far in life and allow us to deal with life’s uncertainties with our spirits intact.
Celebrating the Small Wins in Life
Being thankful goes beyond just appreciating the big wins in life. Understandably, everyone has big dreams and ambitions which tend to blind us from the smaller wins we continually experience daily. Our fixation on these major life goals makes us lose sight of the simple joys of life.
There’s nothing wrong with aiming for the stars but if that’s all we’re concerned about, we are robbed of the joys that the simple and the mundane can bring. Thus recognizing the small things and celebrating them is important for several reasons.
We are reminded of our passion
Sometimes our pursuit of the bigger things in life overshadows our whys. We get so caught up in the grind that the reason why we’re doing it shrinks. All the stress that goes with achieving those dreams and pursuits serves as blinders that keep us from seeing the overall picture.
A grateful heart remedies that by allowing us to enjoy and learn from the smaller steps in our journey. Think of it as a marathon. You have the finish line, your ultimate goal, and you have the different checkpoints peppered along the way to mark our progress. These checkpoints allow us to take short breathers to be refreshed.
These life checkpoints let us evaluate what we’re doing and see how much progress we’ve made. You then realize that those little wins, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you, have brought you to where you are now and made you the person you are today.
We gain confidence
A lot of people feel insecure and unsure about themselves as they look at other people’s lives. We don’t need to live in constant insecurity. We each have our own journey to make with different sets of challenges. Instead of looking at others, focus on your race. If you’re comparing yourself to someone, it should be with the person you were the day before, the month before, the year, before, the decade before.
Once you start to realize how far you’ve gone with just the baby steps you took each day, it’ll do wonders for your confidence. No matter how small you think those wins are, they made you grow as a person.
We get a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment
A heart that knows how to be thankful for even the smallest thing is a heart that is easily fulfilled and satisfied in life. They are learning to live life to the fullest, not allowing their dreams and ambitions (along with the stressors and heartbreaks they bring) to bring them down. They have a happier outlook in life which is clearly visible in their countenance. Their joy and zest for life are genuine. Things may not be perfect but they know the boons far outnumber the banes in life.
This is not to be confused with denial as faking it will also manifest itself outwardly. But a person who has a grateful attitude will shine as bright as the sun. They know that even though things could be better, they are still blessed so there’s really no reason for them to complain.
The bottom line is this: the right attitude can change the way you live your life. Having an attitude of gratitude will radically change you in ways that will surprise you and those who know you best. You get to enjoy life more and live fuller and happier.