Surely I could have come up with something more original that Gratitude on the day before Thanksgiving!!

But the reality is that I’m grateful for you! I’m grateful you’re reading what I have to write. I cannot say how meaningful it has been to receive small notes of encouragement and gratitude from some of you.

Additionally, I wrote about gratitude this be because I believe it is one of our most important tools for living in the present, and I don’t think it can be oversold. It is absolutely essential for finding peace in this life. Without genuine gratitude, what we have will never be enough. Who we are will never be enough.

I think this feeling of lacking is a major source of unhappiness and struggle in our lives today. 

Ryan Holiday illustrates this concept in his book Stillness is the Key. He tells the story of authors Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut at a party in the large home of a billionaire. 

Kurt Vonnegut says, “Joe, how does it feel that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel has earned its entire history?”

“I’ve got something he can never have.” Heller Replied

“And what on earth could that be?”

“The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”

I absolutely love this story. We don’t have to stand in the house of a billionaire to experience the feeling of lacking. It surrounds us daily. No matter how much you have or how much you’ve accomplished, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be left wanting more. Wouldn’t it be amazing to truly feel like you had enough??

Is the pursuit of more keeping you from what’s most important in your life? If you truly believed that you had enough, what would change?

The key to finding peace and overcoming the desire for more comes from a practice of gratitude. Gratitude is waking up to the good that surrounds us and turns our attention to the positive. It lifts our hearts when we are down and speaks to our souls when times get tough. Gratitude is the key to hope in a world that too often seems overwhelming. 

But gratitude cannot be just a passing thought or an occasional declaration. It must become a daily practice. 

Gratitude must become something we express often to the people we love. It will help us to see and focus on all the good that exists. When is the last time you told your spouse or significant other that you are deeply grateful for their influence and love? Have you looked your child in the eye and thanked them for the joy they bring to your life? Is there are friend out there who would benefit from knowing that their friendship is a source of happiness? These moments of gratitude change people and they change relationships.

Equally important is to daily find the things you’re grateful for. A number of months back, I was inspired by Hill to start a gratitude journal. Each day I try to write down three things I’m grateful for. I try not to be too repetitive (except for being grateful for Hill in case she is reading it). I try to find the simple things. I look for the people and the places and the blessings that are mine. When I’m consistent, it truly changes my perspective. 

I have always loved Thanksgiving. As I”ve gotten older it has become a day of reflection and gratitude. It’s an opportunity to pause and give thanks before the craziness of the Christmas Holiday season ensues. It’s a time to be with people I love and recognize that it is enough. I hope you will find joy this Thanksgiving full of gratitude for what is yours.

I love this thought from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”