Thanksgiving offers us the opportunity to reflect on all the things for which we are grateful. It allows us to exercise our gratitude “muscle” — to take the time to appreciate our loved ones, our communities, our workplaces, and to give careful thought to what matters most. At ConantLeadership, one thing we’re thankful for is being part of a continually evolving leadership community; we’re so grateful for all the voices in the leadership conversation who contribute their insights day after day, week after week. These contributions help us all in our quest to be better leaders, spouses, parents, colleagues, and friends to the people with whom we live and work. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ve compiled ten recent posts about gratitude from all over the web. We hope you find them as helpful and inspiring in this holiday season as we have. Enjoy!
“For something to change in your life, one of two things has to happen: your life changes, or you do.”
This post from Entrepreneur Magazine acts as a rallying call-to-action to adopt a “practice of gratitude” throughout the year. The author argues that changing our attitude to focus on the positive can transport us from a mindset of victimhood to a mindset of action, especially in the face of adversity.
“I found myself losing the ‘me’ perspective and gaining a ‘we’ perspective.”
In this uplifting piece, Author Jamelle Sanders reflects on the power of gratitude in the wake of a friend’s tragic accident. His ruminations on how gratitude can quiet the ego and manifest success in your life are a much needed reminder.
“It’s gratitude that draws people together, builds trust, and strengthens ties.”
This compelling post from Michael Hyatt uses research to teach us four tangible ways gratitude can improve our lives; some research presented here even suggests gratitude can not only strengthen, but lengthen, your life!
“If you stick to your practice “ even if it’s not ‘heart-felt’ in the beginning “ eventually it transforms into true gratitude.”
This post gets tactical with gratitude, providing the reader with seven immediately applicable ways to begin a practice of thanks giving. The author acknowledges it can be difficult to feel thankful in the face of problems and roadblocks — but she provides real-world strategies we can all use to begin authentically giving thanks even when the going gets tough.
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns. I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
Leadership author Skip Prichard compiles 28 thought-provoking quotes culled from an assortment of great minds — from Cicero to Oprah. A quick read that adds more than a little food for thought to your Thanksgiving table.
6. Forbes: 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude That Will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year-Round.
“Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.”
While some of the positive effects of gratitude are well-documented, a few compiled here may surprise you. One study cited in this post even suggests gratitude may help you sleep better.
“Gratitude, honor, and recognition are so much deeper and more powerful than just saying thanks.”
Dan Rockwell challenges us to go beyond the words “thank you” to find more robust and heartfelt ways to express our gratitude and honor people’s accomplishments. This is a timely reminder to find as many ways as possible to express appreciation.
8. Brain Pickings: Albert Camus’s Beautiful Letter of Gratitude to His Childhood Teacher After Winning the Nobel Prize.
“Few things are more heartwarming than bearing witness to one human being expressing deep gratitude for the profound, course-altering impact another has played in her or his life.”
Herein lies as elegantly and articulately expressed a ‘thank you’ as you’ll ever read. Although sometimes composing the right message of gratitude can be difficult — Camus (a literary giant), not surprisingly, finds just the right words. It’s a nice homage to mentorship and friendship.
“The benefits of gratitude go far beyond doing something because it’s the ‘right thing’ to do.”
While this post echoes many of the benefits featured in the other posts, we like that it explicitly calls out the need for a nobler reason for expressing gratitude. Eikenberry warns us that if we embark on a practice of giving thanks only because we’re supposed to, or in hopes of a”quid pro quo,” that our efforts may be dead on arrival.
“We have to constantly remind ourselves to look for ‘what’s right’ in our lives instead of ‘what’s wrong.'”
This quick read reminds us to be diligent in resisting the scarcity mindset that prefers looking for “either,” “or.” Eker emphasizes that being grateful for what you have does not mean you are being complacent — you can be both grateful for what you’ve accomplished today and want to push to be better tomorrow. This post helps to frame gratitude as an abundance mindset.