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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Why?  Because the two most important words in the English language are “Thank You”. This is true for business success, for social pleasure, even for self-actualization.

For business success, a thank you tells a prospect or partner that you are appreciative of what she has just done and that you are happy with them. It shows you have a genuine interest in that person and the business relationship.

For social interaction, expressing gratitude is equally important to show how you value the other person and the social relationship you have with him. Thank you is a bonding phrase.

But giving thanks is most important on a personal level for our own pursuit of happiness. This is true for anybody who has ever lived, but it is even truer for us today.

A Happy Thanksgiving of Gratitude

Consider how much we have. More than any of our ancestors, we live in the Land of Plenty. We have more than anybody who has lived at any time before. And for those of us who live in the developed world, we have more than most people on our little planet have even today.

But we have so much more than just ‘stuff’. Consider the following:

FREEDOM AND CHOICE: More of the world lives in a democracy than ever before, and democracy is becoming more open or “democratic” with every year (perhaps in part due to the Internet).

OPPORTUNITIES: With freedom and affluence comes opportunity. We have more opportunity to make money, to earn it the way we wish, to choose our careers, our location, even our lifestyle.

KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? With freedom, comes the ability to satisfy our curiosity: knowledge. And with knowledge comes a thirst for freedom. Let’s face it; the idea of “the ignorant masses” has become an anachronism. Even the dumbest among us has more knowledge than most people who lived a couple centuries ago.

HEALTH: Just surviving past childhood used to be a major success. Now we expect to live comfortably into our 80s or 90s. And we expect – no, we demand – to have exceptional health care all along the way (even those who are afraid to go to the doctor!).

Make every day Thanksgiving Day in 2009

Well, follow this train of thought. Whatever you have, you can either appreciate or not. If you appreciate it — I mean really notice that you have it, that it is good, that you feel good about having it — it will bring you happiness. However, if you get used to it, take it for granted, and focus on things you don’t have, what you do have just won’t bring you happiness.

Appreciation is the key to happiness. And daily appreciation is the key to daily happiness. Whatever you truly and proactively appreciate, whether “stuff” or education or a vacation, will bring you joy. But in this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, over-stimulated society, how can we appreciate anything?

Sadly, many of us who have the most to be grateful for express gratitude the least and feel the least appreciation. It seems the more we have, the more we want. The more we want, the less we appreciate what we have. The less we appreciate, the less value there is to having anything, which may explain why we want more.

We who are drowning in luxuries and hold the world in our hands can’t seem to find the time to appreciate what we have … but we still make time to whine and complain. We still find things, however petty, to feed our negative thinking. How can we learn to appreciate our abundance and live a happy life?

The secret to feeling the appreciation we often overlook is in expressing our gratitude vocally or in writing. How can we possibly fail to appreciate something when we say “Thank you” for it and focus our attention on the appreciation?

Christmas is important. Easter is important. But for our own personal happiness, there is nothing like a truly heartfelt Thanksgiving.

 

By – David Leonhardt author of a self-help happiness book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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