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Merriam Webster Entry: thank·ful

Pronunciation: \ˈthaŋk-fəl\

Function: adjective

1 : conscious of benefit received <for what we are about to receive make us truly thankful>
2 : expressive of thanks <thankful service>
3 : well pleased : glad <was thankful that it didn’t rain>

thank·ful·ness noun

The celebration of Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the question “What are you Thankful for?” The last few years may have been challenging, but how often do we get caught up in the chaos and bad news that we hear or read about and forget to pause and look at the many blessings in our life no matter how small. I am blessed and forget like many of us to be thankful. Having an attitude of gratitude and expectation of having good things happen is the single most important factor that guarantees good results day in and day out. Our attitude tells the world what we expect in return.  An attitude of gratitude requires some work but the results are well worth the effort. An added bonus is that attitude is under our control and is free!

When we are thankful or have an attitude of gratitude we receive back what we put out. It really is a cause and effect formula.  I liken it to the putting the golden rule to work. Consider how your attitude affects others and yourself.  Do you smile, portray a positive manner and give a friendly greeting to all you meet?  This is a simple way to receive positive feedback from others.  Our environment and how we are treated is a mirror of our attitude. An attitude of gratitude is a great way to change how we treat others and we will be surprised by how we are then treated.

Personally, I am so thankful for so many things in my life, each evening I write down in a journal the 3 things I am grateful for that day and think about this task as I carry on my daily work.  I find myself noting many things I would normally take for granted. Some days it is tougher than others but I can usually find something; the wind, the warm sun, a warm home, food, the geese flying over the lake, hugs, and laughter. It may seem silly but since I have started the exercise, over 17 years ago I find so much more large and small to be grateful for in my life. The more grateful I am the more things become noticeable to me to be thankful for.

At work you may be thankful for your position in the area market, the opportunity to work at something you enjoy doing, your employees hard work, your success even in down economic times, how thankful your patients or clients are for your services, the challenges to learn, the opportunities, and even the lessons learned from failure.

So how about you – what are you thankful for – look inside and take a peek.  I hope during this busy holiday season you can find some time to reflect on what you are thankful for and consider whether you have an attitude of gratitude.