This might show how dorky I am, but my favorite Holiday is Thanksgiving. It’s not because I have an excuse to load up on a bunch of food for a day, it’s because for once we are all encouraged to be mindful of the blessings we have. They truly are too many to count, and in spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday I want to focus on one of the most powerful tools we have as humans - gratitude - and how we can harness it to bring immense benefits to our lives.
You’ve probably heard the expression “attitude of gratitude” before. Well being grateful for the circumstances around you is simply a mindset and a choice. When you start choosing to see the reasons you should be grateful, you’ll notice more and more of them start revealing themselves. This is because a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System looks for patterns, and if you focus in on gratitude the Reticular Activating System will work to find more examples of it in the things around you. Eventually, the RAS will become so trained to look for these things that you will just perceive them with more gratitude without any effortful thought.
But this process takes a little bit of time, and needs to be trained by your taking action. So I have a challenge for you. Tell one person from your past - an educator, coach, relative, or friend, who really helped you an important way - tell them that you appreciate the role they played in your life. Your energy will absolutely change theirs, and will begin a cascade of positive change.
You’d be surprised how far one random act of kindness, one expression of gratitude can travel, and I challenge you to give it a try!