As much as I love Christmas, I believe Thanksgiving is one of the most amazing times of the year.
Growing up, I was blessed to have parents who taught me the power of thankfulness and gratitude at a young age. As I get ready to become a parent myself, I’m so excited to pass down these lessons to my own kids.
If you’re having trouble getting in a spirit of thankfulness this year, here are three of the lessons my dad taught me. I hope they help!
1. Relationships Matter
Thanksgiving comes at the perfect time because it allows us to stop, reflect and give thanks for the people in our lives before we launch into the Christmas season. And, even though the true meaning of Christmas is about more than just stuff, it’s easy to get caught up in that mindset of materialism. Thanksgiving causes us to pause and focus on what really matters in life. I’m grateful my parents taught me about the value of family and friends.
2. Be Thankful for Where You Are in Life
My parents declared bankruptcy the year I was born. Because of that, I learned a lot about contentment early in life. My parents helped me see the important balance between working hard and trying to be successful and being thankful for how far you’ve already come (and what you’ve already achieved). While there’s nothing wrong with setting goals and moving forward in your life and career, never take for granted what you already have.
3. Thankfulness Might Take Practice
If you’re at a point in life where being grateful doesn’t just flow naturally, don’t worry. You might have to take time to sit down and put conscious effort into thinking about everything you are thankful for. You might have to practice being thankful! Even if you’re flat broke, are you alive? Do you have a roof over your head? As a kid, as soon as I started whining or complaining about something I didn’t have, my parents would give me a good dose of perspective. Years later, I think back to those times when I begin to feel entitled or discontent.
This Thanksgiving, I want to challenge you to truly reflect on everything important in your life. That way, when Christmas rolls around, you’ll have a firm foundation on what matters and what doesn’t.