Thanksgiving is such a great time of the year. In the United States, we are fortunate to have a holiday where we kick back for a couple of days and really focus on being grateful for what we have in our lives.
During this time just two years ago, I was living in Italy and I remember what a bizarre feeling it was to not be surrounded by the holiday as we are in the US. It was a case of "not knowing what you had until it was gone." It was also the first time I had spent Thanksgiving outside of the US. For myself and some of the other American people I was with, we were very intentional about recreating the Thanksgiving experience because we greatly missed having it all around us.
During this time, I realized being grateful for things should not be limited to one Thursday per year. It is something we should focus on every single day because at the very least, it will make you a happier person...just ask Harvard Medical School. It is not always easy for us to think this way, given anxieties Millennials in particular face from the constant exposure to the "perfect" lives your friends lead on Instagram.
I have a story that highlighted this point of gratefulness very well. I was fortunate enough to have a great friend and personal mentor of mine drop in to visit me in New York last week. He had been called on for an important presentation at work in the city, and we were able to enjoy an early morning coffee at Joe Coffee on Waverly Place. We were talking about the progress of careers and how people start at different places and go different directions. He then caught me comparing myself to some of my friends around the world. He cut me off very quickly and guided me...
"Let me tell you something Teddy Roosevelt once said. 'Comparison is the thief of joy.' Don't focus on what you don't have and don't focus on what your friends do have."
He continued his wisdom. "Focus instead on where you are, what you do well and who you are in this very moment. Be thankful for that."
It was a perfect thing for me to hear as a reminder, and I wanted to share it for your thoughts. Being thankful every day for the things I have has allowed me to focus on what I bring to the world to create positive impact.
- Your family
- Your friends
- Clean water
- Connecting with others
- YOURSELF and YOUR strengths
Remember, there are millions of people who would love to do what you do every day.