November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving Challenge: Three Easy Steps to Unlocking the Power of Gratitude

Did you know, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”

Erma Bombeck called it and added, “Any man who watches three football games in a row should be declared legally dead.” Welcome to Thanksgiving—a day filled with food, football and a hopefully a side of gratitude.

As you work through the food and the football, let me offer a few nuggets about Thanksgiving to help you liven up your conversation and a Thanksgiving challenge.

Test your Thanksgiving knowledge 

  • Where does Thanksgiving rank on the list of American’s favorite holidays?
  • A fresh turkey can be kept how many days before cooking it?
  • How many pumpkins pies are eaten on Thanksgiving?
  • Costco will bake 1.5MM pies. How many pumpkin pies will they sell?
  • How many years did Sarah Josepha Hale crusade for Thanksgiving to be declared a National Holiday?
  • What percentage of American’s prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the Thursday feast?

Thanksgiving is American’s second favorite holiday and cook that fresh turkey within two days (unless you are my sister-in-law). We will consume 5 million pumpkin pies and Costco will sell at least 20% of them. It took 36 years for Sarah Josepha Hale to see her wish for Thanksgiving to become a National Holiday. Thanksgiving leftovers?—79% of people say they are the more important than the real thing.

Based on food alone, I am pretty sure I’d rank the 4th of July higher than Thanksgiving. I never did understand the love of cranberry sauce and dressing. So, I am going to give the nod to grilled hot-dogs, potato salad and apple pie—anyone with me?

But if holidays were simply about the food, the Super Bowl would likely be everyone’s favorite National Holiday. While it may not be an official National Holiday in the United States, we certainly treat it as one.

The Super Bowl will come and go too and few people will remember who won the game. Even the best and most creative commercial won’t linger in our memories for long.

Thanksgiving comes and goes too. The leftovers will last for a few days but another serving of gratitude can get pushed aside for another year.

Gratitude is powerful!

People who consistently possess an attitude of thanks and gratitude demonstrate increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm, optimism, and energy. As well as increased exercise patterns, improved sleep, reduced physical aliments, and reduced levels of anxiety.

Gratitude is a life-changing quality. It is not something we are born with but rather a quality that can be nurtured and developed. Research shows some of us come by it more naturally than others.

It wasn’t natural to me. Hey, I believed in sharing as a kid. I even embraced the philosophy of sharing—for everyone but me. You could say, I was happy to take whatever you were willing to share and fain my thanks and gratitude.

I am thankful that what lies behind us is frozen—history only to be reported on. It’s the story we choose to write going forward that we control.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

— Melody Beattie

What do you think? Will you accept this Thanksgiving challenge and pave the way to write a great new story of gratitude in the coming year?

Thanksgiving Challenge

Nurture the quality of gratitude in our lives and carry the power of Thanksgiving into the new year by doing three things.

  1. I wrote down 100 things I am thankful for by Friday. Extend my list to 101 things if Washington State beats Washington in the Apple Cup.
  2. I said thank you and extended appreciation in every possible circumstance and situation where someone did something of service—however small.
  3. I wrote down five things I am grateful for on a weekly basis throughout the year.

Notice the Thanksgiving challenge is written as if you they were already achieved. By reading the challenges on a daily basis it will bring a powerful focus to the challenge. You put your brain to work in a powerful way anytime you write a goal or aspiration in the first-person, as if it were complete.

"To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him." 

-Thomas Merton (Thoughts on Solitude

We can lose sight of the fact that our circumstances can and will change for both good and bad. But each day we choose whether we will acknowledge the abundance around us and within us. When you choose an attitude of gratitude you create a personal platform that inspires hearts, unlocks possibilities and changes lives—that’s IMPACT!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you in? Just type yes in the comment box below if you accept the Thanksgiving Challenge! Let's start a gratitude movement!


14 comments on “Thanksgiving Challenge: Three Easy Steps to Unlocking the Power of Gratitude”

  1. Excellent content. My gosh, where do you find the time to create such solid and thoughtful content? Enjoyed. Lastly, I love this site (looks similar to Michael Hyatts design). Would love a private message on how, where and the cost of this site design.
    Thank you for your inspiration.

  2. Always insightful and thought provoking. Still have your Jim Akerisms up on my bathroom mirror-choice/belief/passion/discipline! Happy Thanksgiving to all of your family and team 🙂

  3. Great article! Thanks for helping me fine-tune my thankfulness meter. Too bad you aren't having hot dogs for Thanksgiving dinner - and apple pie will have to wait until your mom comes to bake one for you!

  4. I always appreciate and enjoy reading your thought provoking insights to life's circumstances and inspirational recognition of the Lord. This Thanksgiving challenge is going on my wall!

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