The Greatest Day of the Year

Thanksgiving—I love it! To me it’s the best holiday of the year. Why?

Thanksgiving doesn’t require you to dress up in pastels and crawl around on your hands and knees looking for rotting eggs. There is no expectation of chocolate, flowers or jewels; no pretension of fireworks; no pomp of caroling, and it doesn’t require you to come bearing a sleigh full of freshly fought for and bought gifts.

Nope, Thanksgiving is simple and virtuous. It is only about family, gratitude and food. All you are asked to do is to gather with the people you care about most, share a meal and express your thanks. Wow, that’s wonderful!

Thanksgiving has always been special to me and I take it to heart. While we pursue our goals, we can become overly consumed with what isn’t right, what’s lacking and all the obstacles and the setbacks along the way. It’s natural, while we are trying to slay dragons all day every day that our attention gets filled with dragons and all the attacks the dragons are throwing at us. In the midst of it, you can forget to stop, step back and take an inventory of the progress you have made and the triumphs you have accumulated.

Take a day, THE day and hit the pause button. Sit back and focus on all that is positive, beautiful and wonderful in your life. Take an inventory of all you have to be thankful for and let it empower and embolden you. So, when you hit the play button, you are more powerful and brazen than ever before with the knowledge of how truly fortunate you really are.

Believe me, there is nothing more inspiring when than to shift your focus from what is lacking to the abundance and the gifts unique to you.

There is nothing more powerful in the pursuit of who you want to become than to be grateful for whom you already are. While you take inventory of all that you have to be thankful for in your life, be sure to acknowledge the people who have contributed to your life's fulfillment the most.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us—Albert Schweitzer

  • Who has helped shape your life over the last few years? Which teachers, mentors, speakers/authors, parents, children, friends, religious leaders, etc., influence your life?
  • Who has been helpful to you; whom have you relied on? What about administrative staff, business associates, suppliers, employer/employees, co-workers and neighbors?
  • Who has added a little joy in your life? Who makes your life easier, more convenient, more joyful or enjoyable? A nephew/niece, neighborhood kid, bellman, newspaper carrier, yeah—even the perky girl who serves you your Starbuck's fix in the morning?

Take this week to make a special effort to acknowledge those people who contribute positively to your life in some way. Let the prompting of this occasion start the process of maintaining an attitude of gratitude the other 364 days of the year as well. As Jim Rohn says, “giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process”

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.—G.B. Stern

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.—William James

Be thankful for what you’ve got OR… who does not thank for little will not thank for much.—Estonian Proverb

And finally…

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.—John F. Kennedy

Let me take this occasion to thank YOU. Thank you for reading. Thank you for joining me as we journey on this never-ending search for the best within each of us. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.—Oprah Winfrey


Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.

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