It's Thanksgiving time here in the United States and just as the name implies, the day offers a chance to reflect on those people and things for which we are thankful. Reviewing all that is good in our lives typically leaves us feeling joyful, energized, and peaceful. Wouldn't it be nice to have a daily dose of such good feelings? Here is a simple formula that can help you do just that:
Gratitude + Action = Purpose
Nearly everyone recognizes the importance of the gratitude part of this equation. However, we often forget the action part, which is external and requires outward directed behavior. The thinking (gratitude) combined with the doing (action) grants us a profound sense of being on track toward achieving something meaningful (purpose). This formula doesn't require some radical shift in thinking or behavior - the best and easiest way to bring more purpose into your life is simply to start. How does this work? Read on for examples of applying this formula to everyday life.
I am grateful for the weight I've lost - today I will enjoy my favorite delicious and healthy foods.
I am grateful for the love of my dog - today I will give her extra attention and take her on an extra long walk.
I am grateful for my relationship - today I will not take my loved one for granted and instead share specific reasons why I feel lucky to be part of this couple.
I am grateful that despite my arthritis, my limbs still work - today I will take a walk in honor of the legs that have carried me for so many years.
I am grateful that my parents love taking care of their grandchildren - today I will give them movie passes so that they can enjoy themselves like they enable me to do.
I am grateful for the good natured warmth that the barista shows me when I grab a coffee on my way to work - today I will acknowledge her cheerfulness with a "thank you" and a big tip.
These examples may strike a chord with you or you might be thankful for other things - the point is to think about what you are grateful for and then do something about it. Like the examples above, all it takes to give life a new zip and a renewed sense of purpose are small kindnesses that reflect your gratitude. So take what's in your heart and put it out there - enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes from living life with purpose. After all, wouldn't the world be a better place if we all let our gratitude show?