Lesson 97: Give thanks in all things

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.

Zig Ziglar

Have you ever noticed that things dont always turn out the way you expect them to? Life is hard.

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So what can you do about it? You can feel sorry for yourself, complain, or wish that things had turned out differentlyin short, you can focus on the negative. Or you can have what has been called an attitude of gratitude.

Think youve got it bad? Life is no picnic, sure, but its no harder for you than it is for most. Look at the world around you and youll see hunger, violence, disease, injustice, and povertymisery on a scale you and I can only imagine.

Instead of focusing on what you dont have, what you cant do, or what didnt work out, spend some time focusing on what you do have.

Even though we dont know each other, Ill make these guesses about you: You live in a country where you can make your own choices about where to live, what to think and believe, and what career to pursue. You have a brain thats at least as good as most. Your judgment and maturity qualify you as an adult. You probably have a roof over your head and probably know where your next meal is coming from. You have at least a few friends or family members who care about you. If you find yourself in a job you dont like, you couldif you really wanted toquit and try something else.

So what are you whining about?

Everybody has problems, and everybody has blessings. You can count your problems or count your blessings. Start by counting your blessings.

Thank those people who have made your life better. Allow yourself to appreciate the opportunities you have, the resources you have, the friends you havein short, the life you have. If you keep counting, you might just run out of time to count your problems.

If you think about it, Ill bet you really have a lot to be thankful for. Live each moment of each day in the full knowledge of that truth.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.