Giving thanks isn't just for Thanksgiving. Research shows "It is not happiness that makes us grateful; it is being grateful that makes us happy." So, why limit giving thanks to just one day a year? As shared in this excellent article, why not share what you're thankful for at this week's holiday meal and at your next family gathering? Create a memorable experience for all involved by going around the table and sharing a) what you're grateful for this year, and b) who you're grateful for and why.
As Walt Whitman said, "To feel gratitude and not express it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
Many people have a tradition of unwrapping presents that have been stashed under a Christmas tree. The real presents aren't under the tree. The best present is being present and expressing our appreciation for what's right in our world, right here, right now.
I've collected my favorite 20 quotes on why an attitude of gratitude is a direct way to change our mindset and improve our quality of life.
Feel free to print these quotes out and pass them around the table. Ask people to select a particularly meaningful quote and share what it means to them.
People at your table could talk about politics, sports, the weather, plane delays, traffic and the food - or you could have a "rising tide raising all involved" discussion about the many blessings in your life, including who and what has favorably impacted you this year.
You’ve heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” You might want to post these quotes where you can see them every day, not just on holidays. Keeping them“in sight, in mind” (vs. out of sight, out of mind) can help you and the people around you focus on what's good in the world. And that's a win for everyone.
Gratitude quote #1: “When you drink the water, remember the well.” – Chinese proverb
Gratitude quote #2: “Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge.” – Carmelia Elliott
Gratitude quote #3: “If the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank you,’ that would be enough.” – Meister Ekhart
Gratitude quote #4: “We don't have wifi. Pretend it's 1995 and talk to each other." - sign in Inxpot bookstore in Keystone, Colorado
Gratitude quote #5: “Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” – Betty Smith
Gratitude quote #6: “When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.” – Frederick Franck
Gratitude quote #7: “When you give and carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, ‘Yes, this is how I ought to feel.'” – Rabbi Harold Kushner
Gratitude quote #8: “One of the very first things I figured out about life…is that it’s better to be a grateful person than a grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you’re grateful, you have more fun.”—Barbara Kingsolver
Gratitude quote #9: “Most of us are about as happy as we make up our minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln
Gratitude quote #10: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette
Gratitude quote #11: “Unless people like you care a whole lot, things aren’t going to get better, they’re not!” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Gratitude quote #12: “Whenever you create beauty around you, you restore your own soul." - Alice Walker
Gratitude quote #13: In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily longs to revisit one ordinary, “unimportant” day. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much she took for granted. “I didn’t realize all that was going on and we never noticed. Good-bye Grover’s Corners, Mama, Papa, sunflowers, food and coffee, hot baths, sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, your’e too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”
Gratitude quote #14: “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
Gratitude quote #15: “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough." - Oprah Winfrey
Gratitude quote #16: "The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it." - Richard Bach
Gratitude quote #17: "Happiness is not a goal; it's a byproduct." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Gratitude quote #18: "Success is not about getting it done or attaining money or stuff. The measure of success in lie is the amount of joy you feel." - Esther Hicks
Gratitude Quote #19: “Normal day, let me aware of the treasure you are.Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may; for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth . . . or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” – Mary Jean Irion
Gratitude Quote #20: "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl
Michael Althschuler says, "The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot." Maintaining a mindset of gratitude is a magical way to "pilot our time."
Simply said, "The more grateful we are, the more present we are." And the more present we are, the more we truly experience, appreciate and imprint the blessings of our life instead of just "getting through the day."
Sending best wishes to you for happy, healthy holidays and a positive, productive, peaceful new year that is everything you want it to be - and more.