Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. One step forward, one page written, one child encouraged, one heart strengthened, one person eating well, one bed made, one load of laundry folded, one desire fulfilled, one prayer answered, one smile, one…

Never underestimate the one thing.

Every book began with a page of writing, and every blog began with that first post. A relationship begins with a smile between two people. The knowledgable person began their journey with one item of information. New forests begin with one tree. (I was reminded by this post.) Revolutionary technology begins with an idea. Each business starts with one client.

One. It could be the start of something big!

I’m encouraging you to be thankful for one thing – that first item, or the next one thing on your list. Why? Because it has value. (And yes, I’m talking to myself also.)

It’s so easy to gloss over what you’ve already accomplished because you’re desperately focused on all you have yet to add to your resume.

Consider this tweet from Simon Sinek:

One way to appreciate the “joy of the start” is by being thankful.

Be thankful for the one thing.

I challenge you to write down what you’re thankful for – today. The one thing. Just one thing. What one action have you taken that holds value? (And value is subjective – you decide.) Here are some ideas on how to record it:

  • write it on your bathroom mirror (I like these kids’ washable crayons.)
  • use a sticky note and put it on your microwave (’cause we usually stand in front of it as we count down the seconds)
  • get the 365 gratitude app for your phone

Maybe you already do this “being thankful” in some form? 

If so…  YAY you!  Leave a comment on how you’ve developed being thankful – where do you record it? Do you add those items that you’re accomplishing?

Or leave a comment on what your ONE thing is that you’re thankful for doing today!

Let’s all celebrate – together – taking one action to move forward.

… and then record it again tomorrow.

And the day after.

Consistently.

Until your microwave is filled with sticky notes or your app has 365 notations, or you can’t see yourself in the bathroom mirror anymore because it’s so full of those “one” actions!

Be thankful for the one. It all begins with one thing - one action forward. Consistently. #positivethanksliving #positivity #optimism #thankfulness #gratitude

You can. Yes. It’s just that simple.

The value of a moment.

The value of a moment.

This first day of a new year has me sifting through conflicting emotions.

People I cherish are celebrating the birth of a long awaited baby. Oh, what joy in a dream realized.  And yet others are coping with the untimely death of a sister and friend – the first in their circle to pass into eternity. It feels like it’s too soon to let go of her, as everyone else believes they have decades still to live.

Same day – two diametrically opposite sets of emotions.

As this day unfolds for me, I’m going through the collections my mother has amassed over her 84 years. It’s a small apartment, but it’s full. I’m trying to help her decide what is necessary for the next chapter in her life, and what she can let go of – either to someone else (not me) or into a garbage. She’s sorting through physical artifacts that mirror the emotions of the other people I referenced above. Good memories, sad ones, joyful experiences and tragic happenings. It’s all here in her stuff.

We are all the same – we will all experience the scale of events from joy to tears.

What do we do with it all?

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. #positive #thankful #positivethanksliving #positiveprompt

The value of a moment.

Do we know the value of each happening at the moment it occurs? Not always. Just as Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” 

Even the bad moments can create valuable memories.

Maybe that needs to be our goal as we go through the days… creating value in the moments, regardless of the emotions – good or bad…

Maybe?

What do you think?

How will you mine the value of a moment – this year?

Even the bad momentscan become valuable memories. #positivethanksliving #positivity #optimism #optimisticoutlook

Kindness is a good way to mine even the bad moments. Here are 25 ideas on how to be kind for no reason… 

Ephesians 4:31-32
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Be thankful for now.

Be thankful for now.

Be thankful for now.

Is that difficult sometimes? Yes. It can be.

I’ve been there.

If you’re looking at your “now”, and it’s so far from what you want or what you had, it can feel discouraging. Our inner push to set goals or our outer need for achievement and affirmation can poison our current spot.

Be thankful for now.

Take care; we can get all caught up in our “dreams” and striving for what we want, that we forget there is joy right now.

Here. This moment holds joy.

Look for the joy in the story you’re living.

(Stop. See. Feel. Taste. Touch. Smell. Experience.)

  • the voice of someone who loves you is joy
  • the arms of a child wrapping around your neck is joy
  • the sweetness of chocolate on your tongue is joy
  • the scent of autumn on the air is joy
  • the melody in a song is joy
  • the warmth of a smile is joy

Is everything perfect?

No.

Do you have everything you want?

No.

But your story, right now, holds some joys.

(Leave a comment with one joy you are experiencing… regardless if your story isn’t the one you would like to be living.)

Be thankful for now.

Be thankful for now - Look for the JOY in the story you're living.

Gratitude – Happiness doubled by wonder.

Gratitude – Happiness doubled by wonder.

Happiness doubled by wonder – that’s what can grow out of being thankful and living a grateful life.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

It’s not that simple, though. And we shouldn’t be surprised, I guess, as everything that truly has worth needs effort to shore up the action.

Is being thankful easy for you?

I think all of us would like to believe that we are thankful people. (It’s almost indisputable that we have many, many things to be thankful for…)

Maybe our parents insisted we write a thank you card after receiving a gift, which began a habit which continued into adulthood. Or not.

Perhaps we use the words “thank you” a few times a day when our spouse or wait-staff hand us something to eat. Or we respond with thanks when a stranger, co-worker or loved-one does something to benefit our well-being.

It’s even possible that we journal or list those items we are grateful for each day. For example, I have an app on my phone called Gratitude 365 – it’s especially useful because my phone is with me all day, every day. I snap a photo and write down all I can think of that causes me to be thankful. Robert and I have made lists of more than 100 items we’re thankful for – you’d be surprised how easy it is to do this.

But does all this thankfulness lead to a higher level of thought and bring about a happiness doubled by wonder?

Happiness doubled by wonder. Really?

I’m going to suggest it’s not the action of cataloging thankfulness that brings about happiness… (though maybe it begins there). It’s not saying, “thank you” that makes a difference in our happiness.

We need to pause to feel thankful.

First pause. Then feel.

After those steps, perhaps our thoughts can rise above mundane and petty annoyances.

When I take the time to really feel that gratitude – I must be candid – I am humbled.

I know my mistakes and failings. I know my smelly inner dialogue. And there is a scary and startling wonder that comes from realizing I’ve been gifted (often despite my efforts) with an immense list of things to be thankful for… relationships, physical abilities, and items, circumstances both avoided and experienced, and a good future, in my view, granted by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life.

It’s not comfortable.

That wonder isn’t always a comfortable feeling. And the happiness which grows from the wonder makes me realize how very blessed I am. Which, again, isn’t always comfortable.

Should feeling thankful be comfortable? What do you think?

What do you feel?

How does being thankful – feeling grateful – work in your life? Has it made a difference? How? Please share your insights…

Is feeling thankful easy for you? Comfortable? Is there a sense of happiness and wonder when you feel thankful?

gratitude happiness doubled by wonder

Looking on the bright side – here are a few ways.

Looking on the bright side – here are a few ways.

Looking on the bright side – can you do that? All the time?

If you’re anything like me, it takes real effort to continue to look on the bright side – regardless. But even though it takes effort, (and sometimes huge effort), it never hurts me in the long run. In fact, it makes my life better, and all those around me feel it.

Once I’ve found the “bright side”, and go with it, then other aspects where negativity could creep in seem easier to manage.

Is it simple to look for the positive in life? Not always.

 Looking on the bright side even when it’s hard.

Here are some ways to encourage yourself to focus on what’s good in a circumstance:

  • Review all that you could be thankful for in this situation. Make a list. Dig. Here’s a post on thankfulness that will give you practical ideas.
  • Express your thankfulness in a concrete way: words, or actions.
  • Take time to ponder. We allow the rush of life to overwhelm us and by default the place we end up is negative. Use a timeout to process what’s going on. Prayer always helps me.
  • Make a pro and con list on paper. (or your computer) Seeing the issues in black and white will often clarify those nebulous clouds of gloom and doom. Talk it through with a trusted friend. A person who loves you can see situations differently. Neither of you is right or wrong. Sometimes it’s good to have a discussion to see another’s view.
  • Get out of your own way. In the Lead Like Jesus Encounter, there’s a part called “Ego’s Annonymous”. It’s designed to help the participants recognize we all struggle  every day with pride and fear – it’s an addiction. As a Christian, I see EGO as “edging God out”. Most times, at least for me, when I can’t find the bright side that’s at the root.

How about you?

What techniques do you use to successfully find your positive place?

PositiveThanksLiving is about being strategically optimistic – not just pie-in-the-sky everything is perfect. Living as an optimistic and thankful person takes work – but it’s worth it!

A few ways to look on the bright side – even when it’s hard. Be strategically optimistic.

Looking on the bright side - PositiveThanksLiving

Tomorrow holds promise – be thankful today.

Tomorrow holds promise – be thankful today.

Tomorrow holds promise.

Positivity is knowing there are still good days to come even when today is not good.

Hang on.

It’ll get better.

What can you be thankful for in this moment?

Write it down.

(Yes, I’m talking to you – pick up your pen… it’ll just take a moment… but the benefit will last all day. Come on, now… )

Notice the good stuff today, give thanks and look forward.

Tomorrow holds promise.

Tomorrow holds promise. Positivity is knowing there are still good days to come even when today is not good

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

Jeremiah 29:11

Need more ideas to be thankful? Click here to read this post.