Thanksgiving | Benefits of Gratitude

The Act of Thanksgiving: Celebrating through Ongoing Gratitude

Center for Values-Driven Leadership Leadership, Values-Driven Leaders

Thanksgiving | Benefits of Gratitude

This week, as Americans sit down to an overstuffed table, we’ll invest one day of our year in the act of thanksgiving. One day is simply not enough. A wealth of research shows the importance of thanksgiving and gratitude, as Henry David Thoreau implied, on a constant, ongoing basis.

Today, we are looking for ways to spark gratitude in our daily lives. William Arthur Ward, an American author famous for his maxims, said that:

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

We cannot prescribe your joy. You must find that yourself. But we can suggest where to start the search that makes gratitude possible. Here are three reflection questions, for use at the end of each work day, that can spark gratitude and point toward the joy of common days:

  • From what did I benefit today? Was it my education, my connections, or my hard work? Was it the relationships and investment of others?
  • Today, where have I seen goodness? Small acts of kindness? Where have others encouraged me, supported me, or challenged me, in helpful and thoughtful ways, whether big or small?
  • Today, where did I feel a spark? Where was there energy or enthusiasm? Where did I see beauty?

For more on the practice of gratitude, see Your One Word Mantra for Success.

Do you have your own gratitude questions that prompt thanksgiving? Share in the comments section below.


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