As the year begins its inevitable roll to a close, now’s the time when many of us stop for a quiet moment to remind ourselves of all the things for which we are thankful.
And that’s a great thing—some of us enjoy it so much that we do it everyday. We’ve discovered that the more we appreciate what we have, the fuller our lives feel and the more content we tend to be—no matter what else is happening around us.
With that in mind, I invite you to try something new. This year, in addition to remembering all the enjoyable and nourishing things for which you are thankful, why not expand the range of your thankfulness to every single thing that happens?
Here’s why: Have you ever looked back on something difficult or challenging that you faced—weeks, months or years ago—and only then realized how much you benefited from going through it? What feels challenging in the present often leaves us with unexpected advantages in the future.
When you consider the things that were hard for you to handle or accept this year, your list might include losing out on that job you really wanted, or a lucrative project that fell through. Perhaps you weren’t accepted into the school of your choice or a relationship ended. Whatever they were, once you start looking at them objectively, you may be surprised to discover that there’s something to be grateful for in your disappointments, too.
Check out our Monthly Practice for a strategy you can use every year to head into the holiday season with a deep feeling of contentment.