Norton: Happy Thanks-getting, a holiday for getting back what we give out (column)
Thanks-getting? Sounds like one of those made up holidays doesn’t it? We all know there is no such holiday as Thanks-getting — well, maybe not technically — but it’s a twist on the traditional holiday of Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving, we typically share our gratitude for all we have been blessed with over the past year. We give thanks for the people in our lives, especially those sitting around the table with us. We show our appreciation for all of the opportunities we have been given, and we cherish the days leading up to Thanksgiving just as much as the holiday itself.
The attitude of gratitude is something I have written about quite a bit over the years, as I have been told that gratitude is one of the healthiest of all human emotions. When we exhibit gratitude for the people in our lives and for the gifts with which we have been blessed, we usually continue to experience greater relationships, and some say that we may have even more to be grateful for.
Zig Ziglar’s most famous quote is this: “You can have everything in life that you want, just as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” Here is where we turn gratitude upside down. Not only are we grateful for all that we do receive, but this gives us the opportunity to experience gratitude by helping others. I mean, really, how awesome does it feel when we help someone else out, donate time or give charitably and cheerfully to a great cause? It feels fantastic, doesn’t it?
I am sure that we have all experienced some form of Thanksgiving holiday where we sit around with our family and share all the things for which we are grateful. We hear things such as “I am grateful for my family” or “I am grateful for my job.”
Now what if our answers were slightly different? “I am so grateful that I had a chance to help a person stranded on the roadside with a flat tire.” “I sure do appreciate being asked to help serve meals at the homeless shelter.” “I am feeling blessed that my business trip was canceled so I could help out more around the office, at home and at church this week.” What we get back from giving out is almost always so much more powerful to us personally and professionally when it comes to the feeling and attitude of gratitude.
People who give from the heart, those who give charitably and cheerfully, know full well that the gift of gratitude that they experience simply comes from the doing and the giving. And when Thanks-getting rolls around each year, these folks already know what they are grateful for: the chance to receive that feeling and sense of appreciation and accomplishment for doing what comes very naturally.
So how about you? Are you celebrating Thanksgiving or Thanks-getting? I would love to hear all of your Thanksgiving or Thanks-getting stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we remember it really is all about the other people in our lives and all of the blessings we receive when we do give back, it absolutely will be a better-than-good week.
Michael Norton is a former resident of Edwards, the past president of the Zig Ziglar Corp., strategic consultant and business and personal coach.