Year-Round Thanksgiving – A Challenge

When was the last time you were challenged to make a positive impact on others around you? 

Some of us view challenges as things we’d rather not endure, but “Murphy’s Law” presents us with the opportunity anyway.

With the holidays at our doorstep, the thought of ‘goodwill towards others’ may very well enter our mental landscape.

There’s a story written by Darren Hardy, the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine where he relates an experience that he claims changed his marriage.

As the story goes, one Thanksgiving, Hardy decided to keep an appreciation journal for an entire year that included daily entries about his wife. He noted the positive qualities that she displayed. He recorded her expressions, her cooking, her interaction with others – including the family dog.

He looked for positive things that she did that touched him in one way or another. He wrote this journal secretly so his wife had no idea of this ongoing project.

At the end of the year, he presented her with his Thanksgiving Journal of his recorded feelings towards her. She cried and said it was the best gift she had ever received.

Hardy claims the one most impacted by that genuine gift was him – all of the many observations and commenting of his wife’s attributes prompted him to focus with intent on her positive characteristics. 

His appreciation, gratitude, and commitment to see the best in her was something he felt in his heart and saw through his eyes on a daily basis.

This story can be valuable and beneficial to each of us. 

The Challenge

We can certainly look upon and reflect on the positive features of our own spouses, our children and other members of our families, our neighbors, our friends, and even complete strangers.

Although keeping a journal for a year is quite an undertaking, there are other ways to express genuine thanks towards others.

We could easily write a short thank-you note that encourages another person in some way. When a youngster is accepting this challenge, they may choose to color a picture for someone. Maybe one of us writes a little poem and gives that away. 

We can hold open a door for another or even just share a smile with someone. We have so much ourselves to be thankful for. 

How about paying it forward at the convenience store or fast food drive-thru? Just ask the person serving you to accept your donation for the next people in line until it is used up. Do the same thing again on your next trip, too. All these small things add up.

With the colder weather season upon us, we could think of taking to the curb and retrieving our neighbor’s trash can for them on the scheduled day or night before. 

Maybe we offer to assist someone with their loading or unloading of items to their car when shopping. We can dedicate some of our time to a charity in our community or donate items to a food bank. We could easily offer to assist others in getting their donations dropped-off as well.

While shopping, we should support our local businesses as well as the big guys. We can also share uplifting and positive content in our emails, blogs, and social media posts. 

We should also support others by being attentive and lending a helping hand when needed. We could offer time to friends and family as we babysit their little ones so they can get away without kiddos in tow.

Feel free to modify any of these ideas to fit into your life capacities and especially the lives of those you choose to serve. 

The opportunities to serve others are endless and not limited to a particular season. The rewards will be amazing as you genuinely engage in this type of “Year-Round Thanksgiving.” Let’s create a widespread energy with it!

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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