If the only prayer you ever said was “Thank You,” that would be enough.
Most of us have incredible family members, friends, and other loved ones who love us back. Learn to appreciate what a miracle that is. Most of us have good health, which is another miracle. Most of us have eyes, with which to enjoy the amazing miracles of sunsets and nature and beauty all around us. Most of us have ears, with which to enjoy music – one of the greatest miracles ever.
We may not have all these things, because we can’t have everything, but we certainly have plenty to be thankful for. To an extent, we know this already, and yet we forget.
Sometimes Marc and I get so caught up pursuing the next big thing, that we forget to pause and appreciate the things we have, and the things we’ve experienced, learned and achieved along the way.
In other words, we forget to give thanks continuously, for all things. Since every step we have taken has led us right to where we are, and all things have contributed to our development, when we finally do pause to give thanks, we try to include ALL things in our gratitude.
So that’s what I want to reflect on today – some quick reminders about the things you, too, likely forget to say “thank you” for:
- “Thank you for life’s surprises.” – Notice and cherish life’s surprises. Just because it’s not what you were expecting, doesn’t mean it’s not everything you’ve been waiting for. So take a deep breath when you’re rejected from something good. It often means you’re being redirected to something better. Be patient. Be positive. Keep going.
- “Thank you for the truth I deal with every day.” – Too many of us prefer gentle lies to hard truths. But make no mistake, in the end it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. And beware of half-truths too – you may have gotten ahold of the wrong half. Open your eyes. You must see things how they are instead of how you hoped, wished or expected them to be. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to know, but be strong. Life is too short to live a lie.
- “Thank you for the tough times that taught me important lessons.” – God allows you to experience the low points of life in order to teach you lessons that you could learn no other way.
- “Thank you for the challenges I must overcome today.” – The brick walls in life are there for a reason. They are not there to keep you out. They are there to give you a chance to show how badly you want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it as badly as you do. They are there to stop the other people. There is absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress, one step at a time. (Read The Last Lecture.)
- “Thank you for giving me the courage to continue.” – Courage isn’t having the strength to go on; it’s going on even when you don’t have strength. And remember, it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
- “Thank you for giving me the strength to smile.” – Anyone can be happy sometimes. It takes a human being with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that naturally makes us weep.
- “Thank you for the beauty that remains.” – Even when times are really tough, don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
- “Thank you for this new beginning I’m living now.” – The best way to prepare for the future is to take care of the present. Goodbyes will always hurt a little. Photographs can never replace the act of being there. Memories, good and bad, will sometimes bring tears. And words can never perfectly describe the feelings they represent. But that’s OK. Pain is real. But so is hope. You have to make peace with your past in order to keep your present and future from becoming hopeless battles.
- “Thank you for all the choices I have.” – A big part of your life is a result of the little choices you make every day. If you don’t like some part of your life, it’s time to start tweaking things and making better choices, right now, right where you are. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- “Thank you for the chance to grow.” – You must be willing to give up what you are in order to become what you will be.
- “Thank you for my bravery.” – Whenever you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.
- “Thank you for my inner greatness.” – Contrary to what others may say, you do not need to rise to the top, or be the cream of the crop, before you can feel great about yourself. For you are not a failure because you’re not perfect, got rejected or laid off, struggle to make ends meet, or have a family with issues. You are great because, despite your circumstances, you keep loving, you keep getting back up after every fall, and, above all, the little steps you keep taking, you take with grace.
- “Thank you for the burning desires inside me.” – The starting point of all success is DESIRE. Keep this in mind always. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire creates a small amount of heat. Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. When you truly believe in what you’re doing, it shows, and it pays. Success in life is for those who are excited about where they’re going.
- “Thank you for my intuition and instincts.” – Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally. Listen, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
- “Thank you for my imagination and creativity.” – Imagination and creativity are everything. Together, they draw the preview of your life’s coming attractions. And there are people in nearly every career field who make each day a work of art simply by the way they have mastered their craft. In other words, almost everyone is an artist in some way.
- “Thank you for the excitement and freedom of my vulnerability.” – Being vulnerable is helpful to both ourselves and others. It makes us bigger in the world – the more open we are, the more there is of us out there. So open up. Allow yourself to feel, to be real and authentic. Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around yourself and feel every exquisite emotion, both good and bad. This is life. This is how you welcome new opportunities.
- “Thank you for my feelings and emotions.” – The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt only with the heart.
- “Thank you for giving me a voice.” – Remember, not being heard is no reason for silence.
- “Thank you for everyone I’ve ever met.” – We are a part of all that we have met. And everyone you meet can teach you something important. Some people bless us and some teach us. All are necessary. In fact, the people who are the most difficult to deal with can be your most valuable teachers in the long run, which is ultimately a blessing.
- “Thank you to everyone for being who they are.” – If you judge people, you have no time to appreciate them. So pay close attention, and respect people for who they are and not for who you want them to be. Loving and respecting others means allowing them to be themselves, whether you choose to be a part of their life or not.
- “Thank you for giving me the ability to love.” – Only those of us who are capable of loving deeply can also suffer deep sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract our grief and heals us. (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
- “Thank you for giving me someone to love.” – The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. To love and win is the best thing in the world. To love and lose, is the next best.
- “Thank you for giving me the sense to love myself too.” – Remember, putting yourself first does not mean being selfish – it means being self-aware. It means not forgetting to love yourself, too.
- “Thank you for the solitude and space I need.” – Remember, it’s healthy to spend time alone sometimes. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.
- “Thank you for the incredible people who have stood beside me.” – Know that it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. And remember, it’s during the toughest times of your life that you’ll get to see the true colors of the people who say they care about you. Don’t take these people for granted. Look around and appreciate them, today.
- “Thank you for the power to give back and make a difference.” – The fact that you can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, is proof that YOU can make a big difference.
- “Thank you for life’s luxuries.” – You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You awoke this morning with a roof over your head. You had a choice of what clothes to wear. You have access to clean drinking water and electricity. You are online right now. You have plenty to be comfortable. Being wealthy is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more.
- “Thank you for my home.” – A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul. But a home isn’t always a physical structure, or a specific location on a map. Home is wherever the people you love are, whenever you’re with them. It’s not a defined place, but a space in your heart and mind that builds upon itself like little bricks being stacked to create something stable that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.
- “Thank you for my health.” – You may not be perfectly healthy, but if you’re reading this, you’re likely reasonably healthy. In other words, if you got sick today you could recover. Never underestimate the gift of your health. It’s the greatest wealth you will ever own. It’s the foundation for every chance at happiness and success life has to offer. Your body is the only place you will truly ever live.
- “And finally, thank you for giving me the ability to be online reading this.” – Not only are you wealthy enough to be online right now, but you can read too. Believe it or not, only about one third of the world’s population has internet access. And, even crazier than that, there are roughly 774 million people in the world who aren’t educated enough to read. YOU are one of the lucky ones.
What would you add to the list?
What do you sometimes forget to say “thank you” for?
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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Photo by: Mtsofan
Great article, Marc and Angel. I love the simple wisdom in each of these points. It’s a list worth sharing and re-reading.
As for me, I forget to say thank you for all those times when I prayed that “If I can just get this one tough situation, I’ll never again ask for anything more.” And of course, every single tough situation that has arrisen I eventually got through… and yet I ask for more and more and more without remembering to be thankful for it.
Thank you for reminding me.
And thank you for your website, your book and your online course. All three have helped me with overcoming lots of grief this past year.
I am thankful for being aware and grateful for the life giving and sustaining power of our closest star, our sun.
Excellent gratitude reminders! I try hard not to forget being grateful for everything I have, although I know I still do sometimes. My wife and I have been working hard to be mindful and present and to remind each other every day about the things that we are grateful for.
Beverly Herald says
I sometimes forget to be thankful that my stage 3 breast cancer has been in remission for the past 8 years… and that I’m now getting ready to finish up my first profitable year in my new family run catering business. I’ve come a long way.
Always, always love your inspiring words of wisdom. Your blog and 1,000 Things book have helped me stay positive and motivated through truly hard times. Thank you!
Hey Marc and Angel.
Great post. When you read a list like this, by the time you have finished you realise there is much to be thankful for. Your #12 Thanks for my inner greatness. This one was a mind blower for me for a couple of months.
At first I kept thinking, ‘am I lucky’ I would even say it out loud with wonder. Then I started to observe this feeling and thought process as it continued to grow. It was an amazing experience to really understand that I had worked so hard on myself and I was really starting to not only see but FEEL wonderful about who I was. I ended up writing a post on Abundance.
The one thing I am continually grateful and thankful for is my brain. I always seem to be really appreciating my mind at the moment. I certainly know the hard yards of 20 years of personal development are now presenting themselves bigger and better than the small rewards along the way. Thank you for reminding me once again – there is much to be thankful for.
Thank you, Marc and Angel! Your articles are truly shots in the arm which always give me jolts every time I read them. Today I simply thank every one who touched my life in ways that made me who I am today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I so needed this today and have printed it off to keep with me so that i can use it every day! So so helpful!
Thank you for writing such a beautiful and useful post like this.
A few months ago, I began the practice of beginning the day reading my bible, and finishing the day by recalling all the things that happened during the day that I am grateful for. What a positive change has been made in my life. They have taught me to really focus on what is good in my life, and to keep from dwelling on the mistakes I’ve made and the injustices I have suffered in my past. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Akanksha srivastava says
Thank you Marc sir and Angel ma’am for this wonderful article. Today I realise how blessed I am and how many things i have to thankful for.
I am most thankful for the difficult times which have made me stronger and ultimately who I am today.
Anthony Butler says
I just want a say thank u for posting this article, and to all the people who left comments. You all have lifted my spirit today.
Gayle Kapansky says
I’m thankful for God’s gift of salvation, and even though I am unworthy HIS on-going grace!
I needed this today. Among all the things I am thankful for are people like you who help me see the positive in life.
Sincere appreciation and thanksgiving to you both for your Light and wisdom sharing.
Best wishes with joy and well being today and always!
thank you once again for a wonderful article. you both are very special people. both of you help us all out. we all have much to be thankful for in our lives. keep up the good work.
Thanks! Been a rough week. I really needed to read this today. Much appreciated that you’d write a post specifically for me.
Thank you for this wonderful article! Your writing has played a major role in helping me to adopt a more positive mindset!!
Violet D'mello says
Really appreciate your articles.. they nurture my mind and soul!
Have learnt so much from your articles, which I read on daily basis.
Its a real help when i am confused and going through your articles gives me so much strength, understanding and wisdom.
thanks for wonderful people like you
agnes utunga phiri says
Great reminder – 10,000 reasons to be thankful indeed
Thanks a lot Marc and Angel for this lovely article . These excerpts can be considered to be from a holy book and if one can every morning read these for a few minutes and reflect on them before starting their day not only will they start the day on an excellent note but will pass their day beautifully as well . Seeing so much misery and sorrow around the world we have so much to be happy for .
Simply thank you – what an inspiring and thought provoking list of everything to be thankful for. I am sure we could include chocolate 🙂
Cheers and best wishes always!
Thank you Marc and Angel for such a beautiful, wise and much needed post. I loved each one of those 30 ‘thank you’s’ and reminders for the truly blessed life that we live. Today, more than ever, I am grateful for 3 things that I often take for granted:
1) My excellent health and that of my family (what a blessing!)
2) My financial stability
3) My talents that allow me to support not only myself but also a few of my family members.
Can’t wait to attend your workshop in Austin on January 9. I’m thankful for that, too! 🙂
Thankful I coincidentally stumbled upon this website. Grateful for everything. Grateful my heart is still open. That is a gift.
Elizabeth mambori mwaila says
Thank you for the air that we breath and thank you for educating us, Angel.
I forget to say thank you for so many things but blatantly I forget to say thank you for not being in chronic pain and basically for my overall good physical/mental health. Thank you!
Angel Chernoff says
Thank you, all of you, for the warm comments.
Marc and I appreciate YOU. 🙂
A friend sent this post to me and I really appreciate her for that.
I’m thankful for a million and one things. Most especially, I’m grateful and thankful for life’s journey thus far. God has brought me this far and I know He would take me far beyond my expectations, to fulfil great destiny and touch many lives.
With Love from Lagos, Nigeria.
Laurel Padilla says
I just found your website. Truly, it touches my heart. With so much negativity in the world…everyone needs a place where they can put everything into proper prospective. This is indeed, a happy place. I shall be visiting often.
What I’m thankful for…my husband. After many years of marriage, he still opens car doors for me, rubs my back when it’s hurting, cooks and cleans when I am too tired, always has something loving and kind to say, thinks of others before himself, the list goes on. When I married him, his family said you are marrying a saint. He is humble in every way, shape, and form, which many look at humbleness in a less than favorable way, but for him, it’s just the way he is. In my eyes, he is a saint. He’s beautiful inside and out and he inspires me everyday to love others unconditionally. If someone asked me today, “Who inspires you? If you could be like anyone in the world, who would it be?” In the blink of an eye, I would say, “My Husband!”
This article needs to be posted everywhere! We can all use a reminder to practice gratitude and show love every day.
julia woodman says
As ever, great piece xx
Great read. I am thankful for my wonderful wife and family and the next 50 years we spend together.