A Thankful Thanksgiving by Jim Rohn
Editor’s Note: In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November as a day for its citizens to give thanks for all that they have in their lives.
You may be wondering why I would call this article a Thankful Thanksgiving. Aren't all Thanksgivings thankful? Unfortunately, no. Since I had experienced more than 75 Thanksgivings, I recognize that being thankful is something that we have to work at, even on Thanksgiving.
If your home is like most, your Thanksgiving Day will be very busy, with either traveling to where you want to go or preparing your home to have others over for the day. Either way, that can be very hectic and emotionally trying, which doesn't lend itself to preparing your heart to be reflective and thankful. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled weekend in America. Airports are full, and don’t always provide much room for contemplation of your good fortune.
This means all the more that if we want to be the kind of people who are characterized by thankfulness, then we must make sure that we focus on it, and not just on Thanksgiving Day, but at all times during the year.
Here are a few key words as well as some thoughts that are simple and practical to apply; something you can use right away in your quest to become more thankful:
Time. Set aside time regularly to be quiet, to reflect. We live in the fastest-paced time ever. From the moment we awake to the moment we collapse into bed, we have the opportunity to go at full speed and never slow down. If we schedule time every day in which we can be quiet and reflect, we will free our hearts and minds from the tyranny of the urgent and rushed.
Thought. Give thought to the many blessings that you have. Living in a consumer culture, most of us are fully aware of what we do not have and how we absolutely must have "it." But how often do we reflect upon that which we already have? Take some time each day and think of one or two things you have that you may typically take for granted, and then take a moment and give thanks for those. In fact, I make it a part of my reflection time to review a list of things that I'm thankful for.
Generosity. Be generous toward those with less and not envious of those with more. We tend to look at others who may be wealthier than ourselves and think, "I sure wish I had what he does." That kind of thinking breeds envy and jealousy rather than contentment. What can we do to break that cycle? I would suggest being generous to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Go to work at a food bank, and not just during the holidays—everybody works there then—but on a regular basis during the year. That will remind you of how good you really have it.
Ask. Ask a friend what they are thankful for. You will be amazed at the answers you receive and you will create a meaningful bond with your friends as you focus on this powerful question.
Acknowledge. Lastly, tell those you love how thankful you are for having them in your life. So many times we neglect to take the time to craft the words to express to those closest to us what their presence in our lives means to us. Take the opportunity of Thanksgiving Day to write them a note, or sometime during the day put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes and tell them. Let them know what they mean to you, and in return you'll begin to create the possibility of deeper, richer, more fulfilling relationships with those you love.
Of course, we should do what we can to make the most of the day we call Thanksgiving, but wouldn't it be a shame if the only time we reflected on our blessings was that one Thursday in November? And the answer is, of course! So let's do our best to be aware of the many great gifts that we have each and every day of the year. As we do so we will see our hearts soar and our minds more and more at peace as we regularly remember and remain aware of our good fortune.
Vitamins for the Mind by Jim Rohn
Very few of us are authorities on the truth. About the closest that any of us can get is what we hope is the truth or what we think is the truth. That's why the best approach to truth is probably to say, "It seems to me..."
There is nothing wrong with affirmations, provided what you are affirming is the truth. If you are broke, for example, the best thing to affirm is, "I'm broke!"
Sincerity is not a test of truth. We must not make this mistake: He must be right; he's so sincere. Because, it is possible to be sincerely wrong. We can only judge truth by truth and sincerity by sincerity.
Find someone who is willing to share the truth with you.
Here's the major problem with going on strike for more money: You cannot get rich by demand.
“Vitamins for the Mind” is a weekly sampling of original quotes on a specific topic taken from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn. The burgundy hardbound book with gold-foil lettering is a collection of more than 365 quotes on 60 topics gathered from Jim’s personal journals, seminars and books and spanning more than 40 years. Click here to order The Treasury of Quotes.
"Good people are found not changed. Recently I read a headline that said, "We don't teach people to be nice. We simply hire nice people." Wow! What a clever short cut.”— Jim Rohn
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Question
by Roger Dawson
I used to be afraid to ask questions for fear that the question would upset the other person. I was one of those people who say, “Would you mind if I asked you?” or “Would it embarrass you to tell me?” I don’t do that anymore. I ask them, “How much money did you make last year?” If they don’t want to tell you, they won’t. Even if they don’t answer the question, you’ll still be gathering information.
Just before General Schwarzkopf sent our troops into Kuwait, Sam Donaldson asked him, “General, when are you going to start the land war?” Did he really think that the general was going to say, “Sam, I promised the president that I wouldn’t tell any of the 500 reporters that keep asking me that question, but since you asked I’ll tell you. At 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday we’re going in”? Of course, Schwarzkopf wasn’t going to answer that question, but a good reporter asks anyway. It might put pressure on the other person or annoy him so that he blurts out something he didn’t intend to. Just judging the other person’s reaction to the question might tell you a great deal.
If you want to learn about another person, nothing will work better than the direct question. In my own experience—now that I’m no longer afraid to ask—I’ve met only a few people who were seriously averse to answering even the most personal questions. For example, how many people get offended when you ask them, “Why were you in hospital?” Not very many.
It’s a strange fact of human nature that we’re very willing to talk about ourselves, yet we’re reticent when it comes to asking others about themselves. We fear the nasty look and the rebuff to a personal question. We refrain from asking because we expect the response, “That’s none of your business.” Yet how often do we respond that way to others?
When you get over your inhibitions about asking people, the number of people willing to help you will surprise you. When I wanted to become a professional speaker, I called up a speaker I admired, Danny Cox, and asked him if I could buy him lunch. Over lunch, he willingly gave me a $5,000 seminar on how to be successful as a speaker. Whenever I see him today, I remind him of how easy it would have been for him to talk me out of the idea. Instead, though, he was very encouraging. It still astounds me how people who have spent a lifetime accumulating knowledge in a particular area are more than willing to share that information with me without any thought of compensation.
It seems even more incredible that these experts are very rarely asked to share their expertise. Most people find experts intimidating, so the deep knowledge that they have to offer is never fully used. What a senseless waste of a valuable resource—all because of an irrational fear.
"Learn to help people with more than just their jobs: help them with their lives.”— Jim Rohn