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What or Who Do You Take For Granted?

“God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, “thank you?” -William A. Ward

One of the exercises I use with people is to have them make a list of the top 100 reasons they have to be thankful for in their lives. The initial response is, “100 things? I don’t have 100 things!” At the time, they don’t know how wrong they are, so we start with the top 20 and then build upon it.

The main purpose of this exercise is to help people begin to take their focus off all of the perceived “bad” in their lives and start to focus on their gifts. It helps them start to realize that there truly is so much that they are taking for granted and when they slightly shift their focus away from what is bothering them to what is good; they can now see all that they have in which to be grateful for.

There are the obvious things that we take for granted such as being able to see, hear, walk and talk. They may seem like little things but try living without these and see how grateful you’ll be when you wake up each day.

Then there are all of the material gifts you have and these are different for everyone. Whether it’s your home, clothes, car, art, bikes, golf clubs, cookware, books, special pieces of furniture or whatever, there is more there than you realize and when you start to count it all you may feel ashamed you haven’t appreciated it as you should. And, you would be surprised to know how many people would trade places with you in a heartbeat!

But sometimes the biggest things we take for granted are the people we love and this should change today. The truth is life can change at any moment and it’s up to you to let them know what they mean to you and how they have touched your life in a special way. For some people it’s hard to say, “I love you.” They tell me, “They know I love them, I don’t have to say it.” Well, quite frankly, what if you’re wrong?

What if you can make the difference in how they go through their day by simply verbalizing how you feel instead of hoping they can read your mind? What if the words you speak to your child help them to create a stronger belief of who they are and help them to have a greater sense of security?

What if you tell your partner how happy you are that they are a part of your life and that you value them more than they know? Everyone will have a better day including you.

The other day I told a guy I work with what I thought of him. He said, “You know Susan, I didn’t know you thought of me like that and I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me.” I only told him the truth about himself that most people only think but never say.

So start today and make your list. Sit there and think about how lucky and blessed you truly are and it will not only push out the negative but will bring to you a new appreciation of all the things you may have been taking for granted but not anymore! When you open your heart to gratitude each day you won’t want to live without it.

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