How often have you thought, or even heard yourself saying, you’d like to be more content? You’d like to be more satisfied? Or I would be more content if…
Isn’t this theme the very basis of all marketing? If you and I are satisfied, there is nothing that we can be sold. If you and I are contented, then there is little we want; even if something would be nice to have, we do not need it. This is not a pipedream but to look at our wellbeing, not to mention stress anxiety, through a proper lens.
How often do we stop and Give Thanks?
Is it just me, or have you noticed that people do not seem to be handling stress very well these days? Their behaviour demonstrating things a few years ago would never have been tolerated.
For the last ten days, I have been in airports filled with delays, cancellations, and numerous other changes. What stands out is the treatment that I have witnessed at the check-in counter. I get the stress and frustration, but nothing justifies taking it out on that person.
I wonder if part of the reason that so few of us can give thanks is that we no longer take time to see what’s been achieved, to see what we might have, to see who and what we have around the table – but we only see what is left to do? I know how easy it is only to see the winter ahead [whatever this means to you], see the things that we did not get or we do not have.
Like the bygone era, where a harvest was a great thing, and a full barn was a huge blessing. I wonder what would happen if – we stopped to Give Thanks?
Canada’s first official annual Thanksgiving was celebrated on 6 November 1879. Indigenous peoples in Canada have a history of celebrating the fall harvest that predates the arrival of European settlers. Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew are credited as the first Europeans to celebrate a Thanksgiving ceremony in North America in 1578. They were followed by the inhabitants of New France under Samuel de Champlain in 1606. The celebration featuring the uniquely North American turkey, squash and pumpkin was introduced to Nova Scotia in the 1750s and became common across Canada by the 1870s. 1957 Thanksgiving was proclaimed an annual event on the second Monday of October.
In the USA, thanksgiving dates from the 1630s (the first one in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest).
What is the common theme? They stopped to Give Thanks. Shifting our mindset from I deserve, I’m entitled, to notice all that we have [despite the issues] to have gratitude for things we could never have earned but make life so much richer.
What is leaking out now is [to quote Star Trek’s Spock] ‘fascinating.’ What we thought was important, thought we wanted, thought we needed, what was urgent, and now what really matters? What is worse, when we do not know what matters, everything is urgent – this never leads to being thankful.
How many people do you know who have discovered that the job doesn’t have the same prominence it used to? Whether it is about making memories, refocussing on things that matter, or even stepping back from work [aka engagement]. I know this is not true for everyone, but it sure seems many are reprioritizing!
Yet, there is a double-edged sword to being contented and satisfied. We can be contented in something but not contented with it. We can be satisfied in but not satisfied with. This is the difference between complacency and growth. Complacency happens when we are both IN and WITH; the result – whether it is life, work, or relationships – is that we drift. Truthfully, I have never met anyone who drifted into the life they wanted, their relationship, or the life worth living.
Kids know this, so if you want to learn this principle, watch a child who has been encouraged. They can enjoy the moment; the present is not ruined by what they want later today, tomorrow, or even [as far away as] next week. They are contented and satisfied, but it is not enough to live status quo. They will soon want to try something new, something more. Not because there is something wrong with what ‘is’, but because there is something new to try tomorrow and grow into.
How often do we stop and Give Thanks?
Is it time for a course correction? The profound principle of thanks is one we benefit from and those we interact with.
If I can be of service and be an encourager for your course correction, I would love to see you stop and give thanks so that living is the adventure of running towards the roar. Just email or give me a call, and let’s have a conversation.