Thankfulness is a Choice

November is the perfect time to reflect upon what filled up your calendars in 2019. You might talk about it around the table at Thanksgiving time. Most of us can say that there was a mixture of good, bad, and ugly. Do you look back on the year and evaluate how thankful you were throughout the year? Not just for the good that happened, but all of it?

We’ve all seen people fly off the handle when something goes wrong, especially when they perceive that it is someone else’s fault. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude, as a lifestyle, will positively alter the way you respond to life’s unpleasant events.

 The trip-ups and failures of life you experience can be counted as joy, knowing that what you gain from it will transform you into the oak tree you desire to be in life: standing firm and not easily shaken or moved. 

There is one way to fast-track into being made more resilient and ready for the next challenge life throws at you.


Yes, being grateful is the key to your growth, maturity, and even your happiness. Write down all the things in life for which you have to be thankful. Keep a running list. Count them up!


When life hits you in the face, there are two ways you can respond. The first and easiest way is to react when your blood boils, fervently lashing out without first thinking it through. We both know that isn’t the wisest move, as justified as you may feel to act that way. 

The better process is to sift the situation through the filter of thankfulness. For example, say you are driving behind someone who is going too slowly. I see it every day: the tailgating, swerving left and right from behind to let them know they are in the way and honking to inform, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are annoyingly slow.

Don’t be that person. Here are some thoughts to think about that will set you on a course to leading a thankful life-changing the way you respond to the driver in front of you, as well as your coworkers, family, and friends.

First, perhaps they have a medical problem and can’t move quickly. Could the driver be having an awful day? Be thankful that you have an opportunity to give that person some space. Where others may crowd, you can be the one person that day that shows them some kindness. It’s a different, selfless mindset.

Next, think — are they at least doing the speed limit? If so, you can’t fault them for that. Besides, they may be keeping you from impending doom up ahead! Be thankful that maybe you were saved from disaster, and leave a smidge earlier next time.

I pick on driving because it’s where I daily see the most apparent, unnecessary rage toward others. When drivers possess thankfulness, suddenly, these minor inconveniences don’t matter much. Road rage – not perfect, but mostly gone!


The more intentionally you work on thankfulness in your life, the quicker you will find your responses automatically becoming more grace-filled toward others. The road is just one place to practice gratitude and graciousness. Keep a running list of all the beautiful things in your life. You will gradually see a difference in the way you respond to people around you and life’s mishaps. Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’d like to discuss this topic more, please reach out to us at or find us on social media at Rising Sun Consultants.

© Rising Sun Consultants, 2019

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