A Thanksgiving Exercise in Gratitude


With Thanksgiving upon us, there is no other time of the year that we intentionally focus on gratitude, appreciation, and being thankful more than this day.  But sometimes we all need a little nudge.

In that spirit, we thought it would be fun to provide a game of sorts that you could try at home and at work to help remind everyone that we all have much to be thankful for.  The good news is to participate you don’t need to have similar jobs, live in the same neighborhood, go to the same church, have the same political views, or any other differentiator.  You just need to be willing to participate!

It is very hard to watch the news or follow anything on the social media that really makes you feel good.   Think about it, when was the last time you saw a “Breaking News” story and it was something positive?  Don’t misunderstand, there are lots of inspirational stories out there, it is just that the overall ratio is very lopsided.  One needs to almost intentionally seek out the positive stories.

So let’s seek them out…intentionally uncovering positives

When:  Before Thanksgiving Dinner or during your next company meeting give this a try.

How: Everyone will make two gratitude/appreciation comments; one directed inward and one outward.   First a statement about one thing they are personally thankful for, then something they are thankful for about the person to their right.  That way it naturally flows around the table/room.

#1) “One thing I am personally thankful for in the past week.”

Example:   Thanksgiving Dinner: “I am thankful that I arrived safely to Grandma’s house today”

                   At work: “I am thankful:  We were awarded the ABC Account”

Your turn…”I am thankful _______________


#2) “One thing I am thankful for about the person to my right” (small groups may choose to say something about every person present)

Example:   Thanksgiving Dinner: “I am thankful that you still answer your phone when I call” 😉

                  At work: “I am thankful for your efforts on the ABC Account”

Your turn…“I am thankful (person to my right)____________________


The only rules are that both statements must be positive.  They can be as serious or lighthearted as you desire, but no subliminal messages, no backhanded compliments, or passive aggressive behavior.  You may have your differences with crazy Uncle Buck or Bob in shipping, but this isn’t the time to get a jab in.  Everyone has some good qualities, you only need to share one.  This is simply about gratitude and being thankful.

We hope you consider giving this little exercise of gratitude a try during Thanksgiving.  Who knows maybe you will learn a thing or two about someone that you didn’t know before.   At the end of the day, we still live in a pretty awesome country.  Sometimes we need to be reminded a glass half full is always better than the glass half empty.   It really is up to us to make the choice.  This post is pretty short, feel free to print if you want to have it handy as a reference.

Most importantly, thank you to all our Aspire clients for entrusting us to be a part of your business. To you and all our friends, family, and business colleagues….Happy Thanksgiving!     As always we value any comments in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach