Yesterday was a great day. Great weather for Thanksgiving. Two long walks with the dog. One along the bike trail and the other at Good Earth State Park. Lots of family time including wonderful meal and some trivial pursuit. Closed it all out with a Vikings win.
Today will be interesting. While many will be out shopping form deals, I will be working. The last time I worked on a Friday after Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton was President.
The challenge today is a repeat. It is a pay it forward and/or random act of kindness kind of day. If you have the day off, enjoy it but remember others are working. Maybe leave them a bigger tip, give a compliment, or do something kind. Maybe you buy a stranger coffee, breakfast, or lunch. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that you act.
Yesterday was a success. I paid it forward at a local coffee shop. I didn’t make the impulse buy. I complained less than usual. College basketball is back on. It was a god day.
Today is Election Day. I am grateful the unnecessary mail, television ads, and door knocking will be reduced. While I am grateful for the opportunity to vote, I don’t like the negativity of the election cycle.
Recently, I was decluttering. This is a never ending process in my house. I found a letter written to my dad by a friend when my dad was in the hospital. The letter said “Please take good care of yourself and take it easy. We need a healthy Dr. Harris in South Dakota. I am grateful that you are on the mend.” I remember that illness. My dad almost died. I can only imagine the impact the letter I had on my father.
The challenge today is to put down your devices. Get off social media (after you read this) and take time to write a letter of gratitude to someone that has made a difference in your life. Then mail the letter Delivery by hand, interoffice mail, or carrier pigeon are acceptable methods too. Bonus points if you send more than one.
Not sure who is worthy of a note? Here is a possible list – grandparents, parents, spouse, child, sibling, coworker, mentor, teacher, professor, or candidate for public office (just have a dialogue change if we sent notes thanking candidates rather than throwing beer cans or attacking with hammers).
One final thought, do you want to take this challenge to the next level? Perform two of the previous challenges each day. Imagine how you will feel if you write a note, pay it forward, and do not complain all day. Imagine how others would respond if you did so. Imagine a better world.
First, full disclosure, I was traveling yesterday and forgot to pay it forward. It will happen today. Second, remember the challenge from Day 1? Try it again today. Third, tomorrow is Election Day in the US. It is your right and your duty to vote. Now on to the challenge….
Today the challenge asks you to resist the marketing. We are constantly asked to buy things through ads n television, radio, social media, websites, and print media. Today, don’t indulge. Don’t make that impulse buy. Instead, save the money or buy for someone else. Bring treats to your office. Take friend to lunch, coffee, or drinks. Focus on someone other than yourself.
Pay it forward today. Buy somebody else a coffee, meal, or something else. Be the in initiator in the chain of gratitude. You can do this anonymously or not. You can publicize it on social media or remain silent. Just do something to pay it forward today grateful.
It has been a challenging and busy week. Yesterday, I battled with my inner voice. I questioned everything. Am I doing my best? Is this challenge impacting anyone? Does being grateful and thankful really help?
We all have off days. I was searching for the my sense of purpose and place. Though I pontificated about the benefits of gratitude, internally I was questioning its efficacy. Yet, I know this challenge works. I did this gratitude challenge last year hoping it would help at least one person. It did. It helped me.
This year, my hope is the gratitude challenge to helps many. But, if it helps just one person, it will have be a success. By that measure, it has been successful because at least one my readers has told me so and because it has helped me.
To be grateful and thankful is a choice. It is a choice that each of us controls. Chose gratitude today. Express gratitude today. Take control today by resisting the urge to purchase something for yourself. Instead, purchase something for someone else or give to a charity. Further, when you purchase something for somebody else, take a moment to reflect about how the action makes you feel. Do you feel better?
I plan to take my dog to a local coffee house and purchase a few coffees for the people behind me in line. I don’t expect or want anything back. I just want them to have a nice part of their day. I challenge all of you to do something similar. Have a great day!