The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is coming…a time for families to get together and share turkey dinner. It’s a tradition that goes back to the founding of our country. Consider the true meaning of Thanksgiving: ‘To give thanks’. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to give thanks for all of your blessings: all the things you have; all the people that you care about and that care about you; that you live in a country that embraces freedom and allows everyone the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality…to achieve their highest potential. 

Here’s my prescription for leading a life that you can be truly thankful for:
  1. Feed your mind. A positive attitude can be a powerful antidote for the many challenges we face today. The mind’s natural state dwells in protectionism. Like the sentry on the ship, it screams, “Iceberg!” at just about every situation it encounters. Take control over your mind and train it to react with ‘possibilities’ and ‘learnings (from mistakes)’ versus fear and avoidance. We all have a certain ‘comfort zone’ that we live within. All personal growth is a result of pushing through fear into our ‘uncomfort’ zone. Train yourself to constantly challenge your comfort zone. For once you’ve broken through it, it is expanded forever.
  2. Feed your body. Our bodies are truly amazing. Literally trillions of cells operate both independently and in harmony with each other. These bundles of energy require constant fuel in order to operate and we get to choose whether that fuel is high octane or low grade. Based on the obesity epidemic in America, it’s clear most of us are choosing low grade. Use Thanksgiving Day as a new beginning. Stop at one helping from the buffet line and focus more on the foods that support a healthy body. Commit to getting physical exercise every day, even if it’s just a short walk after dinner. Advancing medical science is dramatically extending life expectancy. If you want your retirement years to be active and healthy, adopt a healthy lifestyle starting now.
  3. Feed your spirit.   You are your ‘input’. What you read, watch, think about and talk about on a daily basis becomes who you are. Think of your mind as a computer with a massive hard drive. Your ‘computer’ is nothing more than the sum total of the data you have programmed into it. Make sure that you spend time feeding your mind subject matter that will support your mental growth. It has been said that you are the ‘average’ of the five people you spend the most time with. Who are those five people in your life? Are they a positive influence or is it time to ‘upgrade’? 
  4. Feed the Universe. In my experience, the deepest happiness comes from helping others. Ultimately, the purpose of life is to become the best person you can be so that you can help others become the best they can be. This requires that you become a person of action. Don’t just think about it, do something about it! This Thanksgiving, reach out and help someone less fortunate than you. Take dinner to a needy family; serve at one of the many food shelters; make a donation to a charity.