Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The premise is so simple and so important; give thanks. It is not a time of giving or receiving. It is a time for sharing and being grateful for all we have. I believe gratitude is the cornerstone of happiness; for nothing brings joy until it is appreciated.

   Be content with what you have; 
Rejoice in the way things are. 
When you realize there is nothing lacking 
The whole world belongs to you. 
-Lao Tzu

Some of my earliest memories are of Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, and parents shared in the preparation and consumption of a bountiful feast. What I always remembered most was having so many people together and everyone was smiling and happy all day, not only through hours of cooking, but even during the dreaded clean-up. We all worked together to celebrate and give thanks for life.

Holidays are traditional rituals meant to remind us of important events. Beyond the historical first Thanksgiving we were taught about in school, this holiday represents the importance of gratitude in general. It is a reminder of the power of giving thanks and the joy it brings.

In an effort to hold onto that joy throughout the year, I strive to remain grateful for the many blessings I have already received every day. It is especially helpful when I am feeling stressed or unhappy. Focusing on what I have to be grateful for is a great exercise to change my attitude and perception of my situation.

A great way to show thanks is helping others. This is also a great reminder of all we have for which to be truly thankful. Donating time, money, food, or even old clothes or furniture can make a big difference in someone else’s life. If we pay attention we will find it makes a difference in our own lives as well.

Take a few minutes this week to investigate local charities. Even your local grocery store most likely has a food drive in which you could participate. While out shopping this Friday, stay mindful of those less fortunate and find a way to help.

Of all my blessings, I am most grateful for the people in my life. My greatest blessings are my wife Renee and our children. I have many other people who are also blessings in my life. Thank you for being one of them.

What are you most grateful for?

Post your greatest blessings on my Facebook page and you will be entered to win a signed copy of my book, The Human Experiencehttp://facebook.com/markcporteous

Below is one of the poems from that book. Look for an email soon announcing the release of my revised edition, Maximizing Your Human Experience; Your Customized Travel Guide for the Journey of Life.

Cost of Appreciation

Easier to want what I don’t have 
Than to appreciate what I do, 
I often wonder why I can’t acquire happiness 
Or why my wishes don’t come true.

When my wishes do come true,  
I still don’t change my attitude.  
I just see more to wish for  
Instead of feeling gratitude.

When focusing on my wants,  
It is difficult to see 
All the wonderful gifts 
I already have received.

Gifts we take for granted  
Are eventually taken away.  
Value is more apparent  
When loss is the price we pay.

So happiness comes from loss,  
Or so it would seem. 
Until we are happy with all we have,  
Happiness is still a dream.


Happy Thanksgiving!