When I was 6 years old, I brought home my first math test to my dad. I was excited about having gotten a 99 out of 100, until my dad promptly said to me, "Why didn't you get 100?"
Two weeks later, I brought my next math test home. I had gotten a 100! Somehow, it still wasn't good enough. "You didn't get the extra credit right," my father told me. "You could have gotten a 104."
For many years, those moments and others like them have driven me to want more--to be better, and to strive always for perfection and more success. A little over a year ago, though, I realized something. From the outside, I had it all: an amazing wife, two beautiful daughters, two thriving companies, and three bestselling books under my belt. On the inside, however, I didn't feel happy. Something was missing.
That something was gratitude. I had everything I could have dreamed of, but I never took the time to sit back, smell the roses, and be grateful for it all.
That day, I started practicing gratitude in earnest. Now, every day, I write three thank-you cards in the morning and remind myself to tell people that I am grateful for them. At dinner, everyone in our family shares one person they're each grateful for that day. I have written about how gratitude is the best drug in the world and shared an entrepreneur's gratitude prayer.
Gratitude really is transformational. I believe every day can be Thanksgiving. I urge you to consider practicing gratitude more than you do today. I promise, it will change your life. Longtime readers know I'm a huge believer in inspirational quotes. Here, then, are 15 quotes to inspire your sense of inner gratitude:
- Reflect upon your present blessings--of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. -Charles Dickens
- The truest indication of gratitude is to return what you are grateful for. -Richard Paul Evans
- I work very hard, and I play very hard. I'm grateful for life. And I live it--I believe life loves the liver of it. -Maya Angelou
- When you are grateful--when you can see what you have--you unlock blessings to flow in your life. -Suze Orman
- We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. -John F. Kennedy
- True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience." -Oprah Winfrey
- You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can be grateful that thorn bushes have roses. -Tom Wilson
- Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus
- Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. -Maya Angelou
- We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. -Thornton Wilder
- As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John F. Kennedy
- Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. -Cicero
- Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness. -Steve Maraboli
- I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. -G.K. Chesterton
By the way, I still occasionally feel disappointed and dissatisfied when I don't get 100 on a test, or, more often, the adult equivalent of missing perfection at work. But then, I turn to gratitude, and immediately I feel better.
Now it's your turn. Who are you grateful for today? Please share your gratitude in the comments section below!
Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for you.