Giving thanks on a regular basis

By Dave Henning / November 10, 2021

“When we pursue giving thanks on a regular basis, it is not as if more good things are coming into our lives.  Rather, our minds are primed to notice good things, and so we become more grateful, joyful, and content — even though nothing around us has actually changed.”- Ken Shigematsu

Ken Shigematsu concludes Chapter 6 of Survival Guide for the Soul as he talks about a practice followed by devout Jews of Jesus’ day.  Because they believed hearts could be trained in gratitude, they engaged in ‘the eighteen benedictions a day.’  Consequently, these devout Jews thanked God for eighteen things in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

In addition, Harvard psychologist Sharon Achor suggests that it’s possible to train our brains to become more grateful.  Simply set aside just five minutes a day to practice gratitude in all circumstances.  And when you give thanks to God, you find God’s presence feels nearer to you.  Even though God’s everywhere.

Above all, Ken exhorts, cultivate joyful humility.  When freed from a sense of entitlement, we become truly grateful.

Most significantly, Colman Mockler, the late and legendary CEO of Gillette, occupied a high post and yet embodied humility.  During Mockler’s tenure, he fought off three hostile takeover attempts.  As a result, Colman refused to pocket millions of dollars.  He did so to protect the interests of shareholders and thousands of employees.  All because he placed God at the center of his life.

Yet, even as the company grew increasingly global, his workload grew.  But Mockler sustained disciplined worship practices.  He prioritized weekly Sunday worship.  Furthermore, he turned each day over to God.  He also spent quality time with his family.  And he rarely worked evenings or weekends.

In conclusion, Ken counsels:

” . . . nearly every step of our journey traces a story of grace.  When we realize that our lives are pure gift, we are less likely to grab at life with a sense of entitlement.  We are more likely to find ourselves inspired to work with the diligence of Striving Adam and live in humble awareness of grace with the eyes of Soulful Adam.”

Today’s question: What most helps you in giving thanks on a regular basis?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A disadvantage to being generous?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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