3 Reasons to Give Thanks (in a Complicated World)
The Compounding Value of Active Thankfulness
As the world gets more complicated and as negative and sensational news bombards us at every turn, simple thankfulness can get lost. Our feelings are sometimes hard to square with our desire to be thankful for our many blessings. We often feel that too much stuff is beyond our control.
But the best way to hem in our complex world is with intentional thanksgiving. Here’s why: Fear devalues all it touches. Thanksgiving adds value. Thanksgiving has compound growth.
1. Fear Devalues All It Touches
Fear relates to the unknown, and we usually see the unknown as evil or harmful. You might say that fear is focusing on what is not real and building a worst-case scenario about it. Because of this, fear often leads to divisiveness.
We often know that fears are imaginations rather than tangible realities like our family, friends, faith, and freedom. But when we focus on the fears, they seem real. We put false reality above what we know to be true. In this way, fear devalues everything else it touches
2. Thanksgiving Adds Value
Thankfulness, on the other hand, is a sense of appreciating what is real and known in our lives. Appreciating something means increasing its value. In other words, when we appreciate something, we give it new value that was not there before.
A stock that investors buy is said to appreciate as it becomes more valuable. A homeless person who is taught new skills for living also suddenly becomes more valuable to society and to himself. When we encourage coworkers, spouses, or friends, they feel appreciated and valuable.
We can even learn to appreciate painful situations such as the loss of a job or the death of a loved one—not for the loss, but for the new wisdom we gain through the pain.
So how can we move from an attitude of fear to an attitude of thankfulness?
3. Thanksgiving has Compound Growth
Thanksgiving is like making a deposit to a compounding savings account called thankfulness. The more we give thanks, the faster our attitude of thankfulness grows.
Thanksgiving actively searches out and then appreciates the uniqueness of what others may take for granted. When we practice proactive appreciation, we are attaching value to people, events, and things that others do not recognize.
Giving thanks actually creates and builds our attitude of thankfulness and dispels fear. You can’t earn compounding interest without first depositing money; neither can you earn an attitude of thankfulness without first giving thanks.
This Thanksgiving, you can add value to your life by taking three actions:
- Make a list of what is real and most important to you. Share your list with those closest to you.
- Write down your biggest fears and test their reality. Exposing fear to truth will shrink it down to size.
- Go to one other person and tell them how much you appreciate them. When you add value to others, you return value to yourself.
Football is not the only live-action activity of the holiday season. Giving thanks is also a contact sport. I pray that you will be blessed as you bless others this Thanksgiving.
About the author – Andy Raub is known as “America’s Encore Coach” because of his passion to help retirees repurpose their lives and reorganize their money. Andy is the author of the new book The Encore Curve – How to Retire with a Life Plan That Excites You and the founder of the Encore Curve Program. See how The Encore Curve process can help you clarify your life and simplify your money at EncoreCurve.com