50 things you have to be thankful for
It has been a tough year for real estate professionals. Between the Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit verdict, bad behavior at NAR, and a tough market hampered by high interest rates, high prices and low inventory, real estate agents, brokers, and investors could be forgiven for feeling a little down and out this Thanksgiving season.
And yet, there is always cause for celebration, even when times are tough. If you're having trouble putting a list together, here are 50 to choose from:
A fulfilling career
Access to clean water
A comfortable home
Beautiful moments in nature
Technology that connects us
A good night's sleep
Opportunities for personal growth
Acts of kindness from others
Laughter and joy
Music that inspires
Books that educate and entertain
The ability to learn and adapt
Moments of solitude
A sense of purpose
Freedom of expression
Memories that bring happiness
Acts of generosity
Acts of forgiveness
Positive role models
The beauty of sunrise and sunset
Opportunities to travel
Clean air to breathe
The ability to create and innovate
The wonders of the natural world
Challenges that lead to growth
Lessons learned from mistakes
Time for self-reflection
Moments of inspiration
A sense of belonging
A hopeful future
The gift of life
Depending on how you're wired, you may sometimes struggle to see past your frustrations and get in touch with an attitude of gratitude. Some people tend to be a little more negative, a little more worried, and a little more focused on the half-empty vs. the half-full.
If you're looking to shift your mindset toward joy and thanksgiving a little more often, here are a few strategies to help:
Keep a gratitude journal
Of course this is on the list, and it's a popular piece of advice. Sitting down once a day and making yourself focus on things you're grateful for is a practice that can be truly life- and attitude-changing. Here are some strategies to keep yourself on track with this useful practice:
Don't feel like you have to keep a physical journal. Keep your gratitude list in your Notes app or in your Google Calendar.
Consider different modes of expression. Speak your gratitude into a voice memo. Express it through drawing or painting. Create a gratitude board, similar to a vision board.
Express your gratitude in a bullet list, in a paragraph, by telling a story or writing a poem.
Push yourself to include different aspects of your life so that the practice doesn't become rote. If you write down your kids or your pets every day, you'll stop thinking about and feeling the gratitude you're trying to cultivate. Assign a different category to each day: Nature, Family, Finances, Household, Arts, Friends, Experiences or any other categories that make sense for you.
Connect with an accountability partner to keep yourself thinking about gratitude. Share your grateful list with your best friend. Go around the table each night during dinner and ask each person in your family to name something they're grateful for.
Practice positive visualization
If you want to spend some more time and take your feelings of gratitude deeper, incorporate it into your meditation of visualization practice. Focus on the thing or things you're grateful for that day and try to picture them in your mind's eye. If it's an intangible like health, visualize yourself doing something active. If it's love, visualize yourself with someone you love. Take this time to really focus on your grateful feelings rather than simply jotting them down.
Practice positive framing
If you normally have a negative cast of thought, work to reframe your thoughts with positive language. For example:
instead of "have to" say "get to"
instead of "problem" say "challenge"
instead of "fear" say "anticipate"
instead of "lack" say "opportunity"
instead of "worry" say "caring consideration"
Positive reframing is about more than semantics. It's about helping you change your perspective and cultivate new neural pathways that pull you out of anxiety and into certainty and confidence.
Pay attention to the people around you
You've probably heard the assertion that you're the sum total of your five closest companions. If you're surrounded by people who are negative or combative, you'll probably have your perceptions colored by their attitudes. Seek out positive people who build you up and help you see the good in circumstances.
Get help if you need it
If you have trouble seeing the positive in life, it may be rooted in your early conditioning. If you come from a family where everything was gloom and doom, or where there was a great deal of fear and toxicity, it may be very difficult for you to look on the bright side, even when things are good in your life.
Consider therapy or counseling to help you get a handle on your feelings and to develop more robust coping skills. If money is a particular concern, consider a financial counselor or therapist to help you develop positive habits and greater control around that aspect of your life.
This is the season of warmth and light and, most of all, gratitude. If it doesn't feel that way for you, or if you're consumed by the negative aspects of your life, begin putting practices into place to help you snap out of the loop you're in. You deserve to live a life that's more positive and hopeful, and an attitude of gratitude every day, not just once a year, can help you get there.