Connect with us


Self Improvement

Give Thanks: Creating Your Own Gratitude Practice in 3 Simple Steps



gratitude practice

This year, many of us will gather around that proverbially provisioned Thanksgiving table, the steam from the sweet potatoes casting a dreamy haze upon our soon satiated lot. The plentiful food and drink, the company of family and friends, the warmth of hearth and home, all will, at least in theory, evoke feelings of gratitude.

The holiday is not named “Thanksfeeling”, however, but “Thanksgiving”. The name assumes a certain facility with gratitude, an ability not only to count our blessings, but to articulate them, too.

Giving thanks, however, is more acquired skill than innate ability. Gratitude takes practice.

The benefits of gratitude practice extend far beyond the fourth Thursday in November. The more frequently we give thanks, the more we sensitize ourselves to life’s abundant blessings. When we practice gratitude, we see with grateful eyes.

By giving thanks, we feel with a grateful heart.

To create a personal and sustainable gratitude practice, we begin with the template “Thank you for life” and ask: How would we, in our own style, with our own backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, and preferences, honestly and authentically speak these words?

To answer this question, we divide “Thank you for life” into three components:  1) Thank, 2) you, and 3) for life. We then tweak each of these components to suit our individual circumstance and style:


How To Create Your Own Gratitude Practice


In our own words, the first component, “Thank,” may stay the same. On the other hand, we may feel more natural turning “Thank” into “I want to thank,” “I give thanks,” “Thank you so much,” or “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my soul.”

Maybe we want to spice up “Thank” with a favorite colloquialism or two. I might not greet the dawn with a howl of “This is the fuckin’ bomb!” but if this colorful exclamation floats your one-of-a-kind boat, if this feels to you like an honest, authentic expression of gratitude, fuckin’ bombs away.



After we’ve put our stamp on “Thank,” we turn to the second component, “you.” Here, we need to decide: Who is this “you”? What deity, power, person, place, or thing so magnanimously granted us another day on this third rock from the sun?

For some, the answer is God. The “you” is Adonai, Allah, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Waheguru, or any other moniker for the All Knowing and All Powerful. However, if a deified “you” alienates more than inspires, the “you” could be Mother Earth, Nature, the Universe, or – and I’m definitely not kidding about this – the Force.

Whatever mechanism we believe fills us with vitality, whatever power keeps us breathing through the night, allowing us to sidestep all manner of statistically plausible alternatives, that’s the “you” we now turn to in thanks.

We could also amend these names with all manner of affectionate adjectives. “God” could become “Loving God.” “Creator” could become “Compassionate Creator.” Sprinkle to taste, if we like, with an “O” or “My,” as in “O Compassionate Creator” or “My Loving God,” and there you go—we have the beneficiary of our thanks, designated and detailed.


“For Life”

Having personalized the “Thank” and “you,” we turn, finally, to the third component of our gratitude practice template: “for life.” To personalize “for life,” we continue to employ all manner of euphemisms, adjectives, and imagery.

If life, in all its unfathomable complexity, strikes us as strange and amazing, we can give thanks “for this strange and amazing life.” If we don’t imagine life as a thing, but as a force or energy, we can give thanks “for this life force” or “for the energy that courses through my being.”

When life feels like a roller-coaster ride, full of precarious highs and terrifying lows, there’s NO need to mince words. Just put it all out on the table: “I give thanks to you, Mysterious Source of Life, for this intense, terrifying, thrilling, sometimes really hard, sometimes really good, roller-coaster ride of a life.”

Though we should steer clear of unequivocally negative descriptions (“Thank you, Jesus, for yet another day of misery” kind of misses the point). Neither must we paint with sanguine brushstrokes. The practice of gratitude provides a floor for free expression. We can pay homage to life’s bittersweet complexity, giving thanks for the ups, the downs, and everything in between.



Pseudo-liturgical prose is likely not our strong suit. No matter. Just wing it for a while. Play with the words. For all three components of gratitude, for the “Thank,” the “you,” and the “for life,” jot down lists of potential phrases.

Chew on each option, speaking the phrases out loud, listening for their resonance, and noticing if, after spoken, the words sink with a thud or float toward the sky. With a bit of trial and error, each of us has the capacity to develop a palatable yet personally inspiring language for gratitude. A trope that, when recited, will focus our minds and soften our hearts.

As we train in gratitude practice, I recommend making a commitment to give thanks at least ONCE a day. We start by giving thanks, each day, for life in general, not life wedded to any specific circumstance or detail, just simple, unadulterated life.                        

Eventually, though, we may choose to expand the scope of our missives. After whispering “You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gift of my life, and I will always be thankful,” we might decide to tack on a second phrase, such as “You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gift of my family, and I will always be thankful.

If so moved, we may even turn our one-liner of a gratitude practice into an evolving soliloquy of thanks. What began as “You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gift of my life, and I will always be thankful” might morph into:

You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gift of my life, and I will always be thankful. You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gifts of my husband, Theo, and my three beautiful children, Olivia, Clementine, and Theo Jr., and I will always be thankful.

You are amazing, Universe—you gave me the gifts of my home, the money in our bank, a job that doesn’t suck as much as my last job, the writings of Toni Morrison, the movies of Judd Apatow, the incredible stick work of hockey superstar Alexander Ovechkin, and that bakery over on Seventh Street that makes those insanely delicious blueberry muffins that I know I shouldn’t eat but I just don’t care because if you didn’t want me to eat them, dear Universe, you shouldn’t have made them so damn irresistible, and I will always be thankful.

Nothing need remain out of bounds. We can allow our practice of gratitude to ebb and flow, to lengthen and contract, to shift from the undeniably profound to the ostensibly trivial to the undeniably profound once more.

Each morning, we simply turn the ignition with our opening declaration of thanks, and then we see where the gratitude leads.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Self Improvement

3 small steps that could make the biggest impact on your life



small steps in the right direction

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”Lao Tzu

Every day that passes by, there is someone who is living a life that does not fuel their passion or purpose. Each moment feels like they are just existing or living life by accident. This could be due to fear of change, or limiting beliefs within them that say “you’re not worthy” or “I don’t deserve to be successful”.

It could be a number of things. Believe it or not, I used to be this person. I was stuck in a 9-5 job, in a 7-year relationship that was emotionally draining, and I was 75 lbs. overweight.

Then came that ONE day that would forever change my life. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw what I had become. I didn’t recognize myself. I immediately burst into tears. This was NOT the life I wanted to live. I had neglected the most important person in my world: ME. 

It was then that I had to make an important choice. I decided to take the first step towards creating the life I would often dream about. That very next day, I promised myself that I would do just one thing that made me feel more connected to the goals I wanted to accomplish.

Not two or three. Just one. It didn’t matter how small it was. The point was it was a small step in the RIGHT direction. This has led me to the level of success that I am at today.

Here are three small steps that will help you make that same important decision and transform your life.


3 Small Steps That Could Make a Big Impact In Your Life

1.) Have a heart to heart with yourself.

small steps in the right direction

Take time to get away from people, places, or things, and just spend some time with yourself. In order to truly make any step towards the success you desire, you must have a great sense of self-awareness.

What is it that you want to accomplish and why? What truly makes you happy? What are you passionate about? How will accomplishing this change your life? How would it make you feel?

Be completely honest with yourself, your thoughts, and your intentions. Having these questions in front of you will keep you from going around in circles. They will give you more clarity and vision that should help you determine which small steps you need to take.

As a result, instead of being frustrated or reluctant to leave your comfort zone, you will be more confident now that you have a plan in place.


2.) Do ONE thing everyday that is connected to your goals.

small steps in the right direction

Always remember that you don’t have to always make massive amounts of progress at one time. The important thing is that you are continuously moving in the right direction. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took consistent daily, focused action. Over time, it became one of the most celebrated cities on the planet.

We live in a world that is bombarded with messages of instant gratification. But the truth is, any level of success is the result of a daily routine of the right things done for a certain period of time. That time can vary from days, weeks, months, or even years.

However, throughout the journey, you can see that you are moving closer and closer towards your ultimate goals. Do not underestimate the power of small steps. You will find yourself accomplishing things you never thought possible (and sooner than you anticipated).


3.) Do not measure your level of success by comparing yourself to others.

small steps in the right direction

Success means something different for everyone. You must not become fixated on what media or entertainment portrays as successful. A fulfilling life is more than material possessions. Understand that you can only live the greatest life possible when you have defined what success is to you.

As you begin taking small steps and making progress, focus only on what your desired goals are. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what others are saying, doing, or what they believe success should look like. Too often, we get caught up in what society, current trends, and what the masses portray as “I’ve made it”.

This is your life. Only YOU can determine what accomplishment, achievement, and true success means to you. In fact, one of the reasons why you may be in the position you are in is because you designed your life based on the thoughts and opinions of others. This was my case years ago.



You deserve to be great. You have greatness within you. Sometimes, that can be clouded by limiting beliefs, adversity, or just the many circumstances in life. Think about everything that has happened in your life right up until the point you are reading this article.

I want you to know that everything that happened before NO LONGER MATTERS. What matters now is that today, you have the knowledge of who you are and where you want to go. The ability to change your life is within your grasp and your power.

Today, you have the chance to begin a journey that leads to some amazing and incredible years ahead. The best part about it is that you only need to take small steps in the right direction. So take action now – your dreams are waiting for you!

Continue Reading

Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

Continue Reading