Is It Really Thanksgiving Already?

Yes, that’s right … Thanksgiving is here. It seems that this year I’ve heard more than the normal amount of people shocked that it is already upon us, and this year, it is actually late. I can’t help but to think how Thanksgiving has changed here in the 21st century. If for no other reason, I can point to how Black Friday now begins on Thursday (yet we still call it Black Friday- I digress). No, I’m not going to go on about commercialism, there are enough others who focus on that. Instead I thought I would share my Thanksgiving perception.

More than just a day.

To me Thanksgiving has always been, at least in my adult years, been more than just a day. Thanksgiving is the beginning of the end. The end of the year that is. As we all know, before the turkey is fully digested, the Christmas rush begins. I’m not even going to talk about all the Christmas that is being pushed on us before Thanksgiving. In the business world, it has always seemed to me that half the people basically shut down after Thanksgiving and the other half are going full blast squeezing out whatever else might be left in the year. I have found myself on both sides of that scenario. And, it can lead to major frustration, and then when we throw in all of the shopping, traffic, cooking, and partying, it can lead to a major melt down.

I think that this is the reason why people approach Thanksgiving like: “Is it Really Thanksgiving Already?”? It’s because they realize that the craziness for the next five to six weeks begins with Thanksgiving. While we are finishing the last of the apple pie on Thanksgiving afternoon, we are tightening our track shoes.

Change your perception, change your attitude.

Because our perceptions are our realities, this year, I’m changing my perception. This year instead of saying, “Is it Thanksgiving already? I’m saying hallelujah! Thanksgiving has finally arrived,” and I am going to embrace and find joy in all of the mayhem that ensues!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than 24 hours away, it just doesn’t seem to want to come this year! (See what I did there? ) And…and although mayhem may ensue, I am going and to enjoy the remainder of what’s left to of 2019, and remember to be thankful for all that I have been given!

I hope you will join me and change your perceptions to a happier scenario as well!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Game Exercise:

Every morning starting on Thanksgiving Day – if you don’t already – as soon as you wake up remind yourself of something you are thankful for. Write it down, this will help. you do it. If you forget first thing then make sure you do sometime during the day, but try to do it first thing. Then do it last thing at night.

Share a Smile Today. Have We Become an ‘Unfriendly’ Society?

Share A Smile Today! Has Society Become Less Friendly?

And have you ever witnessed the Power of a Smile and a Friendly Gesture?

Today, people spend so much time connected to their electronic devices that they rarely see the world around them. Not only do we have laws forbidding people to use their phones while driving, in many metropolitan areas there are signs on the sidewalks telling pedestrians to put their phones away and pay attention. Has this led to a society that walks through life with its head down? Have we become scared to make eye contact with other humans without feeling awkward? But most importantly, are you a willing participant?

There is a fun alternative.

Back in August, Rachel and I took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula. For the geographically challenged, it is in the northwest corner of the State of Washington. Both of us being tree/nature people, not to mentioned the 60-70 degrees temperatures in August, it was a wonder we ever returned. Of course, while we were there, we took numerous hikes. Not the strenuous kind with backpacks and all the other hiking gear, our hikes were more like a leisurely stroll through the forest. One morning we went for one such stroll after breakfast. Our destination, a nice 90-foot waterfall.

As we walked, we would pass other people out enjoying the day as well. When we passed people, we would say “Good morning!” or some other pleasantry like “it’s a beautiful day isn’t it?” It really was a gorgeous morning. We were amazed at the responses, which were often nothing. Seriously.

We became so intrigued that it didn’t take long before it became a game.

How would someone respond to a simple “Good morning” or “Hello”? Now, in all fairness, there were some who were from other countries who probably had no idea what we were saying, so they get a pass.

Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.

Most people seemed in shock when we spoke to them. I told Rachel it’s almost as if they don’t know how to respond to direct dialect. Cynically, (of course), I thought, “gee, if only I had an app. An app that would automatically detect a nearby phone and then would auto-send a pre-set message.” You know, like the ones you can send when you are driving. You could set this app so that when you were passing someone with a phone it would buzz their phone and say “Good Morning, it’s a beautiful morning isn’t it?” since they had trouble with human contact. The app would then offer them a few reply options.

Now, back to our walk and the really cool part.

The people who did respond with a returned “Good Morning or Hello” replied, without fail, with a smile on their face. Now I realize to the non-observant this might go totally unnoticed, but it obviously didn’t go unnoticed with us. The other thing that we noticed on these walks was that most, and when I say most I’m talking 99% of the people we passed, would look at the ground as we approached them. When we looked far ahead on the path their heads were up taking in all the splendor and wonder of nature. It was as though they didn’t want to make eye contact. Why, why would people not want to make eye contact with others?

Now believe me, as a person who classifies himself a true introvert, I do understand the answer to that question, but I also believe there are not as many introverts in the world as extroverts. Then I wondered, is this the way it’s always been or is this a byproduct of the digital/electronic revolution?

Well, all that is good for speculation, but the take away from all this is the people who responded did so smiling. Stop and think about this for a minute.

You pass a hundred people and you say “good morning.”

I bet, 60% ignore you and continue to walk. Another 40% lift their heads, smile and say “good morning” in return. To a statistician, the odds would say, “shut up, mind your own business and keep walking.” But, just think of the 40%; to some, that “good morning” and smile might make the difference in their day. And what about the 60%? Just because they didn’t respond doesn’t mean you haven’t impacted them in a positive way as well.

So, what does all this mean?

“Small acts of kindness.” There isn’t a much smaller act than sharing a smile and a simple greeting. The thing that makes it such a powerful and fun act, is the fact that it gives back. It gives back because it makes you feel good. Just think of the power that you can pose over others; whenever you can put a smile on their face and possibly change their mood and their day. This small act will help you live a Happier Life – and it’s given to you – by you – giving to someone else.

Amazing & Fun!

Game Exercise:

The next time you are in a public space greet strangers with a smile and a simple greeting. If you can’t seem to muster the greeting at least smile and make eye contact. Remember that the success rate may only be 40% – heck, it may be even less, but don’t get discouraged. Often, the real differences we make in the lives of others go totally unnoticed. But, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

Live Happier! Live Well!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Share your own SMILE experience. Just leave a reply below.

 

Here’s an “oldie, but goodie” when we first published the book (and the early cover). This should make you smile!

 

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Here’s something that will make you smile

Courtesy of some members who subscribe to the happiness blog. They’re currently on a vacation in Greece and came upon this store.