Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Being Thankful

November 2011

I wanted to take a unique perspective on being thankful this Thanksgiving. (Sorry, I'm a month late for my Canadian friends.) Last November I talked about active thankfulness and giving thanks TO others (people) not just being thankful for things.

When most folks think of being thankful it's usually for the "positive" things in their life. I just visited a website at where folks post what they are thankful for. Here are a few examples of what I read:
  • Fridays!
  • My mother and the fact that she tells me she loves me every day.
  • My awesome hair and all the compliments I get on it!
  • 94 on my strategic management test
  • My family and good friends
  • Financial security
  • Skype
  • My health
  • My kids sleeping in their own beds
There are thousands and thousands more, but you get the picture. I am also thankful for many of the things listed above but this year I'm also thankful for the not-so-positive things. I'm thankful for:
  • Having low self-esteem and self-confidence most of my life
  • Having no money and taking 20 years to payoff my student loans
  • Being bullied and teased as a dorky, cry-baby, jock growing up in a small town
  • Failing and dropping Calculus III twice in college
I'm thankful for...
  • Being diagnosed with melanoma when I was 17 years old
  • Lying to a dear friend and having her never speak to me again
  • Crying in the CFO's office (my boss) when he criticized my decisions and actions
  • Not telling someone I loved them before it was too late.
These may seem like odd things to be thankful for but it's not comfort and peace that create growth. Discomfort and challenges trigger GROWTH.

I'm thankful for these things because I now know that crying in your boss's office, being bullied and teased, and being under massive debt may be painful but they are not fatal.