Thanksgiving Challenge: The Gratitude Sprint
How often during the Thanksgiving holiday are you challenged to name things for which you are grateful? Once or twice at a minimum, I’m betting. If you’re like me, you name the same things every time. I call it my “core” list: God, family, friends, food, clothing, shelter, and variations thereof. All of these are worthy of gratitude. But—they are excluded from today’s Thanksgiving challenge.
The Thanksgiving challenge is a sprint of 30 seconds. List as many things as you can for which you are grateful and which are NOT connected in any way to the “core” list, the aforementioned God, family, friends, etc. Examples:
Allowed: I’m grateful for the view from my sunroom.
Not allowed: I’m grateful for my house. (This is shelter and is therefore nixed from the exercise.)
Allowed: I’m grateful for the wildlife in my backyard.
Not Allowed: I’m grateful for my pet companions. (Dogs, cats, and other pets fall into the family/friends category and so are excluded from this challenge.)
Got it? Are you up to the challenge?
No cheating, now. You can’t make up the list before you begin. The things you list must be off the top of your head but from your heart. That part is key. Don’t list random stuff. Name only those things for which you are genuinely grateful, keeping in mind the exclusions required.
Ready . . . set . . . go!
So, how’d you do? Did you surprise yourself?
Put on the spot to name things unrelated to your core list, how many did you think of? Fewer than expected? More? Did you surprise yourself?
I created this challenge for myself. Every day after the gym my husband and I do yoga-type stretches. To prevent myself from moving too quickly into one particular stretch, I take a moment to think of three things I plan to accomplish that day and three things for which I’m grateful. What I found was that I kept naming the same things in the gratitude trio. I might switch it up a little, but it always came down to that “core.” Nothing wrong with that, but it became too rote. I challenged myself to exclude those things from my list of three and to think of other things for which I’m grateful. And so began the Gratitude Sprint.
The first day I excluded the core list my mind became a blank slate. Crazy, right? There are so many things for which I’m grateful, but I couldn’t think of anything different than the usual. Everything related back to that core list somehow. It became a personal challenge to name things that didn’t.
The Gratitude Sprint did two things. First, it cast a light on how important that core is to my life and well-being, how those core things ground me and help shape the life I love so well. It showed me how that core is the center of my wheel, and almost everything else that matters is a spoke from that wheel core. And second, it made me focus on the multitude of other things that provide color and joy to my life, things I’ve perhaps taken for granted.
So what is on my off-the-core gratitude list? Since I’ve been naming three things every day for a while now, the sprint was easy for me: I am grateful for the beach and living only ten minutes from it, friendly store clerks, palm trees, quick access to solid medical care, my Surface Pro3, the internet, music, bunnies on my walks, and—well, my 30 second buzzer sounded, so I have to stop.
Life is full of so much goodness. We should be grateful for our core, but we should also give what is due to those other things that add vibrancy even when we aren’t paying attention.
Please comment and share your Gratitude Sprint list!
Wishing all of my friends and family a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving holiday. May you make many joyous memories.
Thanks for being part of my core.
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