Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown

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Did you know that GRATITUDE is the SECRET to ABUNDANCE?

Thanksgiving is about a week away, so, we thought it would be fun to do a short video everyday about the virtue of gratitude all of all its amazing benefits. We’re calling this video series:

“Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown”

T: Over the past 15 years, there has been tons of scientific research linking the practice of consistent gratitude with a host of positive outcomes for our lives. It turns out that gratitude inspires feelings of abundance and can lead to improved health, heightened happiness and overall wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Every day we’ll be sharing 1 video in our countdown to Thanksgiving. Each short video will include stories, statistics, and some science, plus engaging gratitude-building activities for you to do as an individual or with your family. We’ll also be asking you to share some of your gratitude practices and traditions so that we can all learn from each other.

Day #1

A Week of Gratitude – A Countdown to Thanksgiving

Activities for Day #1
“Pass the pumpkin” – With your family and/or friends, pass a small pumpkin around the dinner table as each person names something for which they’re thankful.
“Gratitude Journal” – Write 3 – 5 things you’re thankful for (in a journal, on your phone, or anywhere).
Research shows that expressing gratitude builds happiness, optimism, improved physical health, and stronger relationships. Expressing gratitude is most effective when it’s shared verbally or in writing (rather than just keeping all those thankful thoughts in your head).

Please watch this video (DAY 1) today, then join us tomorrow for DAY 2 (and on to day 7 which is Thanksgiving Day). Wishing you and yours a season of gratitude, abundance, fulfilling relationships and joy!

Day #2

Have you ever wondered how some people can seem to have a naturally optimistic attitude? They seem to go through life in a mindset of abundance and positivity, regardless of the challenges they may be facing. What is their secret? Watch DAY 2 to find out.

DAY 2 "Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown."

Day 2 Gratitude Building Activities:

First, Take a nature walk. As you walk, use all of your senses to mindfully savor the beauty all around you. This experience can enhance gratitude because it builds a sense of awe, as you come to recognize that you’re part of a grander whole. If you’re with a friend, your spouse, or a child, you can take turns naming your “gratitudes” as you walk.

Another idea is to make a cornucopia or a collage with pictures of all of the things for which you are grateful. Children especially love this activity.

Best of all, do what Dr. Georges and her son do. Find someone to serve. That way you can LIVE in thanksgiving, as you lift the burdens of someone in need.

If YOU want to live in abundance and become a “practiced optimist,” stick with us on this gratitude countdown!

Day #3

On Day 3 we talk about how gratitude can build resilience and inspire hope during times of adversity. We’ll also teach how to recognize and overcome roadblocks to gratitude, that can sometimes get people stuck. Finally, we’ll share activities that can help you leverage gratitude, to bring about growth during hard times.

DAY 3 "Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown."

Day 3 Gratitude Building Activities:

Gratitude Reframe: When facing a challenge, ask yourself, “Even though this is hard, what can I be grateful for in this situation?” OR “What strengths & resources do I already possess to help me rise to meet this challenge?”

Resilience Reflection: Write in your journal about a time when you faced a challenge. Then express your gratitude by making a list of what you learned & how you grew stronger because of it. You can help your kids do this too. Young kids can draw pictures (instead of writing).


Day #4

Research shows that EXERCISING GRATITUDE can bring you a host of upgrades in your physical health and overall wellbeing. After years and years of research, Dr. Robert Emmons concluded that “Gratitude is literally on of the few things that can measurable change people’s lives.”

DAY 4 "Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown."

So are you ready for an easy upgrade in your health? Here’s a game that will improve your health in 2 ways (exercising your muscles and exercising your gratitude)

Gratitude ball – (it can be ping-pong, four-square or basketball). It’s is an easy game where you receive the ball and then when you send the ball away, (whether tossing it, throwing it, or hitting it with the paddle), you say something you’re thankful for. Game changer rule: You can’t say the same thing twice and you can’t say something that someone else has said.


Day #5

Today we’re talking about Helping Kids develop Gratitude. How do we teach gratitude to children who live in a world of entitlement and abundance? Even parents who consider themselves in the lower income range tend to have far more money and luxury than they themselves had growing up. It’s normal for parents to want to give their kids a more abundant life, but how much is too much?

DAY 5 – "Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown"

Here are 4 ideas to help kids overcome entitlement by developing gratitude:

1. Don’t always give kids EVERYTHING they ask for.
2. Teach kids to work, earn, and save for the extra toys and gadgets they want.
3. Teach them to serve and to enjoy helping others in need.
4. Establish regular gratitude practices and routines (such as
gratitude journaling, writing “thank you” notes, etc.).
5. Give your favorite family games a “gratitude twist” to help
kids associate FUN with GRATITUDE!

Day #6

Research shows that gratitude deepens bonds and nurtures relationships. This is true in a marriage, a dating relationship, with your children, your extended family, and even co-worker connections. Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Studies show that the more appreciated someone feels in a relationship, the more committed they become to it and the more motivated they are to invest in and build it. When people feel appreciated they are more likely to continue thoughtful and generous behavior. You might call it a gratitude cycle and it begins with just one expression of gratitude.

DAY 6 – "Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown"

Gratitude activities to build and strengthen relationships:

1. Use specific,”others-centered” gratitude & process praise (publicly & privately).
2. Spend quality time with others and listen attentively to what they have to say.
3. Tangible “gratitudes” (flowers, chocolates, and “thank you” notes) are also nice.
4. Service is a great way to show gratitude. Doing what the other person
needs, in the moment, will be the most valuable.
5. Express gratitude to others for their support in your accomplishments & give
them credit for the part they played in your success.

Challenge: Express gratitude in 3 of the most significant relationships in your life and do it TODAY. You can choose an idea from the list we just gave you or make up your own way show gratitude. Whatever you do, make it meaningful and specific.

Day #7

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the recap of a “A Week of Gratitude.”

Giving thanks is not just for Thanksgiving. It’s something we should do every day. In the words of William Arthur Ward, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” Wishing you and yours an abundance of thanks giving blessings AND Thanksgiving blessings!

Wishing you and yours a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Our Gift to you: As part of our Thanksgiving celebration, we want to share with you a special song of deepest gratitude: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” ENJOY!

Come Thou Fount – Rick Starr

The Power of Doing Something Stupid

We’re happy to bring to you this amazing interview with Richie Norton. 

Richie is the bestselling author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid as well as the #1 Amazon download Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It. He is an international speaker and consultant for the corporate growth and personal development industries, a social entrepreneur, and CEO and Founder of Global Consulting Circle. He is also the owner of Prouduct Inc. a company that helps source products for companies so they can focus on their business.

Richie has been featured in Forbes, Businessweek, Young Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and other national publications both in print and online. The 2013 San Francisco Book Festival named The Power of Starting Something Stupid the winner of the business category and the grand prize winner of all book categories in its annual competition. In 2010, Pacific Business News recognized Richie as one of the Top Forty Under 40 “best and brightest young businessmen” in Hawaii.

Richie has shared the stage with bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust and Kevin Rollins, former CEO of Dell Computers.

Richie received his MBA from the world’s #1 ranked international business school, Thunderbird School of Global Management.

In this episode, Richie talks about:

  • His personal story about the death of his son and the death of his brother-in-law, and how these tragic events affected his family’s approach to life.
  • Being Intentional in creating income for the family, but still being there for the family.
  • One of the important principles that came of his son’s passing, which he calls Gavin’s law – “Live to Start, Start to Live.”
  • How to step into (stupid) ideas that you have and lean into your fears.
  • Why starting something stupid is the smartest thing you could do.
  • That life matters, life has purpose, and we are meant to be happy.
  • How to build a project and get small wins when you start something stupid.
  • How positivity plays into success.
  • What part vulnerability plays in starting something stupid and how to be vulnerable in a small way while creating your idea.
  • How to crush fear by breaking it into small pieces. We are all scared of something. It’s how we work with fear that is the real question.

Gratitude in ALL THINGS is the secret to JOY in LIFE!

Intentionally CHOOSE to MAKE GRATITUDE Your WAY of LIFE!

Gratitude is a powerful life intervention. Studies show that people who frequently experience and express gratitude are happier and healthier than people who don’t.

For more on GRATITUDE, please check out these Positivity Life Posts and Podcasts:

Positivity Life Podcast with Bruce Van Horn (Season 1 Episode 15)

“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and Seeing Life’s Challenges as Gifts.”

Positivity Life Podcast with Colleen Georges, Ph.D. (Season 1 Episode 8)

“Seeing All the Good in Self, Others, and Life.”

Positivity Life Blog Post “Gratitude, The Secret to an Abundant Life”

S1-E15: Bruce Van Horn – Choose to See Challenges as Gifts

Season 1 Episode 8 : Seeing all the Good in Self, Others, and Life

Gratitude, the Secret to an Abundant Life!

Season 1 Episode 8 : Seeing all the Good in Self, Others, and Life


Season 1 Episode 8: Seeing all the Good in Self, Others, and Life. [Podcast]


Dr. Colleen Georges is a Positive Psychology coach, speaker, educator, and bestselling author who helps people to see all the good in themselves, others, and life while discovering and leveraging their strengths, passions, and purpose. She provides one-on-one life and career coaching for clients across the nation and leads local community wellness groups.

Colleen is also a Rutgers University Lecturer in counseling and women’s leadership and a member of the Rutgers Speaker’s Bureau. She received her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University, is a Nationally Certified Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Comprehensive Positive Psychology Coach, and holds over a dozen certifications in life and career coaching, positive psychology, and positive parenting.

Colleen authors the Positive Psychology blog called SeeingAllTheGood.com. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post, and is co-author of the award-winning, best-selling books: Contagious Optimism, 10 Habits of Truly Optimistic People, The Wisdom of Midlife Women 2, Unleash Your Inner Magnificence, 101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career, The Book of Success, and scholarly psychology journals.

Colleen lives in New Jersey with her husband José, six-year-old son Joshua, and two cats, Kitty and Sweetie.


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In this episode Dr. Colleen Georges shares the following main ideas:

  • The importance of looking for and seeing all the good in others and in life.
  • Asking self “What am I going to do to make this world better?”
  • How gratitude is the “Queen of all strengths” and how it changed her entire life.
  •  A simple exercise in gratitude that can help you make gratitude a habit that can transform your life.
  • The growth, wisdom and compassion that can come through hardship.
  • How cognitive reframing can decrease pessimism and increase optimism.
  • The importance of living your passion and purpose.
  • The importance of kindness, forgiveness, and faith in a higher power.
  • The importance of taking time to mindfully spend time with people you love.
  • Discovering and building upon strengths.
  • Her experiences finding joy in raising her son and helping him to develop gratitude in life.
  • Helping her son learn kindness and compassion through volunteer work.
  • How it only takes one person to make a difference and encouragement to see how many people you get to impact every day.
  • Be confident with your strengths, flaws and challenges and recognize the beauty in all of what we are.
  • The importance of self forgiveness.
  • Treat everybody as if they’re having a bad day.


You may also enjoy this article by Dr. Colleen Georges:

“5 Practices for Teaching Kids the Power of Gratitude and Grace.”

Colleen’s Books:

Links mentioned in this podcast

Gratitude A Way of Life (book by Louise Hay)
VIA – Values in Action (assess your strengths)
Gallup Strengths Finder Test (assess your strengths)
Character Strengths & Virtues Manual (Seligman and Peterson)

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Season 1 Episode 2: Mike Schlappi


Season 1 Episode 2: Bullet Proof Grit – with Mike Schlappi [Podcast]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At the age of 14, Mike had expectations of a career in sports as a top notch athlete. A gunshot to the chest at point blank range challenged his dreams. He would never walk again. After months of rigorous physical therapy, he began playing basketball from his wheelchair and went on to become a standout athlete.

As a motivational speaker Mike travels the world teaching individuals of all ages, that despite difficult circumstances, you can take “response-ability” and be empowered. His engaging presentations have entertained and inspired audiences worldwide. From students to chief executive officers, from the classroom to the board room, from rookies to Olympic athletes, from small gatherings to large corporate events, Mike shows audiences “If You Can’t Stand Up, Stand Out!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

To play our podcast, click on the “play” button on the green bar below.



CLICK HERE to OPEN in iTunes

If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out and raising the visibility of the show. For short video on how to leave a rating and review, click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

In this episode, Mike talks about:

  • His upbringing and background as a promising young athlete.
  • The accident (Mike was shot in the chest from three feet away).
  • Transitioning from a focus on what was lost to being grateful for the things he still had.
  • The prank he played that reminded him that could still laugh in spite of challenges.
  • How to face fear, why, and what it can do for you.
  • That It’s okay to have a bad days and difficulty.  If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be normal.  y
  •  “Attitude therapy” and how it worked for him.
  • How to “attach a purpose or meaning” to your pain.
  • He story of two gold medals, two bronze medals, and being the first athlete to compete in four consecutive Olympic games.
  • What it means to take “respons-ability” for yourself.
  • Why creating something to look forward to is so important.



Mike’s Website: http://mikeschlappi.com/
Mike’s Book – “Shot Happens”

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Watch this FUN video to find 10 surprising benefits of Gratitude! (1.5 min.)

Do you want to be happier, healthier and an all around better person? It’s FEEE, easy and totally up to you! The answer is GRATITUDE! This FUN, short video tells you 10 surprising benefits of practicing gratitude!

Gratitude is Good for You!

Big thanks to the Robert Emmons, Ph.D. for all the great lessons on gratitude and for sharing this informative & fun video with us. And another big thanks to ElementOfGratitude.org & the John Templeton Foundation for creating it!