There is so much talk about being thankful during this time of year, and my mind took me to gratitude in the game of basketball. Nothing is more frustrating than playing with or coaching players who act like they do not want to be a part of the team. These are the players who bring the intensity of practice down. Depending on the level of leadership on the team, their attitude can spread to other teammates as the season grows. Players whos actions say they would rather not be there are not showing gratitude for their opportunity to be part of a team (an opportunity that only 12 boys in the whole school get). Being thankful is shown in our action more than by what we say. It’s easy to say how thankful you are for certain opportunities, but it’s a different story when it comes to living it out. I thought of three ways that we can begin to live thankfully:
Being thankful for your opportunites begins by showing up everyday. You can learn much about a person by witnessing their attendance. Yes, there are days for everyone where it might be hard to get out of bed and gain the energy to go to practice for the 6th consecutive day. But by not showing up, a message is sent that being a part of the team is unnecessary in your life; it’s not an opportunity that means enough for you to attend even when motivation is lacking. Perfect attendance is the foundation for gratefulness.
The 2nd part to showing your thankfulness is the energy you put out into what you do. Showing up says that something is important to you, but striving for excellence is the piece that says it is meaningful for you. Caring about the results you produce is being grateful for what you are doing. Being sloppy and careless, exerting minimal effort, and acting disinterested are all ways to tell people that you are spoiled.
My last thought on displaying gratitude is to be selfless and share your opportunities with others to the best of your ability. We always think of giving money and gifts as an important part of giving back. However, the attitude that we perform with can be just as crucial to our development towards living with gratitude. Work with others for the benefit of a greater good than your own desires. Help others achieve their goals even if it means that individual goals will suffer.
I would love to hear how you will start living your life thankfully. Send me an email with any thoughts.