We’re celebrating 10 days of Thanksgiving: for 10 days, I’m sharing journaling prompts for reflections in gratitude. These prompts can be used to add thoughts to your journal, or get out and use your camera (or camera phone) to capture, or sketch or draw, or even simply spend some quiet time with a cuppa just meditating. My hope is that by the end of this time, we’ll all have created a body of work which reflects the bounty that we’ve discovered we have in our lives. Are you with me?
Awesome. Let’s go.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent far too much time in your life lamenting the things that you can’t do. For example, there are many things that I can’t do: I will never, ever be a brain surgeon. I can’t ever be the type of person who finds bungee-cord-jumping exhilarating. I will never run a marathon. And I’ll never tap dance like Savion Glover.
It’s enough to bring me down, man.
A few years ago I woke up to the fact that making these sorts of lists is a colossal waste of time. It seems to me that a far more productive use of my time would be to list the things that I can do. You know, take inventory on all the gifts that I’ve been given in my life.
For example, I happen to have the gift of making the best tuna melts on the planet. I know all the words to Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana.” I’m really good at public speaking. I speak Spanish well enough to get lost in any Latin American country and not worry about how to find my way.
See, the thing is, identifying the things that we’re good at isn’t an act of vanity or ego; it’s the first step in figuring out how to change the world for the awesome. It’s how we can identify all the things that make us uniquely ourselves, and can point us in the direction of determining how our gifts can help serve other people. I believe that every one of us has talents that we are called upon to use for the benefit of others. And these are talents for which we should be really, really grateful.
After all, you never know when your uncanny ability to win every karaoke contest you enter will positively make someone’s day.
Day 2 prompt: Today, I’d love if you’d grab your journal and make a list of things that you’re really good at. As you do this, avoid the temptation to rank them by importance. The truth is your gifts are all important, you might just not know how yet. So are you a great singer? Add it to the list. Can you make a perfect poached egg? It goes on the list. Are you handy? Artsy? Craftsy? Are you a good listener? A great friend? A determined thank-you-note writer?
Whatever it is you do well, add it to your list. And once you’re done, spend a moment being grateful that you can see this list for what it is: a tangible record of your gifts that help make your life good; even more importantly, might even make someone else’s life better, as well.
(Also: If you’d like to share your talents with me in the comments below, I’d love to read them!)
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