The Gift of Today—Lessons from a Monk

I originally published this post last Thanksgiving. It has such a powerful, simple video that I wanted to share it with you again today. I pray it inspires you to focus on the things that matter most. Have a blessed holiday.

The older I get, the more I believe that gratitude is the answer to almost every problem we face. It can transform anxiety, anger, and depression.

It may not change our circumstances—though it often does—but it can change us. And isn’t that really the purpose of this journey we call “life”?

My daughter Marissa recently shared a video with me that I want to share with you. It is as beautiful as it is profound. It is well-worth your time to watch it.

I particularly loved this quote from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk, and the one speaking on the video:

You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today…. It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

Maybe we would get this if we saw today as the first day of our life—or our last.

Here are four ways you can transform today, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary:

  1. Notice the gifts around you. Whether it is the natural beauty that surrounds you, the interesting people you encounter, or the simple beating of your heart, everything is a miracle—if you have eyes to see it.
  2. Open your heart to receive them. It’s so easy to feel entitled and become cynical when we don’t get what we want or feel we deserve. But if we receive everything as a gift, designed for either our enjoyment, our transformation, or both, we open ourselves to new possibilities.
  3. Express your gratitude for them. This is one of the things that makes humans unique and sets us apart from the animals. But we have to speak it to experience the power of it.
  4. Bless someone else. Let your gratefulness overflow into the lives of those you encounter today. It doesn’t have to be fancy—just offer them a smile, a touch, or the simple gift of your presence. (You could also share this post with them!)

Today will never be repeated. It it is unique among all the days of your life. Gratitude can transform into something to be remembered.

Note: If you want to explore gratitude further, read Ann Voskamp’s excellent book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

Question: What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    I’m thankful for this message and for you Michael, that was extraordinary! While today may never be repeated, if I could start each day with a message that is so inspiring I can strive to make the most of every single one of them. Thanks for this one!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chris.I wish I had something like this every day as well!

    • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

      I agree – thankful for Michael and this community

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I’m thankful for my job.  Today, I get to work with some great people.  Tonight, I get to go to an awards dinner for those who have achieved various milestones at our company.

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    I am thankful for every good thing – ordinary and extraordinary – I enjoy today including this post :) Thanks Michael. 

  • Jviola79

    I am sitting here with tears literally flowing. What a moving message. Thank you so much for sharing it. You have no idea. I am sure you are too busy to read something that I wrote yesterday. But I feel to include the link. I wrote this blog post yesterday & posted it this morning by 6AM. To then read your post & watch this video, I realized how deeply God was speaking to me (& probably to many of us) about gratitude. You surely hit it out of the park with this one. So grateful that you did!
    http://daysnthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/one-more-thing/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much. I appreciate your post too. We can never be reminded too much about the need for gratitude—especially during this holiday season.

  • Senthilraj

    Nice article. Thanks, Michael.

  • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

    Thank you for this post.  I like number 2 a lot.  Things we feel entitled to we never have gratitude for.  

  • Kimyung Kim

    I’m thankful for the wonderful people in my life and for wise men and women who are constantly investing in my life, the Zig Ziglar’s, Michael Hyatt’s, to the friends who give me info to help me improve my business.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am so thankful for Zig’s life too. He was a remarkable man.

  • http://www.giveliveexplore.com/ Matthew Trinetti

    Completely agree Michael. I think if each of us made Gratitude and Appreciation our primary thoughts, conflicts would dissolve and we’d be collectively happier. 

    For the past 6 months, I’ve been on an adventure/pilgrimage of sorts, traveling through Europe and taking a break from working IN my life to work ON it. One of my greatest realizations was just what you articulated in this post. It’s the transformative power of gratitude.

    Gratitude turns mishaps into opportunities, tragedies into inflection points, and suffering into a chance for reflection.

    I’m thankful for being in Granada, Spain right now and having the opportunity to explore a new place and gain a new perspective.

  • Bidemi

    Today, I am thankful for you Michael Hyatt, for your free Lifeplan ebook.  I just printed it out this morning because 2013, is the year I want to live intentionally in abundance on every account. Your book will bring me closer and for that I am truly grateful!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for that. I truly appreciate it!

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    What a timely post.  It’s easy to get bogged down and neglect what we’ve been given, or grow in disatisfaction.

    You’d be shocked at how many people will respond in a remarkable way to #4 when you act with a genuine heart.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       So true, DS. I’ve found texting to be a really effective way to do that. In fact, many in our community of friends have made blessing one another and our children part of our daily life – it’s become really powerful.

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    I’m thankful that I have God’s Word. It truly is LIFE to me. It teaches me, corrects me, comforts me, encourages me. It is LIFE.

    I’m talking about thankfulness, as well, over at my site today using a story from the life of Corrie ten Boom. I’d love for all of you to join me. http://www.leahadams.org/when-words-wont-come-1-thessalonians-5-18/

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    I’m grateful that my kids slept through the night last night :)  And I’m grateful for our community of friends – they are amazing.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Ha! I hear ya. Kids sleeping through the night is a good thing to be thankful for!

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Aaron – I can really relate!

    • prophetsandpopstars

      Now that my kids sleep through the night, I wish I could ;)

  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ Kim Hall

    Yes, yes! Gratitude is one of the most under-rated, overlooked means of getting to a much happier and contented place in our lives! Not only does it improve our mental health, but it helps in other ways as well. It is truly a magic elixir!

    Your suggestions are great for beginning or re-starting the actual practice of gratitude, for it is just that: practice. Intentional, regular practice will make our gratitude muscles kick in when the going gets tough and it looks like there is nothing for which to be grateful.

    I think it’s important to remember as well that we recognize that our culture (movies, shows, articles, commercials) doesn’t want us to be grateful. They want us to be envious, to look at who we are and what we have as just not enough, to fill that emptiness we didn’t even know we had with stuff. When we are armed with gratitude, we have much greater walk-away power from that negative message.

  • http://twitter.com/cupojoegirl Eileen Knowles

    Beautiful!  I think it’s been age and experience that have helped me LIVE gratitude.  I’ve watched God show up in some pretty amazing ways…even in the bleakest of circumstances.  His presence has changed everything in my life.  Thanks for posting. 

  • http://www.eahelp.com/ Tricia Welte

    Thank you for this message today.  It is a needed reminder of how precious life is … especially today. 

  • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

    I’m thankful that I lost my job ten years ago this month which set me free to pursue what I was more passionate about.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Love this, Gary. Inspiring.

  • http://www.britainsteapoet.com/ Elizabeth Darcy Jones

    If ever there were words to ‘inspire, touch and sustain’ they’re here. I’ve sent the video to the people closest to me as a belated Thanksgiving card. Yesterday I was a bit niggled by Hyatt for giving me so much reading and thought that prompts rearranging things in my life! Today there’s only gratitude and of course clarity has come with the dawn and clear wintry sky here in Herefordshire, England!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I wish I’d posted this before Thanksgiving last week! Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/CamGoede Cam Goede

    Really enjoyed this one today. What a powerful and relevant message. Thanks for sharing.

  • StrategyBuilder

    Michael, thank you for your gift today! It’s a beautiful reminder to be fully present for each action we take … it’s all too easy to push the “auto-pilot” switch while our minds are elsewhere. Brother David’s reminder — and your good sense in bringing it to us — is that today is the most important gift we have.

  • http://twitter.com/kkrem44 Karen Kremers

    Really great post, Michael.  I am grateful for this time of year and the cheerful dispositions that typically coincide with the holiday season.  Also thankful for heat to warm our home, a comfortable place to sleep, and the extra time I get to spend with my college kids. So many blessings. Thank you.

  • http://itreallyisgoodnews.wordpress.com/ Bridget

    Transforming stuff, Mr. Hyatt.  After reading Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 Gifts, last year, gratitude has been transforming me and my family in miraculously ordinary ways!!!  I recommend the book to anyone who would like some clarity on slowing down, being truly present, and cultivating a habit of gratitude.  I love one of the themes in the book about discontent being a habit and how you have to drive one habit out with another, like a hammer to a nail.  That gratitude is the nail that can drive out discontent.   Oh, and how gratitude is one of the main keys to experiencing the joy of the Lord!  I’m telling you, life-changing stuff!

  • http://keriwyattkent.com/soul/ Keri Wyatt Kent

    Mike, thanks for this. Such an important reminder to slow down and notice God in our daily lives! 

  • Sam Pekeno

    I had woken awake a bit sad and depressed. But this video, changed my view perspective for today. Thank you so much for this message Micheal.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m so glad!

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  • Stacey Thureen

    I’m thankful for a lot of things today. Here’s a blog post I recently wrote about what I’m thankful for: 

    http://www.staceythureen.com/2012/11/21/what-are-you-thankful-for/

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Loved your list, Stacey. Especially that trip to Haiti … 

      • Stacey Thureen

        Thanks Michele! 

  • kpeds

    Whoop-Whoop… thank you.  I’ve seen this before and shake my head at how powerful the message really is.  My new morning newspaper…  

  • Nancyagriffith

    I think that seeing that little girl made me think of Mattie Stepanek on the Oprah show many years ago . Although he has now passed, his image is brought about in this little girl. Gratitude is really everywhere!

  • Sensei Storms

    What a beautiful video, and beautiful lil’ girl. Thank you Michael
    Grateful-  I’ll try and hit the high lights.Our Lord – Almost 8 years ago I was re-born, opened my heart and life.My lovely wife, our wonderful four children, our health, our parents, our spiritual family, our free (imperfect , I get it) great country, choice, a home, our dogs, my team, our business, our gifts, our challenges, trial,  infrimities, our adversaries that make us better. 
    What an inspiring message, thank you.

  • http://lisadelay.com/blog Lisa Colon DeLay

    This was a holy video…set apart for the honor and glory of God and humankind. Like a breath of fresh air. A gift. Thank you.

  • annepeterson

    I always love reminders to be thankful. Thanks for this post.

    Today, I am thankful for the ability to feel. For years I had so much pain in my life. As I worked through issues it was at times excruciating. But as God continues to heal my wounded places I am thankful for the ability to feel. Without that, I couldn’t feel love, couldn’t feel joy. Thank you God for my emotions. 

  • Shirley Thiessen

    I am thankful for my son Jordan who lived fully for 23 yrs. He passed away on Oct 18, 2012 and although my heart is aching with grief, I am thankful for the gift that he was to our family and his wife.  More than anything, I am thankful that I will see him again in heaven as I know he is with his Heavenly Father.

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Shirley – I’m so sorry for your loss.  Your thankfulness through such a difficult awful experience is inspiring.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m so sorry to hear this, Shirley. May God give you peace until you are reunited with your son.

    • annepeterson

      Shirley, I am sorry for your loss. Focusing on what he did bring to your world is inspirational. I believe when our hearts are aching and we decided to praise the Lord, it is a sacrifice of praise. I have many people I will se in heaven that I miss. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • http://tea4kate.com/ Kathryn

    I am so very thankful for this message…the heart of it brought home to us by the sudden death of my dearest brother ten days ago…we are still mourning, but know the truth of the beauty of each day, each hour, each moment we have to celebrate our life here…with of course, the added joy of spending eternity together! Thank you for sharing this beautiful message.

    • annepeterson

      Kathryn, I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my brother last year. And while I miss him, I am also thankful for the fact we got to help him go through his cancer. Deaths do give you hope for the lives that remain.

  • Wayne Elsey

    Wow, awesome.

  • Kent Faver

    I was introduced to this film by Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude - over a year ago and have watched it dozens of times since.   I have watched Louie’s TED talks and followed his passionate career on time lapsed Nature films through his website.  He is presently trying to turn it into a feature length film by using Kickstarter.  Likewise, I have listened to everything I can find by Brother Daniel Steindl-Rast and have been moved by his lifes teachings.  I am grateful for this film!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Thanks Mike for a great reminder.  This post helped me get a much better start to my day.  I’m thankful for God’s work in my life, for an amazing husband, healthy and happy children,  my work and my friends.  

  • mglaker

    Today I am thankful for a moment last night playing uno with kids.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Moments like that are precious!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      mglaker,
      I love Uno with the kids! My kids are really into Apples to Apples right now! What a blessing!

  • http://twitter.com/9261Aube ReneDAube

    Thank you, Michael, for this post! I will pass it along with the prayer that others will also be blessed by it. God bless you!

  • Jonathan

    Michael… I’ve followed your blog for quite some time…   We met at ChickFlA Leadercast (I was your audio engineer for backstage for the last 3 years) and while you’ve had awesome posts and helpful reminders….  Today, your post really made an impact on me that I am quite grateful for. 
    Thank you …  thank you for your encouragement and leadership. 

    Jonathan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jonathan. I appreciate you taking time to comment.

  • http://www.RobTrenckmann.com/ Rob Trenckmann

    Thanks Michael–I needed that reminder today. My wife, son, and I recently moved to Hungary, where we work with young people. We love it here, but it’s also hard. This blog is a good reminder to remember the good, even when life is difficult.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Often the best experiences are also the most difficult. I understand that well. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Debby

    …being reminded of the gift of today, this day The Lord has made. I will “rejoice and be glad in it!”

  • Samhill39

    I am grateful for the friend who emailed this to me…for your wonderful reminder “to be grateful”…for I am to continue learning each day as I journey…for my awareness of GOD’s presence in my life no matter the difficult circumstances.  Thank you, Michael Hyatt for posting this.  SAM Staub, New Orleans.

  • http://www.thesaltlick.tv/ Peter Gowesky

    Today I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy.  I’m thankful for the fact that He has given me all the strength that I need for today.  I am thankful that when I am weak, He is strong, because today I am feeling a bit weak.  So I know that today I will operate on His strength.  Thanks for posting this Michael.  

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    Thank you for this! I would like to share this video that also renews my gratitude…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

  • http://davidkirkaldy.com/ David Kirkaldy

    Thank you for posting this today.  The message, reinforced by the photography and cinematography is outstanding.  I knew I had seen it elsewhere and found it in a link I had saved to Louie Schwartzberg’s TEDxSF talk on gratitude (the YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ) which one or two other commenters also recall.  

    The talk by Louie adds an intro to this video that is simply stunning.  His comments are so very profound and amplify the narration of Bro. Stendl-Rast.  Particularly, his statement that ‘we protect what we fall in love with’ resonates with me.  Gratefulness creates the condition that allows one to love.  Thanks for sharing.  

    I’m grateful for so much, including the knowledge that you freely share that has lead to me finally starting the blog I had been thinking about for years and never could quite get started on, http://www.davidkirkaldy.com. Thank you.  See you at the Platform Conference in February!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing this video. I have it queued up to listen to in a bit!

  • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

    I am in love with this video!  What an amazing thought – that everyone who encounters you today will be blessed by you.  That’s a huge life mission.  I’m not always successful in living this out, but it fits so well with who I am – I love that idea.  Great post!

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      I also loved the thought of how miraculous it is to turn on our taps and have hot and cold water flow…we always take that for granted and it’s an amazing gift.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joy. You are a blessing to me!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    I grew up in what would be considered a “poor” household in America (statistically speaking)

    And yet…

    I never wanted for basic clothes. They never had fancy labels, but they kept me warm in winter and usually fit well. My feet were always covered when I went outside.

    I never wanted for food. I ate when I was hungry, even if it meant something I didn’t want.

    I never wanted for entertainment, shelter, education, or any of the basic needs in life.

    I am tempted to say “how can I not be grateful?” but I am often not, because I’ve fallen for the lie that success and contentment are a moving target. I bought the big house, but now I want it bigger. I hit my income goal 7 years early but now I want more.

    That being said, moments like this remind me to be grateful what I do have and so I am. I was born in America. That alone means I am better off than 97% of the world’s population.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Well said, Matt. I especially relate with the feeling/idea that success is “out there” and I most go find it! Success is now. How will I now? How is my now?

      Thanks, Matt.

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  • http://www.Twitter.com/RickYuzzi Rick Yuzzi

    Great video and post. The daily devotions I look at each day have all centered on thankfulness recently and I thought, wow, God is trying to tell me something.  Then I remembered this is the time when Thanksgiving falls. :-)   Still, gratitude and blessing others is the key to a joyful life. 

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  • http://trevoracy.com/ Trevor Acy

    How appropriate this message for today. As I’m at work struggling with Zig’s passing, my mother tells me that her best friend and tennis partner passed away in her sleep last night. 
    Today is a gift.

  • Stephenwaymire

    I share (I don’t like the word teach) tennis with little kids, and I am always amazed how much they teach me when I listen.  I try to remind myself everyday before a tennis lesson to give thanks for my students and my God given purpose to share tennis with them.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I’m thankful for so many things.  I thankful for God, family, friends, and discovering what the pursuit of wisdom does to change our lives into things of intentional purpose.  

    Micheal, I would like to add a few points the the message:

    1.  Look to the Wisdom of the Lord:  God has a specific plan for us to have blessings.  He wants that for you, but he wants you to understand the proper way to receive the blessings.2.  Recognize the Blessings you Have3.  Let Others Know What They Mean to You4.  Don’t Get Upset When Things Don’t Go Your Way:  Things are not going to be perfect all the time.  It’s okay!  Relax a little.  5.  Learn to Number Your Days

    The expanded ideas are here if there is an interest:  http://toddliles.com/be-grateful-to-be-happy.html

    Thanks Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Todd. Those e good additions.

  • 48DaysDan

    A beautiful reminder that wonder and beauty are all around us – if we offer up gratitude as a way to open our eyes and hearts.  I’m very protective of the first hour of my day – that hour Henry Ward Beecher called the Rudder of the Day – the Golden Hour. I find that if I fill that hour with thoughts of gratitude, the rest of the day confirms what my heart already believes.  

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’m thankful for my big, complicated, beautiful family. And a kitchen table big enough to hold us all!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I’ll second that one!

  • Bob

    Awesome Michael – thank-you so much for this. I am full of gratitude today for the ability to live in such a moment as this.

  • marktenney2

    Great post, Michael! I love the focus on gratitude and blessing others. Thanks for reminding me what today is about!

  • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

    Thanks for sharing Michael. I’ve often heard about living each day as if it’s your last, but never thought of it as my first :D Thanks for the insight!

  • Serena Travis

    Each day is like a pearl…a beauty of it own. And when strung together, ah, the compounded beauty of a life. Whether short or long, each string of pearls has a purpose. I am thankful for today’s pearl!

  • Dachsiehome

    I am grateful for my faith and to be able to pray every day and know that my prayers are heard by a glorious and merciful God.

  • Bay

    Right now I am thankful for people like you, Michael, for bringing wonderful insights to me the likes of Brother David’s message.  I look forward to carrying this message in my heart today.

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  • Jane Bromley

    Thank you Michael for this great post. Gratitude maximises our love of life. So true! Thank you again.

    I see below you say you “wish you had something like this every day”. Well can I share something that I hope will fulfil your wish? 

    There is a little book called The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. It is a simple, easy way to build gratitude into every day. Thanks to that book I now feel gratitude for each and every part of my life- at a level that inspires me every day! I am so grateful to Rhonda for that little book.

    You will find it in most good book stores- online and “real” ones. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShifferDiane Diane Shiffer

    This is one of my favorite videos…. and I had forgotten all about it! Thank you so much for sharing it on this very ordinary and very special day :-)

  • Najhda

    I am thankful for my gift…my life and the people who have come and go in my life. This video was very inspiring- thank you!

  • http://davidlarteyblog.wordpress.com David Lartey

    I’m thankful for life, a family, a mind that works and a whole lot more. I’m grateful to God for today.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    Out of the endless things I am thankful for, here are a few: I’m thankful for the opportunity to work at home (where I can get laundry done at the same time :))–for your site, Michael, the video you shared, Ann Voskamp’s incredible book,  One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, that everyone should read, and for my beautiful daughter with significant special needs, who demonstrated to me what it means to be grateful in the little things (too bad it took me so long to catch on). 

  • Patricia Bromley

    I am thankful for this beautiful sunny day, for the delightful walk I took this morning with my husband, for all my memories of the wonderful life I have had for the past 81 years, the countries I have seen, the people I have met, the adventures I have been lucky enough to enjpy – I could go on and on…..   I am so very lucky.  Each day is a joy, a time to discover and learn something new. Thank you Michael for even more inspirational thoughts today.  

  • http://emilysirkel.com/ Emily Sirkel

    I have had the privilege of spending this week with my family in West Texas. My entire childhood was spent in the country, living the life of a remote ranching family far from any neighbors, paved roads, or city sounds. I am now a city-dweller, and so this week has been incredibly refreshing for me. I am awed by the simple yet complex beauty of God’s creation all around me.

    In the city it’s easy for me to forget to be grateful for each day. I so often fail to take notice of the incredible world around me in the midst of the busyness and the distractions. Thank you for a beautiful reminder that this is the one day that has been given me today – no matter where I am, it is a day to be cherished and never taken for granted. It is a day to be experienced and appreciated for its innate value as one more incredible day in this world.

    • Jim Martin

      Emily, your comment reminds me that it is often the busyness and the distractions which cause me (and I suspect many others) to not even see the beauty that is often right in front of me.  Thanks for this reminder.

      • http://emilysirkel.com/ Emily Sirkel

        So very true, Jim. Our world is becoming increasingly chaotic, and it’s easy to get caught up in the next thing on our to-do list instead of enjoying the precious treasures of each day.

        • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

           Well-said. I agree with you 100%.

  • Pam_marie11

    I am grateful my husband shared this video with me today!

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  • Mickyv

    I am so very thankful for the gifts that I have been given. I can play piano, so now I play once a month at my church. I can write, so I have started a blog (thegrantchat.blogspot.com) and a grant research/writing business. I am really making an effort to sharing these gifts, and while putting yourself out there can be scary, you really do feel good when you realize the impact that you have.

    Embrace the fear and share your gifts!

  • Martha Ramirez

    This was beautiful, Michael. As so was the video. Thank you!

  • Tim

    Amazing! This slowed me down and changed my perspective. It’s a reminder we all need. Thank you for sharing this with us Michael.

  • Heather Marsten

    Great video. I posted a link to your article on my Facebook page.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Right now I’m thankful for this blog post Michael, love the quote!

    I had the honor of speaking at a conference in Kenya last week. Seeing how poor so many people were and how they’re just trying to survive really opened my eyes to how good I have it and how I need to be grateful for the many blessing I have to live here in the U.S.

    My heart was broken to even see my own family barely surviving. To come home and be able to drink water from the tap was something I was extremely grateful for. When I left I left them everything I had: money, medicine, clothes, suitcases, everything!

    Since being home I’ve made it a point to not complain and thank the Lord for the wealth we have.  

    • Jim Martin

      Kimanzi, thank you for sharing this about your family and your experience in Kenya last week.  Hearing this story is a reminder to me about how much I have to be grateful for.

  • http://twitter.com/mpetty39 Mike Petty

    This reminded me of a quote from John Donne:  “ There is nothing which God hath established in a constant cause of nature, and which therefore is done everyday, but would seem a miracle, and exercise our admiration, if it were done but once. ”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I love that quote. Fabulous!

  • Jim Martin

    Excellent video Michael!  Such a good reminder to be grateful and to express gratitude.  I need this reminder.  Thanks!

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  • Iheartlife

    This message was healing balm to my soul. Thank you!

  • Bloom

    Yes, so beautiful, so true.  Therein the essence of happiness.

  • Rachel Kim

    I am so thankful for grace!  I had a big “get-to” today.  Was able to speak at a “distracted driving” High School assembly.  Got to share with 1200 sophomores about how I caused a car accident while talking on my cell phone — nearly killed my family and left one of my daughters impaired.   Our story actually meant something to them and grace means so much to me! – Rachel Kim

  • Maarianne T

    I am so incredibly thankful for  the gift of being  a child of a loving God who not only healed my daughter of an illness that threatened to take her life, but also is allowing my daughter and I to share our story of hope with many… you’re ‘on target thoughts’ touch the heart of it all… true gratefulness, because not only is everyday a gift, every moment is a gift from God!

  • Mary

    I am grateful to be alive, to be clean, to be free from active addiction, to have my family and my friends in my life, to have ahome and to have a purpose.

  • annepeterson

    I read your post yesterday and really liked it, but it was today that I saw this video. I absolutely LOVED it. How comforting and motivating it was getting us to be deliberate about what we focus on. Thank you so much for helping me start today off right. Not sure why I’m up in the middle of the night, but I don’t care.

  • Thomasward638

    I have been reading just recently about being thankful and praising God –  despite ones circumstances. This video hit home to me just how many things I have to be thankful for. To also ‘be in the moment’ enjoying the beauty around me, aware of others and their ‘beauty’ and story and to praise and be thankful for the great gift of today. Thank you for this blessing!!

  • Roy Merideth

    I’m thankful for having watched this video at 4:30a.m.  What a great way to start my day.  I love the concept of opening your eyes and looking around as if this is the first time you’ve EVER opened your eyes.  Thank you, Michael Hyatt, for sharing this.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Our modern way of life is so complex, so full of distractions, that it’s hard to feel grateful anymore. Sure we have a lot of great things, but I truly believe it’s the curse of things that brings us down. When your cell phone loses a charge, or your computer crashes, life can seem to stop. Yet, as your video explores, that may be a blessing in disguise. A time to reflect. A time to look past our mundane troubles, and be grateful for the day we have been given.
    Thanks for a powerful message today, Michael. I’ve been buried in the mundane for the last month or two, struggling with a lot of deadlines and details that lift me one day and bring me down the next. I just need to look past the distractions and see the day for what it is… a gift from God!

  • prophetsandpopstars

    What a fantastic video. I love the idea of just being a blessing to everyone around you. This is milestone in the endless quest to surround myself with Ebenezers of Gratitude.

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  • http://strategy-keys.com/ David Willden

    Wonderful!  Thank you for sharing.  

  • http://twitter.com/BarryKahan Barry Kahan

    This is truly beautiful. I was most moved towards the end by the words, ” That everyone who you should meet on this day will be blessed by you. Just by your eyes. By your smile. By your touch. Just by your presence.” ….. Wow. What a wonderful world this would be.

    Thank you so much Michael for sharing. Immediately sent to my wife, and telling her how grateful I am to have her in my life.

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    A few years ago, I read The Monk Who Sold Ferrari. This book changed the way I saw the world and the beauty that comes from both people and the world around us.

    This video is most certainly a beautiful extension on that same path. I am truly thankful for the reminder that such gifts exist in the world around us. We need only open our eyes.

  • Tim Rogers

    I am grateful for the breath that I’m taking right now at this moment.

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

    Grace. My gratitude almost always circles back to grace. Received, lived and given.

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    This is great and indeed profound. If gratitude was entrenched in us all, the world would be much better off. In times of difficulty gratitude can be hard adopt, but perseverance, strength, determination and faith will bring us back to reality. Thank you!

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

     Thanks so much for this, Michael. Just beautiful, and an incredible reminder to be present in each moment and intentionally aware of how much we always have to be thankful for.

  • Lori blog:Jumpingonclouds

    What a beautiful message, Michael. Thanks for such a simple yet profound reminder. As a person in recovery from major depression, I have to say that gratitude has been one of the big keys to ongoing recovery and fulfillment for me. Gratitude alone won’t solve all of our problems, but it sure does color in the big picture for us so we can see more clearly. Bless you for always encouraging the best in all of us.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your beautiful testimony.

  • ML

    I discovered your blog at a point where I needed it.  As I checked my personal emails on my lunch break today after another let down (or reminder), the email for this post was sitting there begging to be opened right then and there.  Not only did I need it right then but it’s so great I think I might just keep reading this post every morning to remind myself.

  • Autocampers

    i am thankful that altough i have a phisical problem ,and its getting better and healing  little by little ,economical  needs  ,but i know KNow  that the Lord will supply all our needs according to His riches ,we have so much to be thankful for !

  • Joy

    I am thankful for the good health God has given me.  It is so true that a thankful attitude can change so many things in life.  I like to realize that each day is unique, and especially to think how I can make it unique by being a blessing, being kind, giving a smile to someone else.  thank you for this nice video!

  • Regesantos

    This really touched me. Thanks and have a bleassed day.

  • Mitzi

    I’m thankful for so much today . Mainly life.

  • Mike

    Reminds me of this quote: “You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” — Heraclitus

    Great post and a very nice reminder to stay grateful for all things: “And all things are of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and who gave to us the ministry of this reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning their transgressions to them, and committing to us the word of this reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Just another reason to be grateful…

  • http://twitter.com/cole_bobbie Bobbie Cole

    I am thankful for Skype conversation with my beautiful daughter in England.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for your comments, Chris.

    I think it comes down to a simple matter of calling. I am a committed Christian. I have worked with Christians and for Christians all of my adult life. But on this blog I feel a different calling.
    This is first and foremost a business and leadership blog. It is not a platform for my preaching. (I do that in other contexts.) Here, I want to point people to Jesus without being explicit. It’s kind of like creation itself. If I can point them to giving thanks, they will figure out that it has to be directed to Someone. This is why gratitude is so powerful. It leads the heart to God.
    I am not doubting the need to be explicit at times—and I often am. But not in this context. The video is enough. I have had countless people over the years tell me they were brought back to God or consider God for the first time, because they didn’t feel I was beating them over the head with it on my blog.
    By the way, I have two adopted grandsons from Uganda. It has and always will have a special place in our hearts! Thanks for your comments.

  • http://twitter.com/landrewchalmers Andrew Chalmers

    Thanks for this reminder! What a great video too! I will be sure to share this with family and friends today :)

  • D_santos

    I’m thankful for my house full of children & waking up to a peaceful morning

  • http://twitter.com/TonyLimaJr Tony Lima

    Thanks Michael, I needed to hear this message today! I’m thankful that we live in an age where I can be inspired and encouraged by someone whom I know of because of the capabilities of technology. Love what you do Michael.

    • Jim Martin

      Thanks Tony!  This is a wonderful age we live in, isn’t it?  Technology gives us such wonderful access to great resources.  Michael’s blog is evidence of this.

  • Mark

    I am thankful for the love that my Savior and King has for me.

  • Dawn Vesco

    This was fantastic Michael.

  • Leighann Bradley4

    Thank you. You enriched my life this day.

  • Hskjoan

    I am thankful for this message and for Michael and the Team.  I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for my boss. I am thankful for my whole being. Alelluia

  • Regina

    would u caption your videos to be inclusive of our 258M deaf brothers and sisters? thank you~

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a fair request. Unfortunately, this is not my video. I simply embedded it here.

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  • Lajessfull

    I’m grateful for my dear friend Desiree who want me to see this information. Thanks darling!!!

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  • Sabrinawalterscounseling

    I’m thankful for my friend Jill who encouraged me to do a gratitude journal with her daily. We bounce a list of ten things back and forth day after day. It was inspired by Alter Weiner, a Holocaust survivor we met who writes a list of 100 things he’s thankful for each day! Thanks Michael for this post today!

  • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

    Great post and video.  Thanks for sharing!

    Ann Voskamp’s book is wonderful.  It is NOT an easy read, for sure.  In fact, I’d have to say it’s one of the TOUGHEST books I’ve read in a long, long time.  But..that should not scare away potential readers.

    One Thousand Gifts is full of wonderful, thought-provoking concepts (some simple and some that are very complex) that we all need to struggle with from time to time.  There are SO many good thoughts in the book that after I read my local library’s copy, I had to buy a copy of my own so I could highlight the best of it.

    Thanks for being such a blessing to so many people.

     

    • Jim Martin

      Michael, thanks so much for your words regarding Ann Voskamp’s book.  For you to purchase the book after reading your library’s copy says a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraDBennet Laura Bennet

    Beautiful. I’m grateful you shared it.

  • http://walkwiththewise.wordpress.com/ Gail

    With thankfulness and gratefulness being so good for us, it’s not surprising that the Bible tells us “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess 5: 18).

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  • Mitch Maloney

    I’m thankful for your blog.  I’m thankful for the sun shining on the new fallen snow.  I’m thankful for the confidence I have that I am a forgiven sinner through Jesus Christ and that, someday, I, too, will live forever with him.  That is the true meaning of the season of Christmas.

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  • http://twitter.com/jonathonpost Jonathon Post

    Michael,

    I’m 25 and getting married in 4 months. I recently spoke with my boss about wanting to make a job change and that I have searched out some options. However, now that I had that conversation I am doubting myself and starting to see the real opportunity to be a global influence in my current position. But I’m so afraid to tap into that full potential. I’ve spent the better part of this past year growing into a man after graduating college (they don’t teach that there) and learning from my boss, who is also my mentor. When I think about what needs to happen in order for me to build my business a number of thoughts flood my mind and paralyze me. They are thoughts like… my parents just don’t understand what I’m doing, my fiance requires so much of my attention, but the biggest 3 thoughts/struggles of all are these: 1) how am I ever going to meet enough people to fill my week with beneficial activities and 2) Is this right for me (and my coming marriage) or am I a better fit somewhere else? and 3) I have so many ideas and have realized that I am AWFUL at following up and completing a majority of them (it saddened me after realizing that today) but I want to get better at that I just don’t know how to “turn off” some of those thoughts because I have believed for some reason I might miss out on something.

    I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of this year and have benefited from it greatly (so has my fiance). I was wondering if you had any advice — I admire where God has taken you in life and as a young person I am trying to figure out how to take steps to answer God’s call on my life. Thanks.

  • Pinksun91

    Thank you. This message is very meaningful !

  • Bob Gordon

    What with the terrible story in Newtown I really needed this.

  • Joe Pawlak

    I’m grateful for my students.  As a tutor, I enjoy watching them learn.  Their successes and their parents’ appreciative comments lighten my heart daily.

  • Cathyjcarpenter

    I’m thankful for the sun shining on my face. I’m also thankful for Son shining in my heart. May He grant me the ability to be thankful for each and every day and to take nothing for granted.

  • Delsonkaran

    I am grateful for this reminder to be grateful! I am grateful for my daughter and my grandchildren who just spent Christmas week with us, for my husband of 52 years,
    for my twin sister who passed 3 years ago this season, for my brother who makes me laugh, for being able to speak French fluently, for my students who remembered me at a 50th year reunion, for my beautiful house, even though we do not have the money to live here anymore, for my faith, for my beloved parents who guide me still, even though I am now 78 years old, for all my friends, past and present….. so much to be grateful for…..

    Myrna

  • Johngray

    I am grateful for this day and the good friends I have  and thankful to my dear friend that sent this to me. Thank you Marion

  • Ericafloresbronx

    I’m very thankful for having life and to share it with the world. I’m thankful for everything giving to me each day of my life,  love, hope, health and strenght to share my blessings with others. AMEN.
    Thank you for such a lovely video; it was worth waching. I am very thankful to know there are people like you on this earth- who cares and share the meaning of peace, love and hope through words of wisdom.

  • jfoley

    I am greatfull for my family and friends. Also greatfull for all my good and bad exprenice that make who i am today.

  • Tina Anderson

    I can often worry about the future but I feel like I have been in a season that has taught me just this lesson. Today I wrote a post on my blog because I am simply bursting with gratitude! Thanks for confirming the message! http://mpolampola.com/

  • http://www.e-vokemarketing.com/ Julie Kaye

    I’m thankful for the gifts I have been given and want to focus the upcoming year on using these gifts to help the world become a better, kinder place. Kindness and compassion needs to be our country’s priority in order to heal.

  • http://www.e-vokemarketing.com/ Julie Kaye

    I’m thankful for all the gifts I have been given, my beautiful family and friends. My focus in the upcoming year is to use these gifts to bring more kindness and compassion into the world.

  • Nancy

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  • Katherine Sakovich

    Thank you so much for sharing this message.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Katherine.

  • Janet Harllee

    Awesome message! Thank you Michael for sharing it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Stephen Fisher

    How True. Thanks for this reminder. I love that this is from a Monk. Love the perspective it brings on life.

  • http://changeyouremotions.com/ Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Thank you Michael…I woke up today with stiff joints and pain in my knees as I came down the stairs. I had a bad night. I felt…well…blah. Then I remembered, “It’s Thanksgiving!” I thanked God for the day and thought about those I would be worshiping with, gathering food with, and later, the friends we would be sharing Thanksgiving with since our family is all in other states. I felt grateful. Then I read your post…what a blessing. Happy Thanksgiving Michael, Gail, your daughters and grandchildren!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Linda. The same to you!

  • mgeier

    I am so thankful to be alive and to see the Father’,s hand in so many different ways. I just went through a divorce, it was devastating. During that time I lost my motorcycle, dog, and almost my job. The Father is faithful and has brought me through it and the future is looking bright and able to thank Him for today.

    Mark

  • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

    It was interesting to see my comment from last year, and the many faces I haven’t seen in a while on your blog. You have created a daily destination for so many people, Michael. I’m grateful to be a part of this community. You and Gail have a Wonderful Thanksgiving. And don’t forget about that dog… I’m so grateful this Thanksgiving for our new Cocker Spaniel friend. They really help you put life in focus.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. All the best to you and yours. (We’re still shopping for our dog!)

  • Yvonne Ortega

    As a cancer survivor of almost thirteen years, I am thankful for the gift of life. I am also thankful for this powerful message and for the many ways you, Michael, have enriched my life. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Yvonne. I am grateful for you taking time to comment!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I’m thankful for many things this year. One thing I’m thankful for is the relationships I’ve met through the blogging community. I’m thankful for you, Michael. You’ve definitely challenged and encouraged me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jon. I appreciate that very much.

  • Kathy Perrin Hosier

    I’m thankful that Jesus led me to this video. And for leading me to you.

  • Joseph Hentges

    I am thankful for my wife of 32 years, our family and this beautiful November day!
    Michael, your daughter is beautiful and did a wonderful job in the video. She speaks so well and uses her hands…Thanks for this wonderful post. – Joe

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      She’s not my daughter, but thanks any way, Joseph! Blessings to you.

      • Joseph Hentges

        Ah, missed that…only on my first cup of coffee…have a great day!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Ha! I am the same way. Thanks.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    I am grateful for the simple and profound things – love, breath, the miracle of life, and the possibility of each moment. If also recommend “1000 Gifts”. And Ann Voskamp has a new book about Christmas called “The Greatest Gift”. It is meant to be read each day during Advent. I read the introduction (couldn’t wait), and am looking forward to adding these readings to my daily routine. Blessings to all on this Thanksgiving day. –Kathleen

  • Shauna Marie

    Thank you Michael and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I visually love this video and on an emotional level it’s inspiring and thought provoking.

    Delight in your holiday and your blessings…. Shauna

  • http://www.richardgobrien.com/ Richard G OBrien

    Thank you Michael for reposting this video and reminding us how special everyday is. Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving and thank you for the leadership and inspiration you provide all year round. Your blog and Podcast is something I have to be thankful for this year!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Richard. I appreciate your kind words.

  • catherinetatum

    I agree gratitude is the response we need to have and to share. Thank you for sharing this beautiful video!

  • Lawrence McMahon

    How meaningful it would be if on our first day we are all appropriately in “Awe” and on our last day, we “Reflect.”

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Today number 2 spoke to me: open your heart. So many people are not open to the blessings all around them, making the abundance useless. Thank you for sharing this extraordinary message.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome, Skip. I hope you and Anita have an extraordinary day!

  • Moronmubo Olayide

    It’s amazing how we take God and a lot of other things around us for granted. Divine or good Health, someplace to go everyday that pays your bills, a good night sleep, the simple act of breathing in and out or been able to feed yourself unaided, ummm. Opportunity to learn everyday, for an encounter with you and your wife. God has been good to me. I am truly grateful. hey if I have a thousand tongue…

  • Brett Kessler

    Thanks for posting this. Amazing message coupled to amazing visuals – message heard!

  • John Kramp

    Wow! I loved this. Perfect way to end a Thanksgiving celebration. Thanks for sharing it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. The video blew me away when I first saw it.

  • Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit)

    I am thankful for my salvation and the peace Jesus has given me. I am thankful for the gift of laughter. There was an extended period in my life where I couldn’t laugh. I start out most mornings by saying, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

  • Richard Evans

    I am grateful for many things, but after watching the video, I am grateful to the script writer of Kungfu Panda when he had the turtle sage say … Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery … Thus today is a gift and that is why we call it the present … Unwrap it wisely.

  • Melissa

    I am thankful for a select few who gave me joy during my life. I love and adore both of my boys more than words can ever express. My greatest appreciation now comes from sleep. Deep sleep. If I crave anything in this world right now, it’s the ultimate satisfying sleep.

  • Mark Bowling

    I just finished Tim Sanders’ book Today We Are Rich. It was the perfect book for me leading into Thanksgiving. I am thankful for (1) physical blessings – a roof over my head, more food on my plate than I can sometimes eat, and especially health after going through my wife’s breast cancer battle last year (2) relational blessings – my friends and family (especially my wife) and (3) spiritual blessings – God’s constant grace and forgiveness.

  • monica m ojumu

    i’m usually thankful for the free gift of salvation, family, friends, avenues for expressing one’s talents, abilities, capabilities and making multiple streams of good income.

  • Jennifer Allen

    I am thankful for Brian Holmes, you,John Maxwell and the many other leaders who encourage me (and so many people) to live a life beyond ourselves and to help others do the same! I’m thankful for the past two years which have been filled with lots of opportunities to learn and grow. My eyes have been opened and I don’t want to ever go back to the way I used to live/ think! God bless you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jennifer. I am honored to be included with those men!

  • Laura Black Caprioni

    Thank you, Michael. It is a beautiful video and message.

  • Dave

    I am grateful to be alive. Thank you for this message!! We have all won the lottery of life!!! The chances of our being here is more then the money lottery!!! We have a chance at life!! We must all enjoy it and feel the love and live our lives to the FULL potential that is there!! Give this message to others by living and loving your life!!!

  • Caro Medina

    The message that i need … thank you so much!!!!

  • http://www.lucidwisdom.com/ David Cook

    Very nice post. I have seen this before and it is so nice to see again. There is a wonderful talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast on TED.com, http://on.ted.com/gratefulness. Thank you!!!

  • https://kylemusser.co/ Kyle Musser

    Love the first one “Notice the gifts around you”. This is powerful message that needs to be remembered every day!