I have four core values that I try to live my life by. I believe living these values daily allow me to be my authentic, true self - the person I was meant to be. I found, not created, them in a time I was struggling with the gap between the person I was and the person I wanted to be. I’m grateful for the adversity that led me to that awareness.
My other values are tough, passionate, and unified. Each originated as an aspirational value, something I wasn’t yet, but wanted to be. I found them by looking at the people in my life that I admired. Afterall, just like there are reasons I don’t want to be around someone, there are also things about people that draw me to them.
Many times, the values we see in others that we admire is this magnet. We have an inner desire to be with people that value the same things that we value. As I looked at the people in my life, thankfulness or gratitude quickly rose to the surface as something I wanted to embody.
And, my mom was the standard bearer for thankfulness in my life.
Why Should We Care?
For each of my core values I created behaviors to accompany them. The behaviors allow the values to come to life, for me to live them daily. My behavior for thankfulness is to show love.
As I reflected on why I connected thankfulness to my mom, one thing stood out: she always showed it. Whether it was getting up at 5:30am to fix my breakfast before school or bringing home my favorite snack from the grocery, she consistently showed me that she loved me by doing. Her selflessness and willingness to go out of her way expressed one thing over and over: I love you.
Of course, she still says it at the end of a phone call or as we are leaving her house but the thoughtful actions when I wasn’t with her to let me know that she’s still thinking about me is what truly communicated her gratitude for me.
In addition, my mom only has great days. Her positive attitude and outlook on life are inspiring. Of course, I know they aren’t all great but she refuses to bog your life down with complaints or a bad attitude. She’s always thankful.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s not polluted with the need to give or receive gifts, just an opportunity to share time and appreciation for people you love. Here are a few thoughts our team had on what Thankful looks like in action.
The most important thing I’ve taken from my mom in regards to thankfulness is that we have to express it. Gratitude not expressed is like an unopened gift. We need to share it and allow it to lift others. We will never fully comprehend the potential ripple effects of one “Thank you.”
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.