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Commentary: Gratitude provides positive results

Commentary: Gratitude provides positive results
November 22
03:00 2017

By Algenon Cash, Guest Columnist 

The official start to the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving – get ready for family dinners, time off from the daily grind to rest, holiday movies, joyful music and football games.  I love this season because it causes me to reflect and refocus on everything that God has provided – I’m deeply grateful.

Gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness, from the Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful,’ is the feeling or expression that so many of us fail to show.  We move through each day often not recognizing the many blessings that surround us.  Psychologists firmly believe the most effective method to achieving significant goals is to first acknowledge and express gratitude for everything that you currently have.

“In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” [1 Thessalonians 5:18]

People who live their life with gratitude constantly on their lips experience greater health – mentally, emotionally and physically.  Shifting your mindset to one with constant focus on what’s going well in your life will help you discover solutions to those areas in your life that may frustrate you.  Confidence and self-esteem both flow from a grateful heart.

“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:6-7]

The modern day Thanksgiving holiday can be traced back to a 1619 religious event in Virginia – 38 English settlers concluded their arrival by requiring the day to be “perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Unfortunately, many people have removed God from the holiday season, no longer recognizing that the Holy Spirit guides us, comforts us and provides for us.  People now believe their own power, money or status meets their needs.

The lack of gratitude throughout society causes pain in so many ways – domestic violence, mass shootings and racial divide.  Just imagine a world where people wake up with “thanksgiving” on their lips daily.  People who learn to value what they already have will equally learn to change negative behaviors into positive habits that benefit others around them.

The husband who routinely fights with his wife can only learn to control his reactions once he appreciates the value that his wife possesses.  The promotion that you want at your job will only come once you learn to value your current role and responsibilities.  The business that you hope to grow will only do so once you’re grateful for the current customers that you have.

For example, one experiment found that customers of a restaurant who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70 percent increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were called and told about a sale showed only a 30 percent increase in purchases.  Not to mention in another study, regular guests of a restaurant gave larger tips when servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks.

So I challenge each of you to allow the spirit of Thanksgiving to expand within your life.  Don’t limit its presence to a few weeks around the end of the year, but more so place it at the center of your life daily.  Wake up and only give energy to what you value most, focus your attention throughout your day on everything God has provided and choose to have faith in what’s to come.

Recently I made a post on Facebook that I believe is relevant for this piece – it is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.

Algenon Cash is the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm, he is also a national spokesperson for the oil and natural gas industry.  Reach him at acash@nullwhartongladden.com.

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