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Why I Say "Thank You"

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Thanksgiving greetings from the ever-lovely, peaceful paradise I call home!  It’s a wonderful time to express the gratitude we feel for all the opportunities we have been given, especially the chance to share our love for one another. You may have noticed that I always start my live lectures with a heart-felt thank you to the audience—for being there, for supporting my work over the years. I say thank you for my house on Maui and everyone laughs—but I am truly serious. I recognize and I deeply appreciate the gift.

I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have had and the extraordinary life I have enjoyed. I have a beautiful place to live—thanks to you. I say that without any humor in mind but with genuine authentic gratitude. You don’t decide to be famous. That was not my choice, it was yours. You decided you would like to read what I had to say, and because of that I have had a very wonderful life and many opportunities. I always like to express my gratitude to everyone, to people who come up to me and apologize for having three or four books for me to sign. “I’m so sorry, I have four.” “You don’t understand, I love you four times more.” I think gratitude is a very important part of this journey.

There is so much joy in gratitude. That’s because gratitude leads us to service, and service brings us closer to our highest, happiest, most loving selves. Get to a place of gratitude and you will experience peace. Be in a state of gratitude for everything because there is something to learn in everything. Be grateful even for the pain because there are lessons to be learned from it.

A friend lamented to me that she had been given an assignment by her nursing school to spend the day before Thanksgiving serving dinner at a homeless shelter. She was worried that losing that preparation time the day before the holiday would make her Thanksgiving even more hectic and stressful. I encouraged her to look at things another way, to see the assignment as a great opportunity to serve. “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

I said to her, “I am so humbled by what you have been asked to do. Instead of saying, ‘It’s unfair, why me?’—try thinking of it as an honor to be out there serving others. Think of St. Francis, Jesus, Mother Teresa, divine beings who lived here in human form and just went out there and served—washing feet, embracing, feeding. For a few hours, this is going to be one of the great experiences of your life. Instead of being angry about it, just say ‘thank you.’”

She took the challenge to experiment and change her reaction from “Why me?” to “Thank you.” To her amazement, just changing her thought took away the anger and resentment that she’d been feeling. She decided to make her time serving the homeless into the great experience it was meant to be. As the Prayer of Saint Francis tells us, “It is in giving that we receive.” Giving aligns us with the way our Source of being acts; consequently, the universe offers us experiences that match our giving, supportive nature. One of my personal heroes, Mother Teresa, spent her later years teaching and serving others. She once remarked, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love must be put into action, and that action is service.”

I begin each day with a prayer of “Thank you,”—the first words out of my mouth as I awaken. This is to keep me in a state of gratitude for all that I receive, as well as for the opportunity to live my days in service to others. As the famed Sufi poet Rumi once declared, “If you only say one prayer in a day, make it ‘Thank you.’” Be in a state of gratitude. See yourself as connected to everything and everyone. See the unfolding of God in everything and everyone you encounter.

Gratitude is a gift we give ourselves. The state of being grateful brings us peace and happiness by helping us align with our Creator, the Source of the love we all share.

I wish you a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving!


wayne-dyer

WAYNE W. DYER, PH.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He's the author of over 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. 

His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the AgesThere's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner PeaceThe Power of IntentionInspirationChange Your Thoughts—Change Your LifeExcuses Begone, and now Wishes Fulfilled have all been featured as National Public Television specials.

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