I subscribe to an on-line newsletter by James Clear. James writes about behavioral psychology, habit formation and performance improvement. He's also an accomplished photographer and body builder.
In today's newsletter, How To Be Thankful For Your Life By Changing Just One Word, James shared a simple life lesson he learned from his college strength coach. It was about the tendency we have to talk about the stuff we "have" to do. "I have to go to work," for example, or, "I have to work out today."
The thing is, words have the power to change our perspective. Instead of saying "have" to, what if we said "get" to? For example, "I get to go to work today" or "I get to work out today." As James put it in his newsletter, "I think it's important to remind yourself that the things you do each day are not burdens, they are opportunities." What a terrific reminder, especially on Thanksgiving day.
On this Thanksgiving day, I think I'll take James Clear's advice to embrace gratitude. Remind myself that I have my health, family, career and opportunity to share my art and writings with you. It's a privilege to have readers and collectors who take in interest in my creative content.
Speaking of gratitude, I just shipped my painting "Cold Country" off to a collector in Georgia this week. I hope she enjoys her new painting as much as I did creating it!
When I ship a painting or cartoon to a collector, I like to include a few extras as thanks. For instance, with the above painting I also included an original cartoon, a small little oil study, and a thank you note with colored pencil sketch.
And the colored pencil sketch on the thank you note
I include these things because I feel gratitude that collectors are willing to spend their hard earned money on my artwork. Not to mention, it's simply a joy to be able to do something you love and have others appreciate it.
Life is a Gift
As we age we appreciate life more deeply. We recognize the value of good health, safety, security, close friends and fulfilling passions and pursuits. But we're human. Struggles and frustrations don't vanish by adopting feel good slogans. I think we have to work on our attitude and outlook every day. One way I try to do that is by taking random iPhone pictures of beautiful things I encounter. Like this week on my way to work, I saw this scene in a parking lot.
There is often great beauty in our midst, if only we slow down long enough to take notice. The photo above was taken a short distance from where I work. How fortunate I am to get to see such beautiful fall colors, on my way to work.
In closing, I hope your day is full of gratitude and joy.