The Superpower of Thankfulness with Michael Woodward

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I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving week.  Many of you have already celebrated with a big turkey, spent time with friends and family, hit the stores and dropped money shopping in the madness of Black Friday, watched your favorite college or pro team play football.  We took a moment to be thankful and we are off to the next think.  

Now we are fully into the holiday season and have past Halloween and Thanksgiving and into our march towards Christmas and New Years we begin to reflect on the past year and look to the future.  I want to challenge you to get a leap on 2019 and slow down now.  Often we jump into the next year with our bucket list items, our new dreams, the ideas that we will concur but we never come up with a plan to get there.  Starting with gratitude and thankfulness is an incredible superpower to propel us into the future we want to create.  

It’s easy to be thankful when things going well or when life is great, but what happens when things seem grey, bleak, or in ruins.  How can you be thankful then?  Two of my favorite movies of all time are Holiday Inn and White Christmas…and strangely they talk about this very topic in both movies through their incredible songs.  In Holiday Inn Bing Crosby sing’s Irving Berlin’s song ‘I’ve got plenty to be thankful for’.  If you don’t know the lyrics, here you go:

I've got plenty to be thankful for (Irving Berlin / Bing Crosby :  Holiday Inn)

I've got plenty to be thankful for
I haven't got a great big yacht
To sail from shore to shore
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for
I've got plenty to be thankful for
No private car, no caviar
No carpet on my floor
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for
I've got eyes to see with
Ears to hear with
Arms to hug with
Lips to kiss with
Someone to adore
How could anybody ask for more?
My needs are small, I buy 'em all
At the five and ten cent store
Oh, I've got plenty to be thankful for
I've got eyes to see with
Ears to hear with
Arms to hug with
Lips to kiss with
Someone to adore
How could anybody ask for more?
My needs are small, I buy 'em all
At the five and ten cent store
Oh, I've got plenty to be thankful for

And in White Christmas Bing Crosby sing’s another of Berlin’s amazing songs… Count your blessings….

Count your blessings (Irving Berlin / Bing Crosby : White Christmas)

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you're worried and you can't sleep
Count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

I know for me the past year has been one of many big victories.  It’s been an incredible year of growth for the podcast, I was named an ‘Icon of Influence’ in the podcast space by New Media Summit, our podcast hit number one on iTunes business charts.  We’ve also met and become friends so so many incredible people who where guest or connected with us because of the podcast.  Beyond the podcast it’s been a hard year in many ways.  Transitioning and building a new business can be hard and that is exactly what we’ve been doing with closing down Woodward Design Group, the web agency that I own, and going all in with the new stuff we are doing at jumbleThink.  It’s a journey of faith and at times exciting and at other times filled with fear.  I know it’s not just me.  I can think of many people who have really rough year struggling through financial issues, health, depression over politics, and recently loosing all they had in recent fires.  It’s been a great year for many but a rough year for so many others.

So how do you stay thankful in seasons of turmoil, disappointment, and devastation?  Here are some of the ways that I navigate those seasons of life.

  1. Look back at what has been great.  

  2. Find things that I can be thankful for even in dark seasons.

  3. Look for a better future

  4. Celebrate with others

  5. Find small things to be thankful for and celebrate those.

Being thankful in difficult seasons can be hard, but it will help motivate you towards the future.   Thankfulness has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in life in many way.

  1. Opens doors to more relationships

  2. Improves physical health

  3. Improves psychological health

  4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression

  5. Helps you sleep better

  6. Improves self-esteem

  7. Increases mental strength 

Thankfulness is a superpower.  I know it can be hard to keep positive and thankful when things get rough, but it will be worth it.  So take a moment today and be thankful.  Small changes in gratitude will go a long way in your journey of creating your dreams and ideas.  Make the choice to stop and reflect.  It’s good for you.  


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