David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I must confess that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love to slow down and take time to reflect on the blessings I have in my life. I love to gather with family and friends to share a meal together. In the past, a great emphasis was placed on Black Friday, and stores would even open on Thanksgiving so shoppers could get a jump on the holiday shopping season. Over the last two years, I have seen a slight shift. Again this year, some stores have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving, and I don’t see the frantic Black Friday hype everywhere. Whatever the reason, I am glad to see this shift.

Over the last six years, I have written several times about the power of gratitude and why our presidents declared that a day of Thanksgiving be established in our great country. This week, I want to take gratitude to the next level. I want us to move from gratitude to generosity, from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. According to Associate Professor Patrick Stokes, a faculty member at Deakin University, being generous gives you a sense of purpose and wellbeing. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic went even further and stated, “As you spread your kindness, you might just experience what research has confirmed: Generosity can be contagious.”

So why does having an abundance mindset help us? It turns out that the act of helping others causes our brains to release oxytocin. When we help others, not only do they benefit from the experience, but we feel pleasure. The great news is that the more we do it, the better we feel, and the more generous we get. The Mayo Clinic study shared that one person in Winnipeg, Manitoba, picked up the tab for the next car in line at a coffee-and-sandwich drive-thru. What transpired was amazing; the next person in line was inspired to do the same, and the process continued for 226 customers. The report concluded with the following statement, “Seems like research supports the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The kinder you act toward others, the better you will feel.”

Wouldn’t it be great as we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season if we all looked for ways to be more giving and kind to others? Imagine how we could transform our community. Imagine how great we would all feel. If you would like to hear more about this topic and get some ideas on how to implement this new mindset, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 232 of The Next Page Podcast. It just might take your holidays to a new level of enjoyment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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