TEDxSF - Louie Schwartzberg - Gratitude

Mission III – Notes of Gratitude

“You think this is just another day in your life – it’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life, and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.”
– Louie Schwartzberg

If the video doesn’t show up, you can also watch it here.

This mission is a simple practice you can use to cultivate gratitude in your life. Every day for the next three weeks, write down one thing you’re thankful for. For example: 9/14 – Today I am thankful for a new mission on the Bright Army.

A few notes:

  • If you can, use pen and paper. Writing on paper helps you connect more deeply with what you’re thinking and writing. And you can always transfer it to a computer later.
  • Choose only one thing per day. Then you can fully appreciate it. You don’t have to ignore everything else though. Be thankful for having so many good things to choose from.
  • If you feel inspired, jot a few notes, craft a short poem, or draw a quick sketch. Or just spend some time in silent thought. But don’t feel like you have to.
  • It doesn’t matter how small or big the item may seem. All that matters is you’re grateful for it.

Post reflections on the practice in the comments.


PS: Starting with this one and going forward, I’ll announce the missions on the second Friday of every month.

PPS: Read this post for the background to these missions.

4 thoughts on “Mission III – Notes of Gratitude”

  1. I love this video.

    I first watched it last year while working online at Starbucks. Immediately after, I sent letters of gratitude to my friends and peers. Within the next hour I fell incredibly ill and by afternoon was admitted to ER. I will remember this feeling always, as doctors rushed to determine if my body was rejecting my stomach, I felt such peace having sent out love and gratitude. I was in and out of the hospital, then on bed rest for a few months. (And am now very well!). To know that I began that journey of now with this video, and to see it here almost one year later, fills my heart with gratitude.

    Each moment is a gift. We can choose to celebrate it and appreciate it and allow that gratitude to guide us (or not). Thank you for this practice (mission). Beautiful.

  2. My journey of thanks started in July when I read Ann Voskamp’s powerful book, ONE THOUSAND GIFTS. Your mission challenge to write down something every day that I am grateful for reinforced her message and got me going.

    One conclusion I have come to is that it is not enough to BE thankful. I need to SAY (or write) THANK YOU. Being thankful without targeting my thanks to anyone just keeps thanks in my head and stays general, even abstract. God wants to hear me verbalize my thanks to Him for all his thousands of gifts. He loves to hear me notice and appreciate His gifts, one by one. The same is true with others. I can be thankful for your writings, but if I never tell you that they have impacted my life, the result of being thankful is not felt by you or even by me.

    I loved your last blog because you started almost every paragraph with, “Say thank you…” That is the key. Thank you, Joshua, for encouraging us to live in the moment and to see the beauty in our world and in others.

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