Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankfulness & Savoring

You probably don’t have time to read this because you are ON THE GO!

Same here.  In fact, I didn’t have time to write this because I am ON THE GO!

But, if you take a couple of minutes to read this it just might improve your quality of life.

I have been reading some of the positive psychology books recently, two in particular by Martin Seligman.  One is Learned Optimism, which I recommend.  The other is Authentic Happiness, which – if you like the first one, check it out as well.

The positive psychology movement is targeted at showing us how we can take the good things in our lives and make them even better – or “to make normal life even more fulfilling” versus fixing what is wrong with us.

Here are a few takeaways from the research.

*Optimistic people are more successful and have happier lives.  And you can actually learn to be more optimistic.  Really.   Check out the book.

*People who regularly take the time to be thankful for what they have in their lives are happier – more fulfilled.

*And finally, people who take the time to slow down and “savor” what is good in their lives are also happier and more fulfilled.

I understand those last two ideas, but it is hard for me to put them into practice because I am always ON THE GO!

However, this past Thanksgiving morning I decided that I should “slow down” a bit and try to be extra thankful – and to savor the day.  This turned out to be a very cool experiment.

*I was thankful for the beautiful day I had during my four hour drive to see my Dad.  I savored the beauty of the sunny fall sky.

*I tried to make every minute with my Dad really count – savoring the moments.  He’s 87+ so who knows how much longer I will have time with him.  I am so thankful for him.

*During our Thanksgiving meal at one of his favorite restaurants, I decided to slow down and really savor the Lobster Bisque.  I actually noticed that they had put a lobster shaped cracker on top.  Mighty tasty and nice presentation.

*I savored our conversation.  I really tried to listen carefully to Dad and was really appreciating what an amazing man he is.  I tried to focus on him rather than all of the other millions of things running through my mind (what will the next blog be about?).

*It was a very fulfilling day – I think I will always remember it.

Okay.  Thanksgiving is over, but I am trying to take the lesson I learned that day and apply it in at least some small ways every day.  Like you, I am ON THE GO!  But life is a little sweeter when we slow down a bit, recognize what we are thankful for, and savor the good things we have in our lives.

Happy Thankful Savoring to you.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.


  1. Thanks for forcing/shaming me to take a minute and read this - you are right, we are TOOOO BUSY to savor and that is not a great life pattern!! I am blessed by YOUR Thanksgiving and though already a very thankful person, I am TOO busy and NOT very purposeful so I appreciate the nudge! Thanks!

  2. Thanks Cindy!

    We can all get caught up in our busyness very easily!

    Good luck with your Thankful Savoring.