Thankful Thursday

Each week we encourage you to tune in, join the discussion and pass on your own thankful thoughts!


We are thankful for endings.  Fall and the leaves changing points toward the end of the year.  Although the end might mean something is over, it also means that something new can begin!

We are thankful for the past mistakes.  They’re over and can help us focus on the good things in the future!

Comment below with what you’re thankful for, and post on social media with #thankfulthursday #liveclarelesley

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Focus on what you have

Life is amazing! No, I am not joking. I am dead serious. We are often asked “How are you?” Or, “How are things?” I find that people are regularly surprised that I with enthusiasm (even when tired) say that “I’m Great” or, “I’m amazing.” Why do I think they are surprised? Well, they look at me like I’m lying. They respond questioningly with “Really?”

No, this blog is not about how amazing I am. Or why can’t people just take what you tell them for what it is. This blog is about focusing on what you have already in your life. Why? Because if you do your life will feel more amazing to you.


Last year I wrote how to deal with a barrage of green grass.  If you haven’t read it go ahead and check it out. It’ll help with what I am about to tell you. If you focus on what you have already. More will come your way. You don’t have to take my word for it. If you want someone with more clout check out The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.

In his book (which we are reading for our book club so grab a copy and join us) he talks about the things that successful people regularly do. One is be grateful. Be grateful for what you already have.

I know, this sounds all new agey and yoga like. But, please stick with me here. It is so easy to get caught up in what we do not have. What we think we need. But, what if you instead just took an inventory of what you already have.


I am the first person to beat myself up. I know I just said my life is amazing and I meant it. But, in my personal work and workouts I can be the biggest judge.  I don’t need that little devil on my shoulder, I am perfectly capable of being right inside my head telling myself every little mistake I made. However, after reading this section about being grateful by focusing on all the things you already have, my mind went down a journey into realizing all the strength I already have. Yes, I want more. But, what if I just focused on what I rocked. Only focused on that. Sure, I have to do the exercises and tasks that are hard for me. But, what if I came at them with the same strength and enthusiasm I use on other tasks and exercises? What then? Well, they will probably be easier to at least get through.

I’ve brought Strength Finders  up before. They have a wonderful test and book that helps you figure out your top 5 strengths and how to use those to be the best version of yourself. Again, it’s so easy for us to focus on the things we don’t have. We wish we had more time, money, education, experience, etc. Strength Finders would say you focus on your strengths not your weaknesses and you will have more success. Meaning: Focus on what you already are capable of (have) and more will come. If you focus on the strength and abilities you don’t have or you think you don’t have you’ll be where you are or worse. You’ll feel further behind…stuck. Like your treading water. That’s exhausting!


I’m focusing on taking five minutes each morning to be thankful for what I have that day ahead of me. If I feel a little judgey devil in my head I am going to turn my grateful music on louder and listen to the sounds of focusing on what I have.

Want more in your life? Try this:

  1. Set aside time each day (preferably morning) to write or say what you are grateful for.
  2. When you feel a “I wish” “I need” “if only I had…” Stop. Call a friend or family member and just tell them Thank you for being awesome.
  3. You have all that you need to get to where you are wanting to be.  If you’re reading this you have at least something that connect to the internet. That’s more than lots of people have.
  4. Starve the Devil. He/She feeds off you focusing on what you don’t have. Starve him by thinking about all that you do have.

Is there more I want in this world? Heck yes! YAAS!!! I want so much awesome stuff. But, the truth is if I only look at that list, that picture it will soon feel like a mirage. Like something so far off in the distance that I am not getting any closer to it. Keep my eyes on what is in front of me right now and one day that mirage will be this awesome reality.

Go be Grateful my readers, Focus on your have’s!

xx~LL

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The Power of Thank You

When I was little, people would always compliment my parents on raising such a polite child. I would always say please and thank you. I was taught to share or offer to share, much to my chagrin.  I usually didn’t like to share.
Being such a polite person I was incredibly shocked when my friend and co-worker, Elizabeth, corrected me one day about accepting a compliment. I was wearing something I was really proud of–it looked expensive, made me look good, and it was a bargain (to be honest, this incident was 10 years ago, and I don’t remember what it even was…we will say it’s a dress).  Anyway I was wearing something amazing, and my fashionista friend (Elizabeth) complimented me on my dress.  I quickly said Thank You and then began to recount the excitement of the purchase, how I found it at Target, on sale. I started to ramble on a little bit about the value of the dress and excitement of the find, when she stopped me. She told me just to take the compliment. I felt a bit scolded as I took this in. I was excited that I had made a good choice and I wanted to recount all of the lead up to the marvelous choice. I will not forget what she said to my retort: “Just take the compliment. It demeans the compliment as well as the person complimenting you by saying any more than a thank you. If someone wants to know more, they will ask.”

Wow.

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This one incident put so much perspective on my view of thank you. I listened and watched as others I came in contact couldn’t just accept a thank you. Most women when complimented by others they would go into the epic story of the compliment item’s procurement. Most men seemed taken aback when they were complimented on a wardrobe choice, but just said thank you.

Both men and women when thanked for a task would reply with alternatives to “you’re welcome” like: no problem, any time, sure, of course, and my usual go to: no worries. Sometimes explanations would happen at this point.

Why can’t we just take a simple thank you and reply with a simple you’re welcome? Or why can’t we just accept a thank you, why do we need to give an explanation.

Power. We give you’re welcome so much weight, so formality. But in reality, it’s just a way to accept a transaction of gratitude.


 

Its just a way to accept a transaction of gratitude.


 

And there it is. Many of us cannot accept gratitude. Every time I get on the bus, I thank the driver–it’s sort of silly, but I am thankful: thankful that he or she was there to do their job that day, to pick me up, and to deliver me to my destination safely. I do the same thing with riding in cars, whether it’s a paid ride or not. Again, my parents brought me up to be polite.

I think my confusion in this whole thank you phenomenon is that we don’t use thank you enough. People aren’t used to compliments or gratitude as much. We have become a society so fixed on getting from one place to another, getting information so quickly at our fingertips, and having things just brought to us or arriving when we demand, that it has slipped our mind when we should have gratitude, let alone when we show extra.

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Working steadily as a nanny and babysitter for the last 4 years (and on and off before that) has made me very aware of gratitude. Being an actress in a city of millions of actors has made me grateful when I actually get the chance to audition, and even more grateful when I get to perform. Being a friend in a city where there are thousands of daily diversions make me thankful when I can actually sit down face to face with my friends. Writing this blog has brought to my attention that there are so many things I’m thankful for, but don’t express my gratitude.


 

There are so many things I’m thankful for, but don’t express my gratitude.


 

I realize that it should be second nature, but a good review of when and how to use Thank You is always good!  I’m sure I’m forgetting things, and feel free to comment on the blog or email them to us, but here is a broad guide:

1. If someone is doing something for you, alleviating or lessening your responsibility: say thank you

2. If someone helps you out, whether you’ve asked for it or not: say thank you.

3. If you’re complimented on something: ONLY say thank you. If they want to know more about whatever they complimented you on, they will ask.

4. When someone says thank you, acknowledge that they are thankful by saying you’re welcome. Other responses lessen the gratitude. It will also remind people to thank you and others more often.

5. If someone forgets a thank you, it’s ok to remind them, in a non passive aggressive way. If they haven’t said it, give them a moment or two. If they don’t, you can gently remind them. Do this by giving a simple and honest you’re welcome.

6. Make eye contact. Gratitude is taken more seriously and has more weight when you look someone in the eye, or at least in the general direction of their face when said.

7. Over use the words thank you and you’re welcome for a bit. The more you use them, the more natural it becomes. It’s also a great way to start a pay-it-forward chain. It’s amazing how much you can turn someone’s day around with gratitude.
The great part is, you’ll start to find how far please and thank you and you’re welcome and compliments will take you. Not to give away my secrets, but if you’re trying to get something or someone to help you, start by using a compliment or a thank you for whatever they’re already doing. It’s amazing how much appreciation greases the wheels!

Thank yous are needed and appreciated. Deep breaths and thank yous will take you far in life. Take a look around you. Say a general thank you to the positives in your life. Do this to whatever deity you do or don’t believe in. Even a thank you to yourself is a great thing.  Appreciate that you are who you are and where you have come.

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Thank you, Elizabeth for turning my head all of those years ago. Thank you to my parents for making me use please and thank you.

–Clare

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!