Published on February 14, 2020

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Gratitude on Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine’s Day. Monday is Presidents Day. This is a great weekend for remembering and being grateful for people we love and people who love us.

And this is true regardless of whether it is romantic love, love for friends and family, respect and appreciation for those with whom we interact in the workplace—or even gratitude for all those presidents whose love for our country helped create the  society we share, and whose lives we celebrate on Presidents Day.

But would you mind if I made a small suggestion about something to do this weekend? I know you’re busy with lots of things planned, but this won’t take much of your time.

Here it is: For Valentine’s Day, make a “THINGS I LOVE” list— a roundup of some of the things you are thankful for.

If you have the time, you can make it a big one—with 100 entries or more—but even a list of just a dozen or so will also work. It’s best if you write or type it out, but even a mental review of things that you love starts to have an impact.

Start with this at the top of the page: “100 Things I Love.”

And then just go for it.

Include on your list the people who are closest to you. Also think about some of those people who you don’t encounter every day, but who have made a real difference in your life. Include things from your daily routine that you look forward to, activities that give you joy or satisfaction, groups or communities you are a part of that make your life better, moments or milestones that you are particularly proud of, places you cherish, books or songs or movies that have touched your heart. Don’t forget your pets. And hobbies. And cousins. And collections. And vacation plans.

You see how this works already, don’t you? When we focus on the positive, it is the positive that grows. Focus on what you love, and love grows.  And it improves everything—starting with the smile on your face. It impacts your mental health and your creative energy. And it helps make you the appreciative and loving person that Valentine’s Day is all about.

Valentine’s Day can be a mixed blessing. Surely none of us can live up to the idealized hype and expectations of a day framed in pink and red and saturated by cards and chocolates! But you don’t need to, believe me.

Take stock of your blessings and the unique and wondrous details of your own life. Make that the basis of what you share with your sweetheart and those you love. And be glad in it!

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