The Law of Appreciation: A Thanksgiving Exercise


A lot of people are saying that 2020 has been strange, out of the ordinary, challenging…and that’s true. But does that mean it has to affect your outlook in a negative way? Does it mean you have to throw in the towel and hole up until 2021 arrives? No way! It simply means that the Law of Appreciation is going to get a lot more action than usual. 

Believe it or not, when we are in the midst of change and challenges, we can find countless things to be grateful for. I know, it sounds strange, right? But here’s the truth: We have intricate, beautiful minds with the ability to see more than our limiting beliefs would have us see. When we look beyond and inside the angst that comes with tough times, we feel love we may not have otherwise felt, and opportunities are uncovered that would have remained hidden.

I’ve seen a lot of great ideas for recording what you’re thankful for—like the Thankful Pumpkin. Every day in the month of November, everyone in the family writes a word on it describing what they’re grateful for. Or you can throw a little note in a jar every time you think of something you are thankful for, and then read them all on New Year’s Eve.

Again, these are all great ideas. I wouldn’t change a thing…except for what you’re writing on that pumpkin, or on those scraps of paper.

I’m going to teach you how to shift WHAT you’re grateful for, so you can see HOW that changes everything for the better.

A Thanksgiving Exercise that will Leave you Full

What are you thankful for? That’s pretty easy, right? Maybe it’s your kids, your neighbors, your spouse, a warm bed, a happy dog or a sale at the boutique.

Now, what aren’t you thankful for? What grates on your nerves? What would you be better without? Maybe it’s your mother-in-law, your weight, the dust on your coffee table, the unkempt lawn, your poor health or the suffering in the world. Maybe your neighbors are waging war on you, maybe you spend too much time in your child’s principal’s office or maybe you can’t bear to look in the mirror.

Which list would you rather focus on during the month of Thanksgiving?

If you’re feeling like this is a trick question, you might be right.

What we focus on expands—you know that by now. If something is going right, give your energy and attention to that and it will multiply.

But what about the things you don’t want to multiply? The things you wish would just go away? It’s time to shower them with attention, if just for a moment. You’re not going to focus on the thing you dislike as a whole, but instead, you’re going to pull out one element you can appreciate. No matter how much vitriol you’re feeling toward that person, thing or situation, you’re not going to quit until you have named one thing you can value.

Are you ready?

Let’s dive into some hypotheticals.

Your Mother-in-Law

This relationship is a tough one in many families. Essentially, two cultures are clashing over the membership of one man or woman (that would be your spouse). And so, conflict can arise.

Look at a photo of your mother-in-law. If you feel venom rise up, recognize it and put it aside for a moment. She raised the person you love, right? She instilled in that person at least one thing that attracted you to them. What is it? Which dish do you like to eat when you visit her home? What talent does she have? Focus on that one thing. In your mind, hang that award around her neck and leave it there for the holiday season.

Your Job

I hope you’re fortunate enough to love every bit of your vocation. I hope you hop out of bed in the morning and that your workday flies by. If it doesn’t, you can exercise the Law of Appreciation.

Think about your boss. Even if your personalities don’t mesh, what skills does he bring to his position? Is he a good delegator? Or a proficient manager? Is he a good listener or a talented negotiator? Hang that award around his neck.

Maybe there’s a coworker that makes your job miserable. Again, what can you appreciate about him or her? Do they offer to pick up lunch for you? Does she have a talent for communication? Or is he a diligent worker? Does this person possess a bank of knowledge they’re willing to share with you? Or are they thankful when you help them out? Again, hang that award.

Your Mess

Maybe you’ve heard the statement, “Bless this mess!” But maybe no matter how often you say it, you just can’t come to accept it.

When you have to spend all morning doing laundry, be grateful for all the clothes you have to wear. When the dishes are piling up, say a word of thanks for the food that sustains you. If the dog is shedding, look at his or her face and be grateful for the antics, or the snuggles. And if you have friends over, be thankful that you have the kind of friends who won’t judge you, and who will feel at ease because their house is a mess, too.

Your Romantic Relationship

If you’re married or dating someone, and you’re concerned that spending all that time together over the holidays is going to drive your relationship to a dark place, then commit yourself to finding something about them you can be grateful for, every day.

Does he bring you coffee in the morning? Does she point out interesting stories in the newspaper? Do you like his shoulders? Does she have beautiful eyes? Can you see your children, present and future, in them?

Again, focus on those things and see that gratitude medal resting on their chest.

The Results of this Thanksgiving Exercise

By now you might be wondering why you have to work so hard to like something you don’t like—and get nothing in return.

Oh, to the contrary. What you will find is that when you express gratitude for the smallest thing—either out loud or in your heart—that gratitude will be returned. It may not come from the person or the situation you’ve elevated, but the Law of Appreciation says that it must ping off something in The Universe and come back to you.

That appreciation might come back to you in a different situation, or from a different person. And it won’t matter where it comes from. What will matter is that you’ll feel the multiplication of your efforts, and the entirety of your existence will feel more worthwhile.

It really is that powerful.

So go ahead. Today, just pick one person or thing that bothers you and issue that award. Do not do it reluctantly. Instead, give that appreciation freely and take note of how it makes you feel. Notice how it changes the way you see the world, and how much easier it is to focus on all the good things around you—things you may have never seen before.

If you enjoy exercises like this one, and can see how more of this could help you make a difference in the world, then you are a prime candidate for the Conscious Leadership Academy. It is the world’s best super-leader support system, where conscious, courageous leaders are learning to stand-out, up-level their games, create win/win situations, and make differences in their families, communities and the world. Getting started is simple. Just visit for more information.

And if you would like to have healthier relationships in love, business and family, take the Essence of Relationships course at It consists of 8 lessons, including audio, video, playsheets and action steps so you can build more conscious relationships. Get yours today!