Your boss is mean to you.
Your co-workers whisper behind your back.
Your house is too small.
Your car is too old, or slow, or underpowered, or overpowered, or the wrong color.
Your legs are too short, or too long, or too fat, or too skinny.
Your belly is too round.
Your hair is too thin, or thick, or straight, or curly.
You know, if you think about it, you can find a lot of reasons to not be happy, can't you?
I can too.
On the other hand, if we think about it, we can also find a lot of reasons to be happy. That very act--thinking of reasons to be thankful--is the way you and I can be happy.
Alice Herz-Sommer had every reason to be unhappy. Born in Prague in 1903, she became an accomplished and famous pianist in pre-World War Two Europe. She lost her mother to a Nazi concentration camp in 1942 and was then taken, along with her husband and young son, to a concentration camp the following year. She and her son survived.
As she shared with Anthony Robbins in the interview below, although surrounded by innumerable reasons to be unhappy, Herz-Sommer focused instead on being happy by being thankful. This is a powerful lesson for us today.
Among the reasons she gave when asked what she is thankful for, Herz-Sommer responded:
- "For being not hungry"
- "Seeing the sun"
- "Seeing a smile"
- "A nice word of somebody"
Her overarching lesson: "Everything is a present. This I learned, to be thankful for everything." She then added, with a smile, of course, "Smiling helps a lot."
I believe Alice about the power of a smile. Through it all, she has managed to keep a smile on her face and the smile is still there now at the age of 108. She lives alone and unassisted in her own apartment in London, and still plays her beloved piano every day.
You can read more about Alice in the soon-to-be released Alice's Piano: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer.
So, what are you thankful for? I would love to hear from you if you would like to share. You can post your comments below or by clicking here.
I will be thankful for every comment! [SMILE]