The Secret to Being Truly Thankful

Andy Kocemba

Three secrets to being truly thankful

2020 has been one for the record books, and now comes the time of year where we are reminded to be thankful. It might have been challenging this year, but hopefully thankfulness is a part of your daily rhythm, not simply relegated to an annual holiday.  But for even the most intentional business person, true thankfulness can be hard to achieve.

We operate in a business environment where quarterly growth is expected, performance is under the highest scrutiny, and good is rarely good enough. I’m not necessarily going to argue against this, because I think these character traits are what keep companies and business people innovative and productive. I am going to acknowledge, however, that within this environment it can be hard to be thankful daily. Here are three ways I have found to help me be truly thankful day in and day out.

True thankfulness cannot be based upon comparison: The measure of wealth, status, success, influence, and similar achievements is completely relative. What seems modest to you might be more than another person ever imagined, while hardly noticeable to another. You will always have more than someone, and at the same time, others will always have more than you. If you base your thankfulness entirely on comparison you are gaining thankfulness by pushing others down or won’t be thankful at all because everyone else has more than you. Instead, take a personal inventory of what truly brings you joy, and leave the rest.

Turn off the Media: Have you ever noticed that the media we consume is largely in the business of sowing seeds of discontent? Traditional media uses advertisements stirring “need” for a new car, political analysts vilifying one half of our population or the other, and sensationalized news stories playing on fear. Social media promotes unrealistic comparisons to people on eternal vacations and fantastic homes. Do yourself a favor and step back. Be honest in realizing who is setting your mood for the day and take control of your own contentment.

Acknowledge those who have helped you along the way: I have the honor of working with my dad. As I was wrapping up my college education, he floated the idea of joining him at work. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without his generosity and tutelage. We can all say we didn’t get where we are today on our own. We all have those who mentored and helped us along the way, and remembering that fact will lead to humility, thankfulness, and a desire to help others. 

This past year has been strange to say the least, but we all have so much to be thankful for. By implementing a few simple practices into our daily routines, we can achieve a thankful attitude that sticks with us all year long. 


  1. Take personal inventory of what truly brings you joy, instead of comparing yourself
  2. Take control of your own contentment by turning off the media
  3. Acknowlege those who have mentored you