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22 Things Everyone Always Forget to Be Thankful For

22 Things Everyone Always Forget to Be Thankful For

Today is not Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, it’s not even close. However, taking daily doses of gratitude helps fight the disease of taking all of life’s important things for granted. We can all find things on this list for which we are thankful. If there are people on this list who make you thankful, make it a habit to let them know!

You woke up this morning

The MOST important thing to be thankful for on this list. Whether you woke up at 5:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. (which isn’t technically morning), waking up gives you the opportunity to face the day and anything that comes with it.

You can laugh

Laughter relieves stress, boosts the immune system, decreases pain, and shifts your perspective. It truly is the best medicine and something to be thankful for! In the words of Charles Dickens,

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

You have the ability to read

The ability to read is a gift often taken for granted but used everyday. The world literacy rate is at about 84% (people age 15 and over). So if you find yourself in that number (and I assume you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be here!), be thankful!

Your teachers

If you love (or know how) to read, #ThankATeacher! We have all had teachers, whether they be parents or employed by a school. Teachers pour massive amounts of time, energy, and effort into their students and that is definitely something to be appreciated.

National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 7, but take time to appreciate a teacher today!

You have common sense

Someone once told me, “Common sense and the ability to reason are things I am thankful for every single time I come across someone who does not posses them.” I couldn’t put it any better.

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Your job

Although you may not be particularly pleased with your hours, your pay, or your boss at the job or jobs you currently have, being employed is definitely something to be thankful for. Having a method of providing for yourself and/or your family is an essential key to life.

Your talents and skills

I am grateful and thankful every time someone shares or appreciates something I write. I am thankful, not because it means I am great, but because it means that my skill of writing has communicated a message that has connected with someone else. And everyone reading this has skills and talents of their own, not to be compared with anyone else’s, but to be honed and used to the best of their ability.

Your public servants

Imagine a world without the post service, police officers, medics, your representatives and congressmen, and the people who work to clear those long lines at the DMV. Not a fun place to live without these services. You can be thankful for the contribution each and every public servant makes to maintain your way of life.

Your emotions

What would life be without emotions? Would being happy or glad be so rewarding if there was no emotion of sadness? Emotions, whether they be good or bad, add flavor and variety to life. Take time to appreciate each emotion for what it is telling you. And share in the emotions of others! Shared sadness makes it bearable, and shared happiness is that much sweeter.

You can see

The human eye can see approximately 10 million colors. TEN MILLION! The palette of colors, shapes, and sizes, much like the variety of emotions, makes each moment in life different if only we would pay attention. And not only sight, but the rest of the senses as well! Take the time to be thankful for the feel of plush carpet between your toes, the sound of your kids’ laughter, and the smell of freshly baked banana bread!

You have food

Speaking of banana bread….

Be thankful that you have food to eat, food in your refrigerator, pantry, cupboard, or even a taco truck across the street.

At least 50 million Americans were unable to afford food at some point last year. and 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. These striking numbers should incite not only a spirit of gratitude, but encourage you to help those 842 million in any way you can.

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You are healthy

Be thankful that the doctor can’t remember your name! Being in good health is something that is assumed, taken for granted until it is no longer there. Being grateful for good health doesn’t just mean celebrating no trips to the doctor either. One of the best ways to be thankful for good health is to maintain it. Get the right amount of sleep, drink water, exercise, and keep up a proper diet to ensure that this stays on the list of things you are thankful for.

Your true friends

Your Facebook friends may reach high into the thousands.

You may have 800 followers on Twitter.

British anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed that a person can only maintain stable social relationships with about 150 people.

These are all very nice, but it is your true friends, the number you may be able to count on one hand or finger, who you should be the most thankful for. The friends who you can call at 2:30 a.m., the loyal, non-judgmental, brutally honest true friends. Be thankful for them and do all you can to maintain those relationships!

Your family

Family is family. While friends have been called the ‘family’ you choose, nothing can replace your family. Your brothers and sisters, your parents and grandparents have all played an intricate part in helping you get to where you are now. Take the time to keep in touch and let them know how much you appreciate them!

You are loved

No matter the situation with your friends, or with your family, know that you are loved. Just knowing that someone out there cares for you makes getting through a tough day or situation a little bit easier.

You have clean water

Water is life. But 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Approximately 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases. Be thankful.

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You have a place to live

Be thankful for your home, whether you have four garages or four simple rooms that you share with your four simple roommates (trust me, I’ve been there). Having four walls and a ceiling above you is not to be taken for granted, especially in these winter months, when depending on where you are, temperatures can dip below zero.

Also, take the opportunity to help the homeless in your neighborhood! What better way to show that you are grateful for what you have?

You can be thankful for some of the negative situations in your life as well!

Your exes

They were here, and for whatever reason, they’re gone. But what they left behind, besides their bad taste in CDs and old t-shirts, are lessons that you can take and apply to the next relationship you enter into to make it better than any that came before. Your future thanks your exes.

Your struggles

“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.”  ―Sarah Dessen

And if you have read through this list and don’t connect with too many things listed here, whether it is because they don’t exist for you or have not been present in your life, these last few are especially for you:

You have the ability to change your situation

Be thankful that you have the opportunity to make positive changes in your life.

Do you have an estranged relationship with your family? Think about any small steps you can take to fix it.

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Not currently working? Make unemployment your job. Search, apply, and interview until something changes.

Don’t think you have true friends? Be a true friend to someone else.

You are a survivor

You may not have a home, you may not have had a good family, and you may not have had good teachers.

You might be in a period of prolonged unemployment, and you may have recurring health issues.

But you have survived it all to make it this far, and each breath is a reminder of the fact that….

You are alive.

Which means everything else in this list is still a possibility.

What else are you thankful for? WHO are you thankful for? Share below in the comments.

More by this author

CJ Goulding

CJ Goulding is the Lead Organizer at Natural Leaders Network, building leaders and connections in and between humans.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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