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Thanksgiving & Gratitude: 30 Quotes to Inspire You

(posted: November 23rd, 2016)

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend! Maybe you spent time with your loved ones, ate your favorite foods, or perhaps even watched some football? Whichever traditions you enjoy at this holiday, I'm sure that you were grateful, or gave thanks, or counted your blessings.

Now that it's past and we are back to work, instead of jumping straight into the regular daily routine, let's take a moment and think about how we can bring that once-a-year gratitude to every single day of our lives.

Expressing gratitude has tangible benefits for you personally, like reducing stress and helping you become more resilient. But gratitude can also benefit leaders and their organizations.

In a business and leadership context, genuine expressions of gratitude can go a long way to building trust, developing loyal, engaged employees, and retaining those employees. Most people don't require big gestures or expensive gift items. A heartfelt expression of thanks, carefully tailored to the individual, or a small handwritten note, can have an enormous impact. The key to having a positive effect is to make sure your focus is on the other, not yourself.

"Gratitude is an other-focused emotion, where we're focused on what someone else has done for us. If we focus on that, I think authentic gratitude naturally results."

~Philip Watkins, gratitude researcher

Like so many other things, our ability to be grateful benefits from regular, mindful practice. The good news is, the practice of gratitude can be very simple and still be effective.

Here I've listed 30 quotes on gratitude and thanks as inspiration to get you started on the path. At the end of the post I've also included further reading and some resources that can help you cultivate gratitude.

30 Quotes On Gratitude

  1. "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
    ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
  2. "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."
    ~ Alice Walker
  3. "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
    ~ G.K. Chesterton
  4. "'Enough' is a feast."
    ~ Buddhist proverb
  5. "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
    ~ Robert Brault
  6. "We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives."
    ~ John F. Kennedy
  7. "Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
    ~ Marcel Proust
  8. "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
    ~ Charles Dickens
  9. "Two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind we feel for what we take; and the larger kind we feel for what we give."
    ~ Edwin Arlington Robinson
  10. "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance."
    ~ Eckhart Tolle
  11. "Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy."
    ~ Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
  12. "The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement."
    ~ Charles Schwab
  13. "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
    ~ Epictetus
  14. "At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
    ~ Albert Schweitzer
  15. "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."
    ~ William James
  16. "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
    ~ Oprah Winfrey
  17. "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."
    ~ Buddha
  18. "Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone."
    ~ Gertrude Stein
  19. "Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts."
    ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
  20. "You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  21. "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
    ~ Willie Nelson
  22. "One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life."
    ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  23. "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."
    ~ John Wooden
  24. "No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude."
    ~ Alfred North Whitehead
  25. "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."
    ~ A.A. Milne
  26. "Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it."
    ~ Stephen Richards
  27. "Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it."
    ~ Tom Hopkins
  28. "For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything thy goodness sends. I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  29. "There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other and to eat each other's cooking and say it was good."
    ~ Brian Andreas
  30. "If you want to find happiness, find gratitude."
    ~ Steve Maraboli

Further Reading

Resources to Help You Cultivate Gratitude

Gratitude Journal: Keep a journal every day, for yourself, or to give to someone special.

I started one several years ago for my daughter, and it's become an annual tradition. Each day for a year I write my thoughts of gratitude and appreciation in a nice notebook. Then, at Thanksgiving or Christmas, I give the completed notebook to my daughter. The practice has evolved to include "magic" moments, important events that I think she would like to remember later on. Both of us look forward to it each year!

Here are a few more resources:

Challenge Yourself
  • Name three simple, everyday things are you grateful for. If you like, share in the comments section
  • Which "thank you" comes to mind right away?
  • Which gratitude quote speaks to you the most right now?

Images licensed from 123RF



Leave a comment

KLR Post

Hi Dianne,

I'm so glad the idea resonates with you! It can be hard to describe just how much peace and satisfaction the process brings, and then there is the fun of sharing it with someone...

Thanks for your comment!

Posted by Kristi

(on Nov 30th, 2016  9:05 AM)


I love this idea! What a wonderful way to reflect on everything good in your life.

Posted by Dianne

(on Nov 30th, 2016  9:05 AM)

KLR Post

Hi Marilyn,

How exciting that you have started your own gratitude journal! I love that you are including color and drawing, too. Isn't it remarkable how simply focusing on your "blessings", to use an old-fashioned term, can shift your feelings to positive?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I hope that you continue!

Posted by Kristi

(on Nov 30th, 2016  6:42 AM)


Great post! Earlier this year I started a gratitude journal. At the end of every day I write 3 or more things I am grateful for on that day. I decorate it with doodles and calligraphy with colored markers. Even at the end of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day it brightens my spirits. I now have a few hundred entries, which makes me realize I should also go back and re-read them!

Posted by Marilyn

(on Nov 30th, 2016  6:42 AM)

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