By Tessa Greenspan (as told to Nanette Wiser)

Every day I wake up grateful for my blessings, both little and big.  As William Arthur Ward said, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

To discover your blessings, you have to look for the silver linings in the clouds, hidden under the weight of too many responsibilities  and in the corners of your mind. It’s not about religion, it’s about discovering what’s good in our lives and making those blessings outshine any of the day’s dark clouds.

Perhaps my biggest blessing is that I have the opportunity to do the things I want. So I go through my day thinking of the things I have to be grateful for and say thank you. Thank you,  I was able to fill up my car with gas, my refrigerator with food. Thank you, today is sunny, I got up from bed and took a walk. The simple blessings are my biggest joy:  Love, health, shelter, freedom.

To count your blessings, start the day by writing them down in your journal. Add images and quotes that inspire you and make gratitude a way of life.

Sometimes, you have to work at discovering your gifts.  Life may not be the party we hope for, but why we are here we should dance.  While you’re dancing to some upbeat music, think about your blessings at work, in relationships and life.  Here are some ideas to consider tuning up your GQ (Gratitude Quotient).

Career: Even if you don’t like your job or your co-workers, think about the hidden blessings. You are earning money. You are learning and helping others.  Be wise and learn to use the present job as a stepping stone to the next opportunity. Everyone can teach you something, you don’t have to like them to learn from them. Find something you like to do at work, even if you don’t like the job. Work on yourself, have a vision of what you want out of life.

Relationships: Being free and single allows you to make decisions that are good for you, not just good for your spouse or family. Surround yourself with people who get you. Write a note about how grateful and thankful you are for each person who helps you be your best self, and tell them why they are a blessing for you.

Short on words? Why not say: What an inspiration to the world you are. You are the brightest light in the room and your lifetime of wisdom is a gift to everyone. I appreciate everything about you, you only see the best in life, are a source of strength and give love and abundance. I’m better for having met you, you help me see the good things in life.

Take Time For You:  Turn isolation and loneliness into creative introspection. The blessing of “me time” during this pandemic is the chance to slow down and simplify. We’ve been able to figure out what activities enrich and feed us. My mother used to sing old time gospel songs like “Amazing Grace” when she was challenged. It helped soothe her and calm her.  During this pandemic, I have rediscovered the healing power of upbeat music and spend ten minutes dancing to it every day. I unplug from technology and take a break with a walk in the woods for peace and calm during overwhelming chaos.

Try to focus on your blessings and strengths, not your misfortunes and weaknesses.  Just be yourself and don’t wait for the approval of others. Your positive and humble mindset will see you through any situation, and that’s a blessing. My wish for 2021 is that you may be blessed beyond measure in the coming year.

St. Louis author and motivational speaker Tessa Greenspan’s international bestseller, “From Outhouse to Penthouse – Life Lessons on Love, Laughter and Leadership,” is available on Amazon here. This inspired personal story, struggle to overcome obstacles and life lessons is especially poignant during these difficult times. “Failure is not an option,” is Greenspan’s motto. Follow her on social media and her website  Email her at [email protected]. Catch her “Tuesday with Tessa” on You Tube and Facebook.