Thankful When Life is Hard
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5 Tips for Being Thankful When Life is Hard

Yesterday as I was driving down the highway thinking about Thanksgiving and wondering what I would do for the holiday.
I also thought about how many situations in my life were not where I wanted them to be. As I sank deeper into my woeful feelings, people started calling into the radio station I was listening to expressing what they were thankful for. At first I rolled my eyes with every call, but then I snapped out of my depressing trance.

The holiday season is upon us, and it really came fast. I think it comes faster every year. Many people are excited about Thanksgiving and have been looking forward to gathering with family since last Thanksgiving.

But some people may be dreading the holidays.

You may not even know that your friend, family, or co-worker is secretly feeling anxiety about the holidays. Strained or lost relationships. Loved ones who won’t be there. Maybe it’s you feeling this or depression over finances. Or maybe you aren’t where you want to be in your career. Or in your life at all. Maybe it’s yet another Thanksgiving where you’ll be alone. Maybe your kids aren’t doing what you want them to be doing, or you don’t have kids when you desperately want them.

Life can be hard. Unfair in fact. We all face situations that can it make it difficult to be thankful at Thanksgiving…or any other day.

But I want to challenge you to push yourself to be super thankful no matter how challenging your current situation is.

Take a minute to answer the following questions:

  1. Name one thing great about your child/family. What is one thing you’re glad is NOT happening with your child/family?
  2. What is one aspect of your job/school that you appreciate? What was your worst experience at work/school and how are things better now?
  3. Think of at least one positive aspect of your health. How could your health be worse?
  4. What are five challenges you’ve overcome?
  5. What are five things you can look forward to?

Did you find ANYTHING to be thankful for?

Each day it may be a challenge to focus on the positive, but it’s worth the effort because we all have a lot that we should appreciate. Whether you spend Thanksgiving with a huge family, someone else’s family, your friends, or alone, have a great one!



I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.