There is absolutely nothing like sitting down to a delectable meal.

Considering the fact we live in the capital of finger-licking food, we know a thing or two about ingredients. Try serving a plate of red beans without the correct ingredients, and I am sure you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

Ingredients are the key to the success of any product, not just dishes served for dinner. Every success, no matter the arena of life, is built around having the correct ingredients.

Every successful sports team has the right ingredients to conquer the beast of mediocrity and defeat. Every successful student has the right ingredients to conquer the century’s old beast of apathy and contentment.

Success in every arena requires the right ingredients. But there is one ingredient in life everyone needs.

Each day, we are blessed with breath and opportunity to continue to shape and mold the vision we have. We must be sure to sprinkle the most essential ingredient of life onto it.

So often, each of us go through the motions of our day and never stop to give thanks. We act as if the blessings and amenities we experience are just a given. One fact of life I am sure of is that nothing in life is a guarantee. Life has its ups and downs. Some days will feel like a walk-off grand slam, while others will feel like a 30-point blowout.

Each challenge in life brings a unique set of circumstances and conditions. Through it all, the key is thankfulness.

Thankfulness is the secret weapon to a happy and prosperous life. Too many times, we blame external circumstances on our well-being and happiness. I am sure if each of us were honest with ourselves, we would admit we lack a heart of thanksgiving. We tend to be thankful only when we feel as if everything is going our way.

Let me pause here and make a public service announcement: We will not always get our wishes in life.

Part of being an emotionally mature adult is learning to smile even when you are disappointed. A thankful person does not let the tide and wind of life affect them internally. A thankful person sees the beauty in every situation no matter how dire the circumstances may appear on the surface.

The one ingredient we all need is a thankful heart. We must become determined to live each day with a heart of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving eliminates the urge to complain. Thanksgiving produces smiles instead of frowns. Thankful people are what our world needs.

Our world needs some trailblazers. You fit the bill. Start embracing thankfulness. You have more than enough to be thankful for. Kiss your own life of complaining and ungratefulness goodbye. Live a life of thanksgiving. It is the way you were meant to live.

Join me on this journey. We can do it. Let’s change the world together.

Contact Jasper Knighten at jasperknighten@yahoo.com.