If you’ve been to camp, you probably remember the GUSTO speech. I mean, it’s not often you hear someone say “oozing” and “zeal” and “hanging beef in my truck” all in one keynote. It’s memorable.

(I should stop for a second and say that all of these things make total sense once you’ve heard the GUSTO speech. It’s just something you need to experience to get you fired up, to put it in Marty terms.)

But at the very beginning of his speech, Marty defines GUSTO as doing things with “excessive zeal.” It’s about doing things 110%. It’s about going ALL IN.

This month is all about giving thanks. So, why wouldn’t we have excessive gratitude? Why don’t we practice gusto+gratitude? Gusto-tude? Can we make up a new word?


Let’s start with what GUSTO-tude is NOT:

Giving thanks to give thanks

Fake or inauthentic

Delivered without a smile

So what is GUSTO-tude? GUSTO-tude is:

Delivered with a smile

Meaningful, respectful and authentic

A gesture of appreciation

Full of heart

GUSTO-tude is just about making sure to tell the people around you how thankful you are for them. That could be teachers, principals, parents, grandparents, friends, peers, teammates, STUCO mates, dogs, cafeteria ladies, librarians, and on and on and on. You get it. You know who I’m talking about.

We talk a lot about writing thank you notes when someone helps you. When was the last time you told your parents thank you for what they’ve done for you? When was the last time you told your advisor thanks for supporting you?

This is your month to do just that. Practice giving thanks. Practice GUSTO-tude. Tell your teacher thank you and shake their hand (or give them a fist bump). Write your parents a thank you note and stick it in the pile of mail for them to find. Tweet out how thankful you are for your best friend (#GUSTOtude).

There are so many people who deserve a gigantic “THANK YOU,” why don’t we make it a goal to tell someone thanks once a day this entire month? #goals

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: Show your GUSTO-tude once a day the entire month of November. That’s right, you have to tell someone thank you (and mean it) once a day the rest of the month. It doesn’t count if you’re doing it just to check the box. As Marty would say, “if you’re going to do it, do it.”

If you show more gratitude, I think you’ll find that you’ll start to find a little more happiness. Plus, when you share a smile, other people smile, and soon everyone will be smiling!

We, quite literally, have a national holiday set aside to be give thanks. Why don’t we celebrate that holiday the entire month? I, for one, vote for celebrating with pumpkin pie and more gratitude, all month.

This month, celebrate your GUSTO-tude. Say “thanks.”