Another Thanksgiving holiday is upon us so it seems like the perfect time of year to reflect on why today isn’t just another “Thursday in November.” Below are just a few of the things in my life that help me understand what it means to “Be Thankful.”
B – Building Relationships – This is what it’s all about to me. The opportunity to create new relationships every day or deepen relationships I already have with people, whether it’s in real life or online through the social channels that connect us to each other around the globe. Just think of all the people you have encountered from your first Thanksgiving until today? It’s often said that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Be thankful for all of them.
E – Enthusiasm – The textbook definition is “strong excitement about something: a strong feeling of active interest in something that you like or enjoy” but most people don’t need Merriam-Webster to tell them what it means. Most people can see it, feel it and experience it when they are around someone with enthusiasm. When you enunciate, it even has the word “ooze” in it. When you can get excited about what it is you’re doing, where you’re doing it, who you’re doing it with and most importantly why you’re doing it, everyone gets energized. If you have a reason to exhibit enthusiasm, be thankful.
T – Thinking – The great philosopher Socrates said “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” What a blessing it is to have the capability to use our thoughts each and every day. Author and blogger Seth Godin is widely considered one of today’s greatest “thought leaders.” His writings force people to think. I don’t think Godin and others like him are so worried about you agreeing with their side of the argument or not. Oftentimes they aren’t even making an argument. They just are positing ideas to make you think. If you think it’s pretty cool to believe what you want to believe, be thankful for that.
H – Having Fun – Contrary to the Hokey Pokey, this is what it’s all about. If you don’t find yourself having fun at your job, in your relationships or in life in general, you need to re-evaluate and ask yourself if you’re really in the right spot. Anytime I get to smile, laugh and enjoy life, that to me is having fun. I’m always thankful for those opportunities.
A – Attitude – It’s been called “The Difference Maker” by author John Maxwell and it truly is. How you choose to see life and everything that happens in it greatly affects and is affected by your attitude. The cool thing is your attitude is 100% yours to choose. Be thankful that you’re in control.
N – Now – We are living in an amazing time. Technology allows us to do some incredible things. The social networks help us connect. The world has never been smaller. Yesterday was awesome and tomorrow has the possibility of being even better but we must enjoy today. Be thankful for the now.
K – Keeping Things In Perspective – I certainly don’t claim to have the perfect life and I’m guessing you wouldn’t think that either, but let me ask you this; Is there someone out there that would trade places with you in a heartbeat? Do you have a roof over your head, shoes on your feet, a family that loves you? Perspective is something to be thankful for.
F – Friends & Family – This one doesn’t need much explanation. Take some time over the holiday weekend to tell those closest to you that you love them. Say it face-to-face, text it, email it, Tweet it, Facebook it or Instagram it. Use Facetime or Skype. As you shut your eyes and fall asleep tonight, think of all the people in your life who make you who you are. Be thankful.
U – Unique – In a world full of commodities, it’s important to stand out and be different. When people stare at a sea of sameness, being unique shines a spotlight on you. How do you add your own flavor to everything you do? What’s your signature move? Remember that nobody else can do things the way you do them. Be thankful for who you are.
L – Lessons Learned – Life is a big classroom. We’re always learning and at the same time we’re always being tested. Sometimes we make mistakes but those are just learning opportunities for what to do differently the next time. Think how much smarter you are today than this time last year? Your pencil can always be sharpened a little bit. You passed yesterday’s test. Today’s test is happening now. If you wake up tomorrow that means it’s time for another test. Be thankful.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and it kicks off a wonderful holiday season for you and your loved ones. Finish the year strong and get ready for an amazing 2015. Just like this year, there will be a lot to be thankful for.
Build relationships, solve problems, have fun….and enjoy your leftovers.
Thanksgiving Image courtesy of VXLA via Creative Commons