No matter how good or how bad one’s year has been, it is important that we can all find at least one thing to be thankful for. And, I’m willing to bet when each of us takes a moment to truly think about this question, that we can all find more than just one item.
In my case, I have been able to identify more than a few. Not because this has been a wonderfully positive year. To be honest, this year has been extremely challenging on many levels.
However, by opening the aperture, we are able to widen our perspective on the important aspects of our lives. In doing so, I discovered 4 categories of abundance in which we can all find things to be thankful for.
Be thankful for Opportunities: Looking back on my career in advertising, marketing and consulting, there have been so many opportunities afforded to me. Some of them I readily accepted. Some I tried to push off but they came back and others I out and out missed. But they were there all the same. We just have to be willing to open our eyes, look around corners and say “Yes” to helping others a lot more often than we say “No.”
Be thankful for Experiences: This year I’ve been able to draw upon the wisdom gained from all my past experiences. When we remain excited to learn new things in business and in life, we will be better prepared to embrace change and newness. Let’s not be afraid to be pushed out of your comfort zone – that’s where/when real growth occurs. Let’s share the knowledge we’ve gained from our experiences and be willing to accept wisdom from others’ experiences who might be older or younger than us. It is a multi-generational world and we can all benefit greatly from understanding and possibly adopting different perspectives.
Be thankful for Hardships: Yes. You read that right, be thankful for hardships. I’ve learned from positive experiences and opportunities – and that is one thing. But, the ability to get back up after being knocked down is a critical skill that ultimately makes us stronger. And, it’s an attribute that others will notice and admire. Hardships provide valuable lessons on how or how not to do things. Going through hardships is also what enables us to truly appreciate our blessings.
Be thankful for Blessings: Typically, I was taught to believe that good things happen to good people. Or that if good things aren’t happening it’s because I wasn’t working hard enough. While there is a degree of truth in that, these positions are not absolutes. As a professional football coach famously told his team prior to the Super Bowl, “We won some games that we shouldn’t have, and we lost a few games that we should have won.” His point was this, we got here. And no one can ever take that blessing away from us. So, whether our blessings have been earned, warranted or granted by sheer happenstance…be thankful.
As we enter the holiday season, reach out to your family, colleagues, clients/customers and friends. Let them know something your thankful for and how they relate to the abundance of positivity in your life. You might be surprised what that means to them.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And to everyone, all good things.