Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago, I love the concept of Thanksgiving. It is one of the best holidays.

Sure one reason is the great food (mmmm Pumpkin Pie and homemade cranberry sauce!), but the real reason is that it is important for each of us to step back for a moment and look at the things in our lives for which we are grateful. Nobody is an island, and we are interconnected to so many other people who help us achieve that it is important to recognize and acknowledge others.

The work week of Thanksgiving is always short, as most of us in the United States are given both Thursday and Friday as a day off. The school kids get even more (when I was a kid we just got Thursday and Friday off, but my kids get Wednesday, and some districts and private schools just close for the whole week!), which takes parents off focus at work as they figure out childcare issues. Thus this is a great time to reach out to people, as you should have some free time, since many others you normally interact with are gone. Do not fall into to common trap of not reaching out to people this week by assuming they are all out of the office. You will be surprised how many are at their desk with some time to take your call!

Think about the five people who have had the strongest impact on you in 2008. Clients, co-workers, friends, family-members, neighbors, the barista at Starbucks who always smiles in the morning -- whoever has made your world brighter. Now find a way to say "Thank You" to them. Don't be shy, as this is Thanksgiving Week. You can cloud it in your personal ongoing tradition of always thanking the five whom impact your life (even if this is the first year of your tradition!). They will be thrilled by your gesture.

Here five groups of people who most impacted my life this year who I would like to thank (the list is longer, but we will stick with five for the purpose of this blog post):

My wife and daughters. I am thankful that we have had a healthy and productive year. I appreciate their support of my busy career schedule coupled with my author / speaker business. While our schedule is crazy and hectic.... they are the purpose behind all my goals and ambitions. I congratulate them all for their personal achievements this year.

My father-in-law and his wife. This summer they took our family for a two week vacation in Italy. A week in Venice and a week on Lake Como will forever be remembered as a wonderful opportunity to escape the regular routine of life and share unique experiences with my wife, kids and my in-laws. There generous gesture of the trip was the highlight of the year.

My business partners at New Year Publishing. Over the past three years my life has forever been changed for the better because Dave and Leslie Morris and New Year Publishing. Our joint venture of New Year Publishing continues to grow and open new doors for all of us. The experience continues to bring me new learning opportunities and allows me to live my dream as a professional speaker. I would also like to honor my first co-author, Marny Lifshen. We completed "Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women" this year, and working with her on this project has been a very positive experience. The book is selling well and we are getting great reviews.

Everyone at vcfo. I enjoy working at this growing and dynamic company. I have enjoyed the past year as much as any year in my career. The people are professional and have challenged me to stretch myself. I am confident I have made an impact on the company, and look forward to continuing to do so in the new year.

My dad and brothers. This was a unique year for the Singer family. Dad sold his home and moved into a retirement facility (at age 94). Thus my brothers and I had to sort through six decades of my parent's lives. We had our annual family reunion at Dad's house as we boxed up countless memories. I will never forget the last evening sitting on the diving board drinking wine with my brothers (out of mom's Waterford Crystal Goblets) as we toasted the good memories that we had shared in the house. Very emotional for me, as I grew up in that house, knowing I would never be there again. But home is not a building, it is the relationships we share with those we call family. It was a sad time in some ways, but also a testament to my parents life. I was reminded that I am a very fortunate guy.

Have A Great Day.


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