Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
Thanksgiving is full of positive family memories from my childhood. Growing up we spent most holidays with my mother's large extended family, but Thanksgiving was always celebrated with my father's only brother (and his wife and four children). My cousins and brothers were all a decade or more older than me, so there was no "kids table" (I was right in the mix, often with olives on the ends of all my fingers).... and these dinners of 12 or more were always lively gatherings.
The concept of "giving thanks" is one that I appreciate and try to take seriously. In our busy world we are often too self-focused growing our careers and meeting our goals to remember to show gratitude (to one's higher power or other people). While one day a year is a good start, we should express "Thanksgiving" all year round.
10 things that fill me with gratitude:
1. My wife and kids. I know that I am fortunate when I see them smile. Sara and I are very blessed.
2. My parents. I had really good parents who showed unconditional love for their family. (My mom died 29 years ago, and my dad is currently 99 years old --- but they did a great job all along the way).
3. My brothers and their families. While we live in various parts of the country, and do not get together often enough, I cannot be around them without having fun. I looked up to them as a kid.... and still do.
4 Our extended families. Sara and I are very fortunate that our families are full of interesting people. From her parents and sister (and her sister's family), to all of our uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.... these people have made our lives richer.
5. The Morris family. Our friends and business partners in New Year Publishing are as much a part of our family as anyone who is related by blood. I met Dave the first day of college (29 years ago) and we have shared all the good times and bad times along the way.
6. The friends who have passed through my life. I have been blessed with some great people who have touched my world all along the journey. I have kept in touch with many and even those who have drifted in different directions have left their mark.
7. My friends in the National Speakers Association. I stumbled upon a group of people who have helped me build a successful career as a speaker. I do not think most people have a peer group of "competitors" (although they are not, really, competition) who are also part of their advisory team. These people are in my corner and I could not have found success in this business without my speaker buddies.
8. Austin, Texas. We moved here 23 years ago and had no idea that the next two decades would be lived in one of the best cities in the country. The economy in Austin has remained strong, and the people in the community are wonderful. It is a great place to raise our family.
9. Living in this place in time. I think with all the ongoing problems, the world and society are as interesting now as at any point in history. Plus, by living in 2013 I don't have to grow my own carrots or shoot a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving.
10. Those who visit this blog, follow my social media posts, read my books, or participate in my live presentations and training classes. I am fortunate to have a career as a speaker, author and trainer. The people who have supported my efforts have been many, and I appreciate all of them.
The more I think about gratitude, the more I realize this list could go on forever. I challenge all who read this post to look at their own lives and discover the joy of being grateful.
Have A Great Day