With so much discontent in the world at this particular moment, it seems all the more appropriate to take a few moments to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives. A recent international flight gave me ample time to do just that. I started with the usual list citing friends, family, the love of my life, etc., but these things are important to nearly every human being. Always one to opt for original thought, I challenged myself to consider why I am uniquely thankful and it resulted in a list of a different sort:
I am thankful that I have hope. Every day I look in the mirror and know that I control my own destiny. While I know that my days will be greatly impacted by numerous external needs and events, I engage each day by controlling my response to external events, therefore impacting the day's outcome myself. The people around me - colleagues, customers, friends, family and even strangers - can look in my eyes and know that I have hope for positive outcomes. I cannot imagine a life where I do not have hope.
So often we hear about the eternal shortage of "resources." Time, money, and technology consistently reign as our most precious resources, with endless commentary documenting their scarcity. What if, instead, we shift our attention to resourcefulness? Instead of focusing on that which we "need" but cannot get, let's consider what can be done to make good things happen. Resourcefulness requires thought, hope, creativity and passion. It minimizes our preoccupation with the limitations of resources. It empowers us and brings out our best. In business and in my personal life, the people who have had the most positive and significant impact on my life ALL shared this great attribute.
Over the years, I have asked many people, "What are you passionate about?" The answer that bothers me the most is, "I don't really know!" No matter whether your passion is for your children, spouse, pets, work, learning, customers, or a local sports team, we all have passion. Passion is what brings us our greatest joy in life. Don't keep your passion locked inside. Embrace your passion. Unlock it and enjoy it. I know this is easier said than done. We all get trapped by the commitments and duties of everyday life and can lose sight of our passion. Find your passion. Celebrate your passion. Keep the fire stoked and enjoy those moments, whatever they are.
Perhaps most of all, I am thankful for my relationships - they are what make the world go 'round. Whether they are personal, business, new, or developed over many years, for most of us, relationships are our lifeblood. They are certainly the foundation upon which our businesses are built. Consider your customers, support staff, associates and colleagues, and how vital these relationships are to both your success and personal satisfaction associated with your professional life. Developing strong customer relationships is the very foundation of Carew's sales training, because customer relationships are the foundation of successful selling.
Have a joyous Thanksgiving with friends and family. I hope you are able to reflect on those things for which you are uniquely thankful.