Every year my family and I get away for the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether we visit extended family or it’s just our immediate family, I always look forward to the reflection time I get. I’ve noticed that as I get older, I often will take stock of and give thanks for three specific areas:
A. I look “back over my shoulder” at the things that I have been able to accomplish, the people I have met, the business that I have done, the wins, the losses, and the growth during the previous 10 months.
B. I take full inventory of where it is that I am now and where I stand in reference to my goals in business, quality of life, relationships, health, spirituality and personal /professional growth.
C. And I look out over the upcoming year and begin to outline and plan who and what I will connect with in my business and personal life.
Each year, regardless of the economy, I find myself adding up the many good fortunes that I have been able to leverage. Also, like most, I start listing some of the challenges that I faced in accomplishing everything I wanted to.
For the purposes of this article, I have listed the Top 10 Things for Which I am Thankful every year:
1. I am thankful for being given the blind faith and enthusiasm to believe that I can achieve most things to which I set my mind. I have read many books on self-belief and attitude to the point where I guess I am just dumb enough to believe that it is me who, in fact, decides.
2. I am thankful for having a healthy sense of paranoia. It forces me to be better prepared so that I am rarely caught by surprise on most types of business matters. This healthy sense off paranoia reminds me that “time is rarely my friend” in the sales process and thus, pushes me to be more assertive when it might be more comfortable to not be. It also forces me to keep forging ahead on new initiatives to differentiate because I am paranoid of “looking like the rest.”
3. I am thankful for having the desire to rise early each day and to attack the day for two hours before most people are out of bed. I honestly feel that this gives me an advantage that any could take, but few do!
4. I am thankful for being introduced, early in my professional life, to the importance of goals, and creating a blueprint for success each year. The ability to write a plan and follow that plan has led to increased results every year. On that same note, I am also thankful that, although they hear it often and know it to be true, most of my competitors DO NOT engage in this exercise.
5. I am thankful for getting re-introduced to “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightengale which states quite simply; “You become what you think about most!” This book and recording keeps reminding me to keep my thoughts focused on the right things so that my results will follow.
6. I am thankful for my family and their love. Without their support and belief every day, I would not be half the man that I am.
7. I am thankful for the opportunity that this great country provides me to build a business and decide my path. Although things are somewhat of a mess in our nation’s capitol today, the fact remains that it is up to me to accomplish what I set out to….and this country puts no limits on me as to what I can become, what I can build, and what I can earn!
8. I am thankful for the AWARENESS that I possess to see opportunity and to sense challenge. Whether that awareness is founded in my healthy paranoia or in my goal pursuit I do not know, but I am thankful for the ability to have my eyes wide open in most things and to be aware of most of the right moves to make.
9. I am thankful for each day that I get to wake up and go to work and sensitive to the fact that many wake up each day and cannot (or do not). Every day I can learn and grow and CHOOSE to make myself a higher-skilled, better-educated, and more-informed member of society through the things that I read, the people I meet, and the risks I am willing to take. It is all in my control!
10. I am finally, thankful for my God who has kept character and kindness in the front of my mind and the center of my heart. Without these two things, I would be worth of none of the above.
Photo: Sam_Churchill, via Creative Commons 2.o.