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Creating Successful Leaders

charlie brown

Last year around Thanksgiving I wrote a blog post about our choice to be thankful, even when things are tough. The process of writing the post reminded me that when I stop to consider my blessings, I can’t help but be truly thankful. What gets in the way of this, I wrote, is the distraction the holiday season brings with it: the planning, the baking, the cleaning, rearranging our homes for relatives, and on and on. We often get so caught up in the chaos of the holidays that we forget to enjoy them for what they are.

Thankfulness, gratitude, feeling blessed–are these feelings you’re in tune with this season? If not, I challenge you to think of all the people in your corner, all the opportunities you’ve been given, and even the mistakes you’ve made and (hopefully) learned from. When you truly consider these things, I doubt you’ll have trouble finding a reason to be grateful.

There are times when life is tough, and I don’t say that in the cliche, “life gives you lemons” way. I know many who’ve been laid off, or lost their home, or spouse, or struggle with a debilitating disease. Things none of us could possibly predict spring up on people for no clear reason, and this happens all the time. It’s one of the unfortunate parts of being human. I know that we all struggle, and I know our struggles don’t always seem fair. How do you stay thankful even in the midst of hard times?

From my experience, the answer is found in surrounding yourself with people close to you. It’s almost magical how being around loved ones transforms your view of the situation. When I go home after a bad day, the last thing I think will help is talking it over with my husband. “How’s talking about it going to help? I’m a person of  action!” I think to myself. But without fail, talking to my husband does help. Does it change the situation? Of course not. But does it realign my perspective and my priorities? Absolutely.

At the end of the day, our happiness comes from the relationships with friends, family, and our greater community. Which is why Thanksgiving is such a great time: It offers us a chance to reset our priorities precisely because we find ourselves surrounded by our greatest cheerleaders. Take the opportunity this season to express your love and gratitude to these wonderful folks. You know who they are.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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