Thanksgiving this year was different from all of the others I've had over my entire life. This year, many things were different, yet, many things were the same. I want to share with you what I'm thankful for this year, as I look back over the past several months.
January – In January, I inspired someone who inspired me. My friend Kevin inspired me to begin my journey of personal development which led me to start this website. I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to have a goal and make progress toward it, and the ability to think, create and write. My wife and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at the end of January.
February – I was thankful for my wife's ability to manage our money. Through her diligence and planning, I was able to launch Empoweringthe80percent.com and spread my creative wings. Left to my own money-managing skills, I may have spent all of our money on video games, movies and my humidor. I'm also thankful for great co-workers and a great team that, without them, I would not have earned top honors in my day job as the Sales Rep of the Year!
March – My reading for personal development was in full swing. I'm thankful that I have the ability, desire and means to read great books written by great minds. I'm thankful that I'm physically able to play golf, as I know many people who are not; I'm also thankful that I learned something while playing so terribly.
May – I realized that Leadership is not an idea. It's not a concept, theory or a philosophy. Leadership is a behavior. It's something we do. I'm thankful for whatever it was that led me to that realization and led me to believe that if we want to stand above the crowd, we'll have to be comfortable with always be visible.
June – I have known my wife for 10 years as of June. What a wonderful decade it has been!
July – In July, the dynamic of my family changed forever. My 66-year-old father had a massive stroke and went from being completely healthy and independent to being unable to speak or move the right side of his body. I'm thankful for his ability to fight and survive a nightmare ordeal, thankful for my friends and family for their support and thankful for being in a position to be able to take 2 weeks off and be with my dad.
Despite being in the Dallas area for much of July, I also started my first book club. I took my fantastic growth experiences to the whole department and I'm thankful that many peers and leaders within the organization chose to follow and join me on my leadership journey. You can find out what I'm reading here.
September – I really stretched by creative muscles in September. I wrote the article, Developing a Leadership Mindset, which also led to me starting my second book, which I hope to publish in 2013.
I believe that everyone can become more creative with effort and I'm thankful I've been able to increase my level of creativity over the past few years. I'm thankful that my creative side has not been lost.
Also, as many of you may have done, on the 11th I reminisced about what I was doing in 2001. I'm thankful for the liberties that we have in this country and for those who fight on our behalf.
November – Earlier this month I was in a pretty back car accident. I'm extremely thankful that the wreck wasn't any worse than it was. Despite some back pain and my car being destroyed, everything turned out as best as possible.
I'm thankful that I can visit with my family on Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful that (almost) everyone is healthy, happy and employed.
I'm thankful that my website is going so well and that almost 1200 different people, in more than 50 countries across the world, have allowed my thoughts and ideas into their day!
I'm thankful that in this country we have the ability to vote and voice our opinions. I'm thankful for all of the positive influences on my life and my ability to be a positive influence to those around me.
Lastly, I'm thankful for you, reader. Whether this is your first time to this website or you're a faithful subscriber, I'm thankful that you're taking time out of your busy day to spend time with me. There are several things you could be reading, other things you could be doing or people you could be talking to; but you chose to spend these 5-10 minutes here, with me. I'm thankful for that.
You don't have to share what you're thankful for with me, but I hope you will.