To me, Thanksgiving is one of the most beautiful traditions in our culture. It is a time for reflection and family. It is a time to give thanks for everyone and everything in our lives.
We have a family tradition here in the islands. On Thanksgiving day we list 100 things we are thankful for in life. By the time I get to 50, after listing my family and friends, and the freedoms I have living in a free country, I have to reflect more deeply.
It is then that I start to realize how truly blessed I am. I give thanks for a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, the sky, the sea, grass beneath my feet, the smell of rain and all the things I so often take for granted.
I invite you to join me in listing the 100 things you are grateful for in your life. It is an inspiring experience. It will give you an opportunity to reflect on the gifts that your life has given you!
And I give thanks for all of you. Thank you for being in my life and enriching my experience here on Earth. Everyone of you have in some way touched my heart and inspired my soul.
May this holiday season bring you closer to family and friends. And as you reflect on all that you are thankful for, may your heart be filled with awe at the wonder of our humanity.
You are not what you appear to be. You aren't even who your friends and family think you are. If you were, you'd be stuck in the past: yesterdays images replaying today like a movie you've experienced before.
Instead, consider this: you are a hero in the making. Let me define what I mean by this. To me a hero is anyone who lives the ordinary life in an extra-ordinary way. We've all heard that before. But I don't mean that as some superficial flippant phrase.
I mean it from the depths of my heart. It is the intention to live on the edge of yourself out where the unexplored you exists. It is the willingness to give life to something not yet born in yourself. It is the willingness to discover a new part of yourself every single day.
It is a whole hearted willingness to explore and stretch the preconceived mental and emotional boundaries that I have held for myself. Its the willingness to reignite the inner fire every day in order to become a better human being than I was yesterday.
Let me share about my dear friend Lovell Harris. Lovell was one of the young men that I mentored many years ago in my career. Lovell was born in Saint Louis Missouri and he was raised in the projects. At that time the projects in St. Louis Missouri were one square mile with 30,000 people living in tenement buildings.
Lovell lived in one of these tenement apartments. He was one of six boys. They lived with their mother, who was the only working adult in the family, her mother and his alcoholic father. I don't intend to share the whole story with you as it is in my book GPS for Success.
But the bottom line is this. Lovell said, "I had to decide that I wasn't just a black boy from the projects with an alcoholic father who beat me and called me stupid whenever he was drunk."
Lovell was clear that his birth was not his birthright. It was not what he was born to be. He refused to be conditioned, for the rest of his life, by his early years. He went on to a remarkable career as a speaker and trainer and now runs 3 companies of his own.
So where are the boundaries? Where are the limits? Who sets them? And who said so? You know who said so: the neural pathways in your brain that were laid years ago based on the opinions you accepted about yourself. These have now become habit. Don't let your habits hold you prisoner! Don't let your past determine your future!
Remember to remember who you are. You are not your habits. You do not have to act them out anymore. Do something different.
- You think you're shy? Reach out and say hello to someone. Don't think about it. Do it now.
- You think of yourself as sophisticated? Do something silly. Laugh at yourself.
- You're afraid to speak up? Speak up anyway.
- You want to interview for a new job and you think you'll fail? Do the interview for the job anyway. Don't think failure is about you. Failure is how we learn. You'll do a better interview when the next opportunity comes up.
This is Core Training for the Brain at it's optimum. It's not just about becoming more positive. It's about deciding who you want to be and then doing what you need to do to become that way.
Every new day provides a new opportunity. Stretch and transform yourself a little bit every day until one day you no longer recognize the you that you used to be. You have become the you that you wanted to be and maybe even more!
Have fun. Be joyful. Be happy. Give thanks, for life is good and so are you!
People ask me, "How do you make sure you have a great day - every day?"
I had to stop and think for a moment. "How do I make my day great every day?"
And then I realized that I have a daily ritual. And it starts the moment I get out of bed. I begin my day by making my bed. In fact, I make my bed every single day.
The first time I was asked this question, I hedged on the answer. I felt as if I was an obsessive compulsive bed maker. But then I realized that my bed is the first thing I see in the morning and the first thing I see when I come home at night.
As I started to analyze my feelings, I realized that I couldn't stand coming home to an unmade bed. No matter how good a day I've had, an unmade bed brings me down. I need to leave it fresh in the morning and find it fresh at night.
So if you don't do it already, start making a new habit tomorrow. It might seem like such a silly thing. But it works for me!
Test it. Try it. See what happens when you apply it. Think of it this way. It's not an exercise in discipline, it's an exercise in happiness. Make your day by making your bed!
Having a great day every day is as easy as 1, 2, 3 -
- Make you bed!
- Visualize a great and magical day with all things in flow!
- Give thanks for 7 wonderful things in your life!
We just finished a powerful 7 day training for 3 principals from Melbourne, Australia (names in bold).
All three principals run their own school. Professionally, they are leaders. Yet each has a life that is far bigger than their careers.
In reflecting on the training and the meaning of leadership I realized that everyone plays a number of roles in life. You may be partner, parent, teacher, principal, sister, brother, friend, aunty or uncle, daughter or son all at the same time. You are a leader; you make a difference in every role that you play.
Your thoughts, mind set, attitude, and actions make a difference. You have the power to touch those in your world in a positive way by changing yourself.
Here are three secrets of leadership from within:
- Discover the difference between success and significance. Choose to become a person of significance, a person who makes a positive difference in the lives of those around them.
- Know yourself! Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and promise yourself a great day.
- Intend to have a positive influence in the lives of those around you today.
- Use all five senses to visualize the day in vivid detail.
- Give thanks for a great day.
- Close the day at the end of the day.
- Give thanks for all the good things that happened in the day.
- Intend to improve and be an even more positive influence tomorrow.
Remember that it takes 24- 30 days to imbed a habit. Don't be like the 5 year old who planted a carrot seed and then got so impatient that he dug it up every day to see if it was growing. Plant the seeds and water them by doing the practice daily. If you give the change a chance to take, the results will surely follow!
Sometimes even in the midst of a financial shortfall, you may want to celebrate small wins by doing something special for yourselves.That was the case for my business associate and I last Sunday evening.
She was down at my home on the Big Island. We turned the corner on a project and decided we needed to let go, let God, laugh and enjoy. In other words, we needed to take our attention off the work and celebrate the positive turn in the road.
So we went to Huggos on the water in Kailua-Kona. It was 5:30 pm and the honus (turtles) were feeding on the limu (seaweed).It set the tone for a wonderful evening. The sunset was stunning. The service was excellent.The relaxation was just what we needed!
Guy Kelly, who took care of our table was totally there for us. We told him we wanted to take our time because we were doing an evening of gratitude - night of 'thank you' to the universe for supporting our needs! He totally understood and filled in the spaces as needed
when we were ready!
And even though it can get expensive, if you really peruse the menu,
there are some moderately priced dishes that will allow you to have an
enjoyable evening without gauging your pocket book to badly. The terriyaki steak is extremely tender and well priced and so are some of their other dishes.
So there it is, keep the magic in your life by finding ways to celebrate the small things! It's the little pleasures that help break up the day and the challenges we're facing. It's the small things that help us keep the magic in the moment.
There's nothing like a sunset on the water! But if you're not near the water, find your own simple pleasures and consciously use them as a gift to yourself. Celebrate the small, give thanks for your blessings, and take the next turn in front of you!