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Thanksgiving has always been my favorite celebration. It’s the day that signals the holiday season is about to go into full gear, and a whole new year awaits us. And yet, on this day, all we are really expected to do is enjoy each other. We’re reminded that the most important thing is to be grateful for the relationships in your life and how much they contribute to your happiness.

This week, a health system CEO shared this message to his organization which, in my opinion, summed up the most rewarding way to approach Thanksgiving (and life).

“This season of thanks, be mindful of the power your attitude has not only on you, but on those around you. Embrace and be thankful for every opportunity you have to share that joy with others.”

The term VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) was introduced widely describing this year. Yet through it all, if people are involved, you can find a way to share joy or be thankful. It comes down to attitude.

I am constantly reminding myself that the choice of how I react to things is always mine. Here’s a short list of things that, rather than be frustrated by, I choose to be grateful for:

The price increases suppliers have passed along: I am not being taken advantage of, rather I am paying fairly to ensure this organization is able to deliver the quality and services we expect. Business has been tough; supply chain challenges and workforce availability have impacted every corner of our world. Businesses are being forced to find new ways, and I look forward to the innovation that is bound to come.

The conferences and events requiring masks, vaccine/testing requirements and overall logistics or food challenges: It is pure joy to stand with a whole person, to watch them belly laugh, to share stories, and to give out a few hugs or handshakes.

The delayed flight: While delays are frustrating, at least we were headed somewhere! I’m now mindful of how getting on a plane and arriving in a new city in a few short hours is a privilege, and I appreciate all the airline staff trying their best to get us there.

Shopping: I support local business and frankly love the tactile part of shopping; however, life would have been much more difficult without Amazon over these last several months. Plus, free shipping with same-day delivery was unimaginable a few years ago. I am grateful they are setting a new standard that we should all aspire to do in our respective businesses.

The restaurant that ran out of half the menu: No Problem. Thankfully, I am out of the house and taking a night off from cooking. The restaurant is still in business, and I am doing my part to keep it that way.

Being forced to re-think our approach to business: Forced change can be uncomfortable. But it demands we step up and think outside the box if we want to continue to survive and grow. I am grateful our business has made the adjustments and everything we learned in the process.

Work/Life Balance: Working from home and under VUCA circumstances is different and requires building new muscles and discipline around priority management. Despite the workload, I have new flexibility, and I can and choose to make my health, family, and friends a priority.

The negative news: I have removed myself from TV news. That is my choice. “Headline Stress Disorder" is a thing. I stay informed by being mindful and strategic about how I consume the news.

Every day, we have a choice in how we react to situations.

What are some of the things you are grateful for that, on the surface, seemed like frustrations?

Put your positive attitude and how you have shared joy despite challenges in the comments, so we can have our own Thanksgiving together!

For even more “attitude of gratitude”, see my previous Thanksgiving blogs written from a sales and leadership perspective: Things I Never Thought I’d Be Grateful For and Grateful Now But Wasn’t Then and have a wonderful holiday.


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