Thanksgiving – who are you going to thank?

Thanksgiving has drifted toward insignificance. Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, even while still recognized as a National (paid) holiday, retailers and marketers have long forgotten it. 

In case you are interested, a 2009 post at states:

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists from England and the Native American Wampanoag people shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.

Holidays, festivals, reunions, and similar recurring events deserve a moment of your time. Holidays, a derivative of “Holy Days,” are to remind you. This month’s headliner holiday is Thanksgiving. Its reminder is in its name. Dedicate some time to be thankful. I will add the challenge for you to express your thankfulness purposefully. Following are five areas for you to consider demonstrating your gratitude. 

Thank God. 

If you share my faith in Yahweh, The Creator, the I AM God, join with me and devote some time to stating your thankfulness. Allow the magnitude of your gratitude to determine the amount of time you invest.

Even if you discount or discard my faith, you must admit that you are not the center of the universe. As such, I can still comfortably challenge you to see this holiday as a reminder to express gratitude appropriately. 

Thank family and friends. 

I enjoy a deep and broad support pool. You also have people who have invested time, energy, and emotions in you this year. Do yourself a favor and make a list. This exercise is guaranteed to empower and embolden you. Now, with your list complete, or even as you add stragglers, flag those whose investments have been the greatest with a star. Usually, there are one or two who’ve earned a second star. I am confident that you will, like me, be impressed with the need to send these two-star supporters something special. My wife makes cookies. I don’t have that skill, so I will send them a fruit basket. The rest of our starred supporters deserve a handwritten thank you note, specifically acknowledging some ways they’ve encouraged us. 

Everyone else needs to hear “thank you” personally. These can be emails, texts, phone calls, or face-to-face conversations. Regardless of your program or media, people have poured into you this year. 

Allow this holiday to remind you to express your gratitude to those persons. 

Thank your staff and vendors. 

Newsflash! You haven’t accomplished this past year by yourself. To quote one political candidate, “It takes a village.” Yes, your team gets paid, and that should be sufficient thanks. It isn’t! Regardless of how well you pay your staff and vendors, they’ve delivered value in multiples.

Recognize the impact others provide you. I doubt you built the screen on which you are reading this blog. The pen you use to sign checks and the check stock came from your vendors. I tell my Staples cashier and assistants thank you when I am with them; I’m not compelled to make further gestures of gratitude. But my accountant and computer repairman have both earned an email from me that has the sole purpose of thanking them for the service they’ve provided me this year. 

Allow this holiday to remind you to express gratitude to your staff and vendors. 

Thank your clients. 

Without this population, your enterprise wouldn’t exist. 

Italian sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto wrote, at the close of the 19th century, about the 80/20 connection. He observed that 80% of our outcomes derive from 20% of the sources. Translated, roughly 80% of your revenues have come from 20% of your clients. Yes, every rule has an exception. But, if this principle holds for you, it’s smart business for you to recognize, and probably even reward, the 20%-ers. 

Allow this holiday to remind you to say thanks to your key clients. 

Thank you. 

Yes, I thank you for supporting this blog by reading it, but I want to take your thoughts in another direction. Take some time this season to thank yourself. You’ve climbed the hills or mountains, forded the streams or raging rapids, and weathered the storms or level-four apocalypses. Take a break. Find a place of comfort and solitude, a place with minimal distractions, and allow your soul to appreciate where you are. You may be at the highest peak of your life, or you may be in the darkest vale of your life; probably you are somewhere between. But you are…You made it to this place. Sure, there are challenges ahead, and just as sure, there are great victories ahead. You’ve reached this point; take solace in where you are. 

Allow this holiday to remind you to find solace. 

That’s a lot of “thanks” giving. 

If, like me, most of your life hasn’t benefited from this level of thankfulness, these challenges can seem overwhelming. I am confident that you see the multiple layers of value in each one. But if it is too much commitment, allow me to challenge you to at least three. Take the bookends and commit yourself to them, thank God, and thank yourself. Then, pick and choose between the other three. Do more this year than you did last year.