The holiday season for those of us in the United States is upon us. On Thursday we shall celebrate Thanksgiving, soon many of us will celebrate Christmas and then make a resolution as we head into the new year.
Last year, each member of the Endurance Learning team made a one-word resolution – a commitment to one word that would serve as a guiding principle throughout the year. My word was “joy”. Part of joy is having the opportunity to look around and be thankful.
Here are some things that I’m thankful for over the past year:
- Having only one degree of separation between me and Mr. Sketch. In the spring, I had lunch at a Kansas City barbeque joint with my cousin John who I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Not only is he cool, he works for Newell Brands, a giant conglomerate who owns the Mr. Sketch line of writing implements.
- Alaska Airlines MVP Gold status which magically turned 25,446 miles flown into 50,892 miles in my frequent flier account.
- Pleasant co-passengers. Flying can quickly bring out anxiety and bad emotions in people. Cramped seating. Tight connections. The list can go on. I am truly thankful for the hundreds of passengers on each flight I’ve taken this year who embrace these mild discomforts with grace, class and humor, not complaining but rather knowing that it really is a miracle for us to travel safely for thousands of miles, 30,000 feet in the air while packed into a metal tube.
- Two amazing co-workers who make me laugh each day, who deliver creative work to clients with ideas that I’d never be able to dream up and who are just fun people to be around.
- A major client who was open to allowing us to use Play-Doh as a way to present highly technical information.
- 150 early education trainers who gathered in a Baltimore-area auditorium to listen to me speak for two hours… and who laughed at (some of) my jokes!
- Zoom. It’s a simple technology that makes the world a much smaller place. When I was unable to make a trip to India to work on a project this fall, the client proposed we try to do the work virtually. After a series of Zoom-based meetings, we were able to give the client the basic product they were hoping for.
- Countless coffees with Seattle-area training professionals who took time out of their busy days to sit across from me and geek out over training.
- Two curious children who inspire me with ideas for blog posts and training activities.
- You. Seriously. I’m thankful for people who take time out of their day to read these blog posts. I’m especially thankful for blog readers who comment or drop me a line via email with reactions, thoughts and ideas for future posts. I’m even more especially thankful for the blog readers who carve out time to hop on the phone and who want to bounce ideas around for a project they’re working on.
- The word “no”. I’m very thankful for the realization this year that when I use the word “no”, it makes it a whole lot easier to fully say “yes” to activities, projects and lots of other things in work and life that are truly meaningful.
- Good training videos. Never in my life had I designed a training program with a training video that was purchased from a vendor. I just think most corporate, off-the-shelf training videos are cheesy. This fall, however, I found one that fit the context of the training program and featured quality acting skills with a variety of true-to-life scenarios and challenges.
- The opportunity to work in some of this country’s coolest cities – San Francisco, Vancouver (which is not actually in this country, but it’s one of the coolest cities in the world), Kansas City, Greenville, Portland, San Diego, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Ft. Lauderdale and Williamsburg.
- The opportunity to make a living doing something I love. Since we spend more waking hours at work than with our families, I’ve learned that this is a key ingredient to a happy life! When we can help people do something new or differently or better, it can change their lives… and one by one, it becomes world changing. And that’s pretty cool.
As we head into this season of thanks, what have you been thankful for this year?