We are all wrapping up a remarkable year. Negative in many ways. Positive in quite a few. For me, for most of my 30+ years in business, without bragging, I can say I have charged across the finish line at the end of each year: Full of energy, basking in accomplishments, excited for a new year to start. This year it's more like my Cross Country days: Staggering and stumbling across the finish line. Likely to collapse only to be yelled at to get up and walk... "Keep going, stay on your feet. You don't want to cramp." And I did it, knowing that that tremendous, awful, expected pain in my lungs and chest would subside.
So like those Cross Country days gone by, rather than griping about the negatives of 2016, I’ll stay on my feet, catch my breath and try to recover quickly. But I’ll do one more thing: I'll follow the lead of my new friend Father Chris who counselled me to be Thankful for EVERYTHING. From the so called small things on up: For food, a roof, warm bed, the day, the sun, the beauty of nature, the stupid orange cat who showed up on the back porch and decided to adopt us. For Aroldis Chapman returning to the Yankees; For the Cowboys being blessed with, not one, but two outstanding rookies.
Thanks for my son's success, graduating Fordham in May of this year and already 6 months under his belt at Memorial Sloan Kettering, but mostly for the person he's become: handing out “dignity packages” to the homeless he meets during his commute (I guess the Jesuits and his Mother got to him after all).
or the love, patience and intelligence of my girlfriend of 35 years (sure she's been my wife for 30 of those years, but to me she'll always be my girl);
Thanks for the interns that flourished and joined our team; for the longtime team members you continue to make us look good. For the clients that took our direction and achieved their goals.
Thanks for the "Brothers" (they know who they are) a motley biologically-unrelated group who have eaten, drank, laughed loudly and cried together (sometimes all in the same night) - and who will always have each other's backs. For those clients I have had the privilege of mentoring, who this year find themselves sitting high up in their organizations.
Thanks for the kids I coached, some now working for me, others killing it in their own fields, one getting paid to play. For healthy kidneys in South Jersey; chemo cycles completed to the north. For the subsiding of grief for those gone but never forgotten. For the opportunities afforded us professionally with new clients and new products we launched that will reduce suffering, helping patients and caregivers.
For professional awards won. For the privilege of leading an Adult Bible Study for 7+ years... A role I still think I was tricked into and am hardly suited for ("step up and listen to the biggest sinner tell you all about salvation")...
Hey! Wait... Father Chris... You didn't tell me these little Thank You’s were going to take so long! Well, I guess Clarence had it right, and there's the take-away: "You see, George, you've really had a wonderful life!" I'll substitute Dave for George and “Year” for “Life”. You can do likewise: insert your name here.
Give thanks. Everyday. For everything. You'll soon realize how much you have to be thankful for. Do it mainly because it is the right thing to do, but here's the remarkable bonus, from up high... every sincere act of gratitude comes back to you in even greater blessings! Make it a personal thing, sure, but apply it professionally for 7, 10, 12, 30 days, give thanks for every blessing and see if it doesn't turn out to be your best Management tool of the New Year.
So, through the haze of this past year, I see the good and say Thank You 2016. And Thank You, 2017, for the blessing large and small that you have in store for all of us.