Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving Message with our For Impact | The Suddes Group community.
As I re-read my last four or five years of Thanksgiving messages, I was thinking about the timeless nature of these thoughts.
Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and into the holiday season.
- 1.“WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
- For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
- Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
- Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
- Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
- Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
- My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
- Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money’. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
- Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
- Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
- In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
- Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
- The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
- 2.“ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.” Almost every book I’ve ever read on personal development has reinforced that ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.
- My good friend Tim Kight calls this the ‘R’ FACTOR. His brilliant equation is
E + R = O.
- Event + Response = Outcome.
- Event does not equal the outcome. It’s our RESPONSE (which is almost always a function of our ATITTUDE) that creates the outcome. We are surrounded by relative comfort and certain freedom. Few of us have to worry about struggling each day to meet our basic needs (which is a daily struggle for most of the people in the world). Many people focus on what they see as a lengthy list of negatives, complaints, faults, cynicism. We need to respond with our antidote of GRATITUDE.
- ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE alters the way we see others and ourselves. It inspires us. It builds and supports lasting relationships.
- Take a moment every day to write or think about the many, many things for which we are most grateful. (Julia Cameron calls them ‘morning pages’.) Family. Friends. Freedom. Maslov’s Food, Shelter, Clothing. Greatest country in the world. (And, when you’re my age, the fact that you’re alive and breathing vs. the alternative.)
- 3.“THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET.”
- “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
- I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness thanreceiving.
- There’s a great line from a country song:
- “It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
- “It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”
I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living.
There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.
Katniss, our miniature Highland cow wants you to eat more turkey. From the rest of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group and Eagle Creek, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.
Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children or grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.