Date Added: November 2008
NOTE: This article appeared in the November 16, 2008 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
A difficult economy, a recession, increasing unemployment. Many factors make it difficult to give thanks. Yet, Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to give thanks for what we have. While it's okay to reflect on what we have, maybe it's time to give thanks for what we give.
Someone once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." Many studies have shown happiness occurs more willingly from acts of kindness and giving vs. personal enjoyment. With this in mind, take time to give and be thankful for your ability to make others joyful.
October 25 was "Make a Difference Day." While it's great for people to volunteer time in our community, why have 1 day per year to "make a difference" or 1 day for "thanksgiving?" If we give of ourselves, we receive joy and fulfillment (if you've done this recently, you know this feeling).
While some say we are facing economic times similar to the Great Depression, history and research tell us giving places a "silver lining" on things. Giving doesn't necessarily mean writing a check. Ring a bell for the Salvation Army. Donate food or assist at the New Community Shelter. Donate time with any local service organization. All can be done with others.
How this relates to business is fairly simple. If times are touch due to job loss, less dollars for the holidays, loss of family/friends, or something else; you may not be as productive at work or job searching, you may be irritable toward others, your quality and concentration may suffer. Refocus by giving and prioritizing time with loved ones, and your attitude and surroundings will begin to improve.
We all have a gift to do something special and impact others. Use Thanksgiving to consider it's better to give than receive -- although don't just consider -- act. And continue acting every month, week and day. Don't wait for 1 day or 1 time of year as giving to others is the best reason to be thankful.