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The Boomer Bulletin - 2013
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Choosing Courage and Gratitude

Posted By Sandra Wiley, Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I am taking a departure from my traditional writing topics this month to share personal feelings of sadness, faith and joy because I believe that occasionally we need to just reflect on life.  After a particularly rough tax season for almost everyone, I have heard many say that they are exhausted and are having difficulty recovering their passion for their client work and their firm.  May I suggest that you just stop for a few minutes and reflect on the following thoughts? 

My cousin Sheila was 44 when she lost her battle with a rare form of cancer a few weeks ago.  She was a wife who loved her husband deeply, a mom who fought for her children, a youth leader in her church and one of the kindest women I ever knew.  She truly put me to shame when it comes to caring about others.  You might be saying, "Good grief Sandra, why would you want to share such sad news with us?  How could this story possibly be applicable to me?”  There are times when almost unimaginable things happen and you discover a lot about yourself.  I learned the following things from my dear, sweet Sheila:

Stop and Breathe:   Life stinks sometimes and it is important to just stop and breathe in a good deep wonderful breathe of fresh air.  We get so wrapped up in our client work, challenges and to do lists that we often find hours passing by and we have forgotten just to stop and take a good long breathe.  The act of just being "in the moment” is a gift you can give yourself and it will help you to recharge.  

Be Grateful for Everything:  I spend much of my time listening to the worries and problems of my clients.  I understand that they are trying to fix everything so it will be better in the future, that they will increase their profits and they will have a business that they are proud of.  My question for you is – How much time did you spend today being grateful for the people around you?  The act of gratitude for the things in your life is imperative for a life of contentment.  What are you grateful for and have you shared that gratitude with those important people in your life?  Give it a try; I think you will be amazed at how showing gratitude for others will make YOU feel wonderful.  

Take Care of Yourself:  We all know that we should exercise and eat right, but I am actually talking about taking time away from your work to rest and spend time with the people that are important to you.  A wonderful firm leader told me recently that we find time for the things that are most important to us, so my question is  - Why do so many people brag about not getting any time off for vacation?  You heard the question right, BRAG about no time off.  They will say that they are busy and that the firm can’t possibly survive without them, but let’s face it that is a personal problem, not a firm problem.   I hope that as you read these words you get a little thump on the head and that will wake you to the fact that you must take care of yourself by scheduling time off right now to spend time with your loved ones.  

Find Beauty In Everything and Everyone:  It is very easy to slip into the habit of lamenting on all the things that are wrong in the world and in our firms.  Finding the positive attributes about the people and the situations around you will change your world.  The act of thinking positive is contagious.  If you are a firm leader that sees the positive – even in a tough situation – your firm will recover faster than those that get stuck in negativity.  Negativity is the easy route.  Take the tough road and look for the amazing in your firm today.  The decision is yours.

Enjoy the Little Things:  There are times when we wait for a big massive change to rock our world and then we will be excited and happy.  The reality is that wonderful little things are happening every day in our firms and we don’t see them because we are too busy to even notice them.  The manager that took responsibility and authority to make a decision without extra coaching or the staff member that went out of their way to care for a client while they were waiting for you to finish a meeting.  Little acts of good that when molded together turn into amazing.  Have you notice the little things in your firm recently?  

Be Courageous:  As I sat with Sheila in her last days and held her hand, I asked if there was anything that I could do for her.  She smiled and said "I’m ready, but promise me that you will help take care of my family”.  Courage was all over her face.  She could have complained and been bitter, but she chose courage.  It made me look at the complaints I have in my life – my travel schedule, my long to do list, my lack of time to spend with my team and my personal list could go on and on – and I felt pretty small.  My life is amazing and I need to find the fortitude to live with courage every day.  I need to stop the pity party and find the joy that comes from daily courage!  How about you?  

The challenge I have been given is to recommit to important things in my life with courage and gratitude.  I offer you the same challenge right here and right now.  

Thank you Sheila, for the life lessons that you have left imprinted on my heart.  

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Mike Francis says...
Posted Friday, June 21, 2013
Thanks Sandra for sharing this with us. We all need to follow these simple guidelines - be thankful for what we have. Very moving.
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