What we are Grateful for at Leadership Vision in 2017
Feeling grateful is the experience of counting one’s blessings. Some say that practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25%!
Thanksgiving, of course, is a natural time to experience gratitude. Getting together with family, eating fantastic food, and sharing the ways our lives have changed over the previous 365 days is a practice most people adhere to around the Holidays. Reflection is a powerful process that can remind you of the good things, and teach you something about the bad.
I asked a few members of our team to briefly share a few things they are grateful for this year. Below is a snapshot of their responses as they paused to reflect on our hectic and hurried lives. One thing we all realizes is that we need more time for this type of reflection!
2017 has been a year filled with nothing but adapting and adjusting to change. Last year, I wrote about how my StrengthsFinder theme of Adaptability has been a close friend as I navigated the challenges of going from one to three kids, and also adapted to several job transitions. I’ve seen how my Theme of Communication has been pushed and challenged as we have launched a Podcast, finding another avenue to express who we are. It’s fun when you get to test yourself in a professional capacity and have such immediate feedback by which to adjust course as necessary.
On the one hand, 2017 has been a year of the “old” things in my life growing deeper roots, while on the other hand, it has been a season of embracing the “new.” For me, 2017 marks 3 years of marriage, 2 years working at Leadership Vision, a 2-year-old black lab, a 1-year-old kitten, and 1 year in a new home. Having a season for the “old” pieces of my life to grow roots has been life-giving to my Strength of Discipline which seeks structure. However, 2017 has also been a season of embracing new opportunities within my job, the emerging of new safe spaces to be vulnerable, and further depth to friendship with friends and family. Although my Competition struggles in transitions to identify new expectations, my Individualization is thriving as I learn more about myself and grow in ways I never imagined.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie
This is the time of year I find myself looking back on what has transpired, being aware of the place I currently stand and thinking into what may come next. These reflections can appear with both gratitude and relief. In this last year, I am filled with immense gratitude for my family, friends, and colleagues who continue to support and challenge me. I am also filled with great relief at overcoming obstacles that have taught me a great plenty about myself along the way. I stand today feeling confident that my deeds reflect my truest self. I will take what I’ve learned in this last year about myself and others, and commit to being true to myself, speaking truth always, and continuing to grow into a better version of myself.
I am thankful for my Strengths and for their continued development. In this last year, each of my Strengths has been challenged, stretched, and demanded in ways that I could not have imagined nor anticipated. Challenged in that there have been times when I’ve been faced with opportunities to waiver in the most generative application of my Strengths. Stretched in the humbling realization that we are never fully formed, that our Strengths require ongoing and diligent attention. Demanded in that I’ve never been surer that my Strengths are essential and necessary, that the voice they shape in me has place and purpose. I’m grateful for who I am in my Strengths, I am humbled by what I am capable of and what I am called to do, and I am ever more committed to helping others to see themselves in these same ways.
I am profoundly thankful for the work I get to do with my life. As one whose worldview is driven by a desire to “save the world,” I’m convinced now more than ever that Strengths work is the answer. I look back on people we’ve worked with this year who have felt genuinely heard, appreciated and understood for the first time in a long time as they grow to appreciate their Strengths. I think about the organizations that have taken gigantic leaps toward allowing their people to do what they were created to do. I think about my own relationships and how insights into the Strengths of others have empowered me to be a better friend, colleague, mentor, and husband.
All of these things inspire heartfelt gratitude; I am grateful that I get to spend my life helping people come alive and see the world around them come alive. And that gratitude gives me energy, vision, and clarity to press on evermore to this amazing gift that is Strengths.
I’m thankful that the year is coming to a close with good health and cheerful gratitude. I’m profoundly grateful for my wise and loving parents. On the hallway wall outside their bedroom is a myriad of frames of photos of loved ones, family, and captured moments. In the middle of this collage is a 1970’s macramé wall hanging that says: “There are only 2 lasting gifts we give our children. One is roots and the other is wings.” My parents are the penultimate example of rootedness in their 52 years of marriage and counting. They are each committed to someone who is completely polar opposite to the other and endlessly gives to the community and family. My parents are also exemplars of what it means to give people wings and shelter others with their wings. My mom covered me with her wings of love and discipline, and my dad stuck wings on me, and it gave me a passion to explore the entire world. In the spirit of my parents, we’ve sought to give roots and wings to others. Happy Thanksgiving, mom, and dad.
In reflection on what this year has been, I am thankful for our learning and leaning. As a team, we have learned many things along the way: personal, practical and professional. We have recognized that learning never happens alone, and learning is shared. Our learning has been challenging, and our learning has been life-giving. Without a doubt, I am very thankful for our embracing a season of learning. I am also thankful for leaning. For me, leaning – the ways we help, support and collaborate – has taught us about ourselves and our team members. All year, I have observed our team leaning on one another. We lean when we need help, and we lean when we can help. So when I see us leaning, I see us as a close and connected, and that is what I hope to our Leadership Vision team.
What are you Thankful For?
As you reflect on this past year, what are the things in your life that you need to express appreciation for?