Take One, Leave One (from America)
America seems to be in the news today which made me think of 2 American traditions that are happening this month. Thanksgiving on Thursday 24th and Black Friday on the 25th. We seem to have adopted the latter but not the former.
So here’s a though: How about adopting Thanksgiving and ditching Black Friday?
Do I really need anymore stuff? We all know that more stuff doesn’t give us the things of real value and joy in this life. Yet I become continually seduced into wanting more. As I opened my wardrobe this morning I realised I had enough clothes to last me the rest of my life. There’s gadgets in the kitchen to rival Currys. There’s a car on the drive and several bikes in the shed – different bikes for different terrains!
Being a more considered consumer might be the way forward. Asking better questions such as: Will this purchase add real value to my life? Will this purchase bring joy to my life? (Actually, both bikes give me great joy. I’d give up my car before I gave up my bikes.)
As an experiment I might see if I can get through the whole of Black Friday without spending any money! How about you?
And why not celebrate Thanksgiving? A day recognising what we have and what we’re grateful for? As the late, great Jim Rohn said, “We should learn to be both ambitious and content”. How about a simple¬ Thanksgiving meal shared with family or friends or neighbours? Or a lunch shared with colleagues or clients? An opportunity to sit down and share stories of the things we’re grateful for. Perhaps even to recount those dark occasions from which seeds of good things grew – the seeds we couldn’t see or conceive of at the time.
How about calling or putting pen to paper to thank some of the people who’ve helped us along in the last year (staff, suppliers, clients, investors)? Or who just make us smile? Or how about buying a coffee for the person behind us in the queue because we can?
And here’s a little exercise we sometimes do at our Planning Days ahead of creating our goals and action plans. Spend 15 minutes listing out all the things we’re grateful for now. thinking what to write today, I decided to do it for myself when I woke up this morning.
1. Woke up. Yes, woke up! Another day on planet earth.
2. Comfortable and warm bed.
3. Someone lying next to me.
4. Mirror in the bathroom – cool invention.
5. I could walk to the bathroom!
6. I could see myself in the mirror! How would I cope if I were blind?
7. Electric toothbrush – I love the feeling of clean teeth.
8. Razor – how do they make them so they don’t cut you?
You get the idea! We don’t have to look too far to realise that we are truly blessed.
So how about spending a day recognising what we have and what we’re thankful for? And rounding it off with a Thanksgiving meal with other people, swapping stories and being thankful.
Take one, leave one? I love that little American custom of leaving a little saucer at the till with 1 cent pieces in it. If your bill is $2.01, you take one. If you’re bill is $1.98, you leave a couple of cents. What could be a ‘take one, leave one’ in your business or life? They seem to do it with bikes in Amsterdam!
If you’d like to make things even better in 2017 then how about coming along to our Planning Day on Wednesday 4th January? Just drop me a line and let me know you’re interested. If we want things to change and improve, we have to invest a little time thinking and planning. So how about it?
“Learn to be both Ambitious and Content”. Happy Thanksgiving.