I am writing this just as the 2014 Holiday Season is beginning.  It is a time for reflection and planning as we end 2014 and begin the planning process for 2015.  My reflection leads me to a place that I often think about.  I am compelled to write this because of the blessings I have most recently experienced.   2014 was a watershed year for me personally.  I have successfully transitioned from be employed for the last 30+ years to being “gainfully unemployed” as one of my great friends, Rod Lueck, describes my situation.  Many of you reading this are the reason it has been successful.  I appreciate it every day and hopefully demonstrate that to each of you when we interact.

I am very thankful for the relationships I have both on a personally and professionally which have helped me get to place I was sure I would get to but had no idea how quickly it would happen.  It is easy at this time of year to focus on the things I am thankful for and yet, I often think about it on some continuum.  In fact, it is a constant element of how I live and this is a bit of challenge to you.  I would like you to think about counting your blessings more than once a year but to also express it more often as well.

Gratitude is something that should be expressed often and without a significant amount of pre-thought and can be done with a simple “Thank You”.  It can also be demonstrated even if it is not directly expressed.  I like to think of it as living with a “Grateful Spirit”.  If you live with a Grateful Spirit, the people you come into contact with will quickly identify “it” even if they cannot identify what “it” is.  It results in people feeling respected, valued and meaningful.  As I know most of you professionally, I know you are grateful for the clients you have, the support you get from the individuals you have to rely on for your success, and the family you have.  I believe living with a Grateful Spirit will enhance the success you enjoy and will reflect even greater success for everyone you interact with both personally and professionally.  A client of mine, Jay Cleary, gave me book at the beginning of the year as part of the work I am doing with his firm, Bridge Financial Group.  It is titled simply “Gratitude”.  It is a series of quotes compiled by Dan Zadra (ISBN: 978-1-932319-16-3).  In it you find any number of quotes that capture the idea of what gratitude might look like to you personally.  I  often talk about approaching your business, communications, and engagement with the right “intentions”.  There is quote from Max Lucado that I think captures the idea of intentions quite well: “The people who make a difference are not the ones with credentials, but the ones with concern”.  My hope is that in your interactions with me, you will find that I have both the concern and the credentials to help you succeed.  Additionally, that you too will demonstrate a level of concern that clearly demonstrates your expertise and gratitude for those you are responsible for helping.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!  Heff