It’s a relatively quiet week here around Thinks Central as we get ready for Thanksgiving, 2022. As long-time listeners know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. One huge reason is that I get to spend time with friends and family. Another is that it’s a great time to relax and recharge. And, if I’m being completely honest, I love a great meal (to say nothing of my wife’s apple pie).
But the main reason that I love Thanksgiving is it reminds me to stop and think about all of the blessings I live with every day. It reminds me to express my gratitude.
And that’s what this episode of Thinks Out Loud is about. I hope you don’t mind a more personal reflection on the year so far. And I hope you’ll accept my thanks to you for giving a listen. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to talk with you and keep the conversation going.
I hope you have a wonderful, safe, healthy, and happy holiday.
As always, the show notes and transcript are below for you.
Gratitude 2022 — Headlines and Show Notes
Show Notes and Links
- The Future of the Metaverse? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 363)
- Thinks Out Loud Thanksgiving 2021 + Bonus Content! (Thinks Out Loud 332) – Tim Peter & Associates
- What Do You Want Next Year to Be? Here’s How to Be a STAR (Thinks Out Loud 333) – Tim Peter & Associates
- Giving Thanks (Thinks Out Loud Episode 266)
- The Sky is Falling? The State of Digital — Q4 2022 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 364)
- Revisiting Content Marketing in Action (Thinks Out Loud)
- Your Employees — and Customers — Live in a Different World Now (Thinks Out Loud Episode 362)
- We Owe It To Our Customers to Make Their Lives Better (Thinks Out Loud Episode 361)
We have some free downloads for you to help you navigate the current situation, which you can find right here:
- A Modern Content Marketing Checklist. Want to ensure that each piece of content works for your business? Download our latest checklist to help put your content marketing to work for you.
- A Brief Introduction to Thinks Out Loud. As a bonus, we’ve also included this PDF document that highlights some of our core episodes to help you dig into what the show is about. We think it will help you capture the show’s essence while you’re working your way through the 300-plus episodes published so far. Download it here.
- Digital & E-commerce Maturity Matrix. As a bonus, here’s a PDF that can help you assess your company’s digital maturity. You can use this to better understand where your company excels and where its opportunities lie. And, of course, we’re here to help if you need it. The Digital & E-commerce Maturity Matrix rates your company’s effectiveness — Ad Hoc, Aware, Striving, Driving — in 6 key areas in digital today, including:
- Customer Focus
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Running time: 13m 42s
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Transcript: Gratitude — 2022 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 365)
Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital expertise your business needs. This is episode 365 of the big show, and thank you so much for tuning in. I very much appreciate it. This is going to be a slightly different episode than normal. It’s a little bit more on the personal side.
Most people who listen to this show are in the United States, but for those of you who are outside America, outside the United States, we’re in Thanksgiving week. I’m sure most of you have heard of it or familiar with it, but it’s actually my favorite holiday every year. I so love Thanksgiving week. It’s time for family, it’s time to recharge—I’m not going to lie—I like to eat. So it’s centered around getting together with family and food and taking a minute to reflect about what we are thankful for.
And a lot has changed for me personally over the last year since last Thanksgiving.
- I completed my move to Orlando
- I went through not one, but two hurricanes, and basically survived just fine. We had a little bit of damage, but nothing terrible.
- I caught COVID, but happily had relatively mild cases. So thank goodness. I’m very thankful for vaccines making that kind of mild.
- And I’ve been very fortunate that many of the things I’ve worked on in the last year have succeeded, did very, very well. Like anyone, I’ve had a couple of missteps, but by far, way more good than bad, which is always what you’re trying to accomplish in any given year.
Remembering My Dad
All that said, the biggest change in my life really happened almost a year ago to the day. My dad passed away last year, on Thanksgiving Day as it happens. We were in the middle of our move. We had just moved into an apartment down here in Orlando, and I got a call that my dad, who had been in the hospital, unfortunately passed away. So it was a very sad day for me.
As you imagine, I had to deal with the grief and the loss and things along those lines. Now he was almost 91 and had lived a long, full life. As terrible as it is, it would be false to say it was a tragedy. He was very happy and very healthy for almost his full life. He had a short, sharp decline due to the illness that he was going through in the last months of his life. But generally speaking, he was very active, well into his late eighties.
Also, I’m hardly the first person to lose a parent or a loved one, particularly given the pandemic we’ve been living through for what, two and a half, three years now. We’ve all had to cope with more than our share of loss and grief and sadness over the last couple of years.
What losing my father reminded me though, is exactly how important gratitude is for all of the wonderful things in our lives. Again, this is hardly a groundbreaking notion, but everything we have, everything we do, everything we love can go away in an instant. And for some of us, it happened sooner than others. I was my parents’ youngest kid and my father was almost 40 when I came along. So he’d grown up in the Depression. He was born in the very, very early 1930s. He lost both of his parents before he was 18 years old. He was drafted to serve in Korea, and he experienced a number of serious losses in life, not least of which my mom passing away, oh gosh, 15 years ago. Things along those lines.
I also have to be honest, it would be tough to say that he was always a happy man. What’s fascinating though is despite all of the struggles that he went through, all of the challenges, all of the concerns that he had, as you might expect from somebody who lost his parents young and grew up in very tough economic circumstances and things like that, he did not see the world as a dark or terrible place. He was incredibly funny, a bone dry sense of humor. He didn’t say a lot, but sometimes just wickedly funny things that he would say that came out of left field. And especially because he was so quiet most of the time, they usually caught you off guard, you got a good laugh out of it.
He also loved technology and science and was continually curious well into his eighties about things like mobile and Facebook and the internet. He got his first smartphone when he was in his late eighties. So there’s a bit of father like son there, I think.
What I Learned from My Dad
But he taught me two very valuable lessons that I think are really important, and I always center in my world day after day after day, and one is to remain curious, to keep learning, no matter your age. There’s so much change we live with. There’s so many things going on in the world around us that we are best served, I think, when we keep learning about not just technology, but about people, about how other people think about things. I mean, if you want to make this about business, what our customers care about, just keep learning constantly and you’ll always be relevant and you’ll always be in a good position to do well regardless of the other changes that go on in the world.
And he also taught me, and I believe this really, really clearly, that there are far more good people in the world than bad ones, that most people want to do the right thing. Most people care about the people around them. It’s easy to hate on the world. There are all kinds of frustrations in life, both large and small. There’s far too much injustice. There’s far too much hate. There are wars being fought, people fighting for their very survival even as we speak, even as I record this. There are entire industries or at least segments of industries devoted to dividing us.
And I fully recognize that my ability to look past that, the place where I am that allows me to look past that, comes from a place of great good luck, fortune in the sense of circumstance, not in the sense of wealth, though I also recognize that I’m fortunate that compared with many people on the planet, I’m relatively free from want as well. I’m a lucky, lucky guy. I often think I’m as lucky a person as can be.
There Are Always Silver Linings… Even If There Are Lots and Lots of Clouds
What I can’t do though is buy into a narrative that the sky is falling. We do tend to take 1.999 steps back for every two steps. We take forward. Progress and luck and good circumstances clearly aren’t linear. Sometimes really good stuff happens and sometimes bad stuff happens. I think that’s pretty clear. But we make progress, we grow, we learn, we connect with the other human beings in our lives and the other people in the world and generally make this place a better place.
And as I think about all of what’s happened this past year, I can’t help but be grateful. I’m working to learn and to grow and to become a more fully realized version of myself every single day. I’m amazingly lucky to have people around me who support that growth, who help me become the best version of me that I can be. I’ve deepened relationships with friends and family. I continue to make connections with people through my work and my friendships and online communities that make my world a better place.
And I hope that I am able to give some of that back to people who listen to this show and people who I connect with through classes I teach and through my clients that I work with. This show is absolutely one way I try to continue to make those connections and continue to grow. And we’ve had our ups and downs this year, but listenership is way up from last year, which is great. I’m getting more emails and comments and retweets and all that jazz than ever. And so when I think about the things that I’m grateful for this year, one of those is this show and is you, you’re tuning in, you’re connecting each week, you’re listening, you’re letting me tell stories that I come across or that I’ve experienced in my life and letting me know what’s working for you and what’s not.
And so I just want to say thanks. I just want to say how grateful I am that you continue to participate in this community. You continue to help me make a community here at Thinks Out Loud. You continue to help me be a better version of me, a more fully realized version of me every single week, every single day, every single message, every single email. And so I’m incredibly, incredibly lucky and incredibly grateful for you.
If you’re here in the US, I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I hope you get to spend it with people you love, that you don’t eat too much, but that you have a good time wherever you happen to be. I hope your business continues to thrive. I hope you stay thief and healthy and strong, and I hope you find happiness and gratitude with the people you connect with each day.
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I’m looking forward to keeping the conversation going. I would love to hear what you think and where you’d like to see the show go. So I’d really appreciate it if you could drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just let me know what you’re thinking.
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I will be back with a new episode in a week. And until then, thank you so very much for tuning in. Thank you so very much for letting me spend some time with you each week, and I hope you remain safe. I hope you remain well, and as ever, I hope you take care. Talk to you soon.