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Gratitude 2023 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 403)

Photo of people sharing a meal to highlight gratitude

Every year around Thanksgiving, I like to take a few minutes to remember how lucky I am. This year is no different. I’m incredibly fortunate. And, I’m incredibly grateful. Why wouldn’t I be?

My friends, family, colleagues, and clients are happy, healthy, and prosperous. Of course we all have our issues to contend with. Nothing’s perfect. At the same time, I’d be foolish to ignore all the good in my world every day. Anytime I forget how lucky I am, I can simply say, "Look how far you’ve come."

I hope that the same is true for you. I hope that you are having an amazing year. I hope that the people in your life are happy and healthy. I hope that you are doing well. And that you’re able to take a moment to consider how far you’ve come and how lucky you are.

Is everything perfect? No. Of course not. But with any luck, you’ll have more good days than bad. And plenty to be thankful for. This year — and beyond.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you.

Gratitude 2023 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 403) Headlines and Show Notes

Show Notes and Links

You might also enjoy this webinar I recently participated in with Miles Partnership that looked at "The Power of Generative AI and ChatGPT: What It Means for Tourism & Hospitality" here:

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Recorded using a Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 23m 30s

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Transcript: Gratitude 2023

Well, hello again, everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 403 of the big show, and this is definitely a different sort of episode than we normally have. This is a quiet week here in the United States.

Um, most people who listen to the show are in America. So most of you know what I’m about to talk about. But for those of you outside the States, um, we’re about to celebrate Thanksgiving this week. And anyone who has listened to this show for any amount of time probably knows that this is my favorite holiday.

It’s just the best holiday in the world as far as I’m concerned. Because it’s an opportunity to reflect on all that’s gone well in the past year and really in our lives. I’m blessed. I am just the luckiest person I know. I’ve got great friends. I have an amazing family. I have tremendous clients. I have meaningful work that fulfills me and just makes me deeply satisfied.

My wife and my kids are happy, healthy, successful in so many ways. They’re surrounded by people who are happy and healthy, who love them and treat them with kindness and respect. I’m happy and healthy. What more could you ask for than that? Oh, and I get paid to do this too? I’m financially stable? I mean, that’s pretty great.

That’s really, really pretty awesome. And I read a thing the other day that talked about a five word phrase. That’s shared by many people who are fulfilled and are happy in their lives and, and who tend to look at the bright side of things, you know, that simply says, look how far you’ve come. Wherever you are in life, you are probably further along than you were.

You have had many successes. I mean, apart from the clickbait title of the article, it resonated with me. I don’t know that I use that exact phrase in my day to day life, but I certainly echo the sentiment. I think back on the 12 years of Tim Peter and Associates that we’ve been around. I think back on the 11 years of this podcast, or on the 20 plus years of my career.

And I think about, A, what my team and I have been able to accomplish, and B, And more importantly, all the help I’ve had along the way. Thanksgiving is a great time, no matter where you are in the world, to take a step back. It is for me to look back, think about where I’ve been, how grateful I am for how far I’ve come, and how grateful I am for everyone in my life who’s helped me get here.

Thank you. Some of those people are friends, some are family, some are colleagues, some are clients, and some are random individuals. Years ago, I was flying home from a trip to Shanghai, and I had a conversation with the gentleman in the seat next to me. We got to talking, as people did frequently in those days.

And it turned out he was a college professor and head of a research group at his school. He was a complete and total stranger when the flight started. But by the time we’d landed, we’d had a fascinating series of conversations and became, you know, at least casual friends kind of thing. We’d, I learned a tremendous amount about China.

about public policy. His, his specific area of expertise was public policy. Um, I learned about higher education, things that I didn’t know about how it worked. And of course, I learned about him as a human being. Let me tell you, that’s one of the greatest things about 18 hour flights. You know, if you’ve got to be on a plane for 18 hours, it’s amazing that sometimes you’ll meet people who come into your life and affect you in some way.

There’s lots of time to connect and lots of time to get to know somebody. Now, as it happened, my daughter was looking at colleges at the time. And when this came up in my discussions with this professor, he said, Oh, you have to come visit my school. I think your daughter would love it. And he arranged a tour for her at his school, made us feel truly welcome.

It was an amazing experience for my, my daughter, for my wife, for me, I genuinely felt special during the course of this tour. And I genuinely felt like he had really done something to help us to make our experience as positive as it could be. Now, long time listeners of the show know that I love storytelling and I love in a story when you get to introduce a big twist and deliver some emotionally relevant or emotionally resonant revelation.

This story? Isn’t one of those. There is no huge aha moment. I don’t have a big twist. There’s no massive revelation in the story. In fact, my daughter opted to go to a different college altogether. She realized the school wasn’t what she was looking for. The professor and I have maintained some casual, you know, uh, uh.

Conversations and the like on LinkedIn over the years, but you know, I didn’t bring him some tremendous amount of business. He didn’t bring me some tremendous amount of business. We were just two guys who happened to meet one another, connect for a moment, share this amazing experience and then move on in our lives as sometimes happens.

What’s also true is that I met a good person. I met someone who helped me, who helped my kid, and who did all of that just out of basic human decency, basic human kindness. He had something he was proud of, he had something that he loved, this school where he worked. He met somebody who said, hey, I’ve got a kid who’s interested in school and said, let me show you something of my world and see if it might work for you.

It didn’t, and that’s okay. It also reminds me about how easy it is to get lost in bad news. There’s so much of it that we hear every day that we, that we can’t really get away from. Sometimes the media thrives on it. You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression. used in journalism all the time that says, if it bleeds, it leads, right?

If it’s a bad news story, we’re going to put that right on the, right on the front page of the website. We’re going to put that in all of our tweets. We’re going to put that on the LinkedIn because we want to get this in front of as many people as possible because we know it will stir people up and it will drive engagement and it will drive action and it will drive people to come back for more.

I also want to be fair. Of course there’s plenty of bad news worth paying attention to. There are things going on in the world that we absolutely cannot, you know, stick our head in the sand and ignore. Because that’s the kind of thing that happens, right? We have to be aware of what’s going on in the world.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t take a day. To reflect, to put the phone aside, to put the tablet aside, to turn off the TV, to gather with friends and family and loved ones and spend time in their presence, to spend time being grateful for one another. You can think about all that you’ve accomplished, you can think about all you’ve had, You also want to think about how often it has been people, friends, family, colleagues, clients, and yeah, sometimes complete strangers, who have helped you achieve, who have helped you learn, who’ve helped you grow, who’ve helped you succeed.

That’s why I love Thanksgiving. It’s a reminder to take that moment. To express gratitude. So I want to take a moment to thank my friends and my family and my colleagues and my clients for all that they’ve done for me. For all of their support, for all of their kindness, for all of their help, for all of their love.

Everything that I have, everything that I’ve accomplished has come because of people who are around me and support me and help me be better at what it is I do. I also need to express my gratitude. For all the perfect strangers, all the complete strangers I’ve met along the way who taught me something, who’ve shown me kindness in ways large and small, this year and in all the years prior.

And I want you to know how grateful I am for you, for listening, for connecting. For supporting me, for teaching me all these years of this show, all the years we’ve had the blog, it means so much to me. And at the risk of throwing a twist into the story, I want to thank you one more time for something else.

Because this time, I recorded this episode more for me than I did for you. So thanks for letting me do that. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, and if you don’t celebrate, I hope you can find a minute to be thankful for all that’s good in your life, just as I am today. Have a great rest of the week.

Have a wonderful weekend. We’ll be back with a regular show next week. And I can’t wait to chat with you all here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care, everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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