Rule number one in writing, don't lead off with negative headlines. Well, if I was a rule follower, you wouldn't be reading this anyway. So here goes…
The Point of This Post: You're not really thankful on this Thanksgiving. But you can be next year. I'll tell you how.
Thanksgiving is in two days, and the truth of the matter is…we don't naturally feel thankful. Sure, if we step back and count our blessings, we'll cite stuff like, "I'm grateful for my spouse, my kids, my health (if you're healthy), my job (even if I hate it, it at least pays me), etc…"
But that's not really feeling 'thankful.' Not in the sense it's intended to be. Think about it, there is an entire day, the 2nd most popular and participated day of the year, set aside because some folks long, long ago felt so dang thankful they just couldn't contain themselves!
So let's put it into that context. What are you so immensely thankful for that you can't contain yourself?
Unlike possibly any Thanksgiving message you've ever read, I'm going to suggest that you DO NOT look at what you have, and manifest exaggerated joy for it. What if the reality is that there isn't much for you to feel that dramatically grateful for?
Go with me a minute…I'll redeem this downer.
Great, authentic thankfulness ultimately comes from knowing great pain and hardship and challenge and lack…and surviving it. Even more, overcoming it.
Life as we know it today, is completely aimed at ridding ourselves of any:
I'm not dissing the great wealth and amenities we have as 20th century westerners. I own every amenity you have. I'm not about to give them up either!
But the reality is that our basic day to day existence dwells on affording what we have or getting more. And we pretty much all have everything that the ultra rich have. We lack for nothing. They may have a big house, but we have a house too. They may have a Ferrari, but we have a car. They may have 15 bathrooms, but we have two. They may have a $10,000 watch, but we have one that tells the correct time for years on end.
Consumerism is built on making sure there is no single, solitary item that we cannot afford and possess. We may have a bit cheaper model, but we have one. Makes me think of dishwashers. I know folks with a $1,000 Bosch that can clean concrete off your dishes and do it without a sound. I have two cheap dishwashers that sound like a 747 taking off, and if you haven't nearly cleaned the dishes to perfection, there will be food on them afterwards. But geez, we have two. Literally, dual dishwashers.
So, we as a society don't lack for much. We have little to fear or desire or struggle with. We have clothe's, homes, cars, running water, medicines, safety from danger. We appreciate it if we have to, but heck, everybody has all those things. Big whoop. It's expected and we feel entitled to it.
Here is the kicker. A few days ago I posted a blog about the legacy of my free agent Grandpa – A true free agent legacy, Ray Miller 1913-2010. I got about as many comments as I've ever received on that post. If you didn't read the blog, you should at least read the comments, as they contain great wisdom and insight.
One of them was from Jason Garey, someone I've never communicated with before, he's a subscriber I assume. He referenced his two Grandfathers, who also lived into their 90s. He said, and I quote, "Both men took little for granted and, in the end, wisely understood that faith, family and freedom were, above all, the most important things in life."
I'm not going to focus on taking things for granted. Instead, let's look at faith, family and freedom. If in this next year you made those three things your priority focus, literally, instead of maintaining what you have or working to afford more, you WILL encounter:
– If you live out and speak and endeavor to share your faith,
– If you in truth make the priority of your time and attention your family,
– If you place the highest premium and value the reality of owning your life and having true and real freedom…
…you will no doubt, realize:
And as a result, as you cope and strive and overcome in your own, true ADVENTURE – you will feel, possibly for the first time, genuine, heartfelt, uncontainable THANKFULNESS.
I'll end with a question:
Do you believe that in the workplace today (traditional employment), companies and stockholders and employers…have in their mission statements, to ensure that YOUR personal faith, family and freedoms come first? Or second, or fifteenth?
Want to have an unprecedented Thanksgiving in 2011? Make the pursuit of faith, family and freedom as your top priorities a resolute commitment. And start by endeavoring to own your life. To own your time. To own your work. To be free to place your faith and family first. You'll start living a true adventure, and you'll find true…thankfulness.
I raise my eggnog and spiced rum to you this Thanksgiving!
Cheers, and a blessed Thanksgiving to you,
The Free Agent Family of Kevin, Teri, Caleb, Autumn, Eliza, Ian, Canyon, Serene & Nekoda Miller