The Five You Forgot To Thank

The US Thanksgiving holiday comes and goes so quickly, so let’s just assume we’ve done a good job of expressing thanks for the biggies: our families, friends, and close colleagues; the men and women serving and protecting our communities and countries; our farmers and factory workers providing us with safe food and products; and those who ensure we get safely back and forth from work, school, and home each day. Whew!

With a list that comprehensive, who did we miss? What did we forget to be thankful for this season? Here are the five I’m betting you forgot:

1. Your Surprise Facebook Friend. Yes, Jimmy Kimmel, we know that some of our Facebook friends aren’t in the same league as our friend-friends, but we “friend” them anyway. I, for one, am amazed and thankful for my surprise Facebook friends. You know the ones I mean – the ones you aren’t close to in real life, but whose comments on your posts strike a particularly encouraging note, or whose photos or quotes are truly intriguing or cause a smile. Not sure you have one of these? Look again – the surprise Facebook friend inspires when you least expect it.

2. Dr. Martin Cooper. Who? You may not know this man, but his work goes with you everywhere. Dr. Cooper invented the cell phone, and opened the doors to a life outside of the office. (Debating whether this invention – and its offspring, the Blackberry and iPhone – is really worth being thankful for? You might be thankful for permission to Click Less and Connect More.)

3. Your Leader. Which leader impacts you most, perhaps in your business, your community, or your country? Admire or loathe him or her, but I bet you’re filled with ideas on how your leader needs to do better. Hold those thoughts, just for a second, and step into their shoes. Look around at all they must see, respond to, speak to. Just for a breath, thank them for all that they are doing. It’s a lot, and it’s hard work. (Thanks made? Now go back to pushing them to be better.)

4. Your Stress Makers. Yes, thank them, because everything that causes you stress is a reminder that you’re engaged in a life that still has room to grow. Gardeners know that seeds suffer extreme stress breaking their outer shell and punching through the hard ground before they can see the sun. And yet we still plant. Our stress makers slap us into noticing what’s happening in our work and personal lives. Whether we take action or not is our decision.

5. Yourself. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a good ol’ pat on the pack. Thank yourself for all the great things you’ve done this year – and there are many. If you doubt, just flip through your calendar for the past year. I promise you’ll be reminded of meetings you rocked, trips you took (that you could have passed over), and experiences you relished and really made a difference. No matter what the circumstance, you made it happen, so be sure to thank yourself while you’re thanking everyone else.