I’d like to take a moment to expand your thinking on what a gift is. It started with a conversation with someone who told me she had cancer. It was a heart wrenching story, yet this was one of the most positive conversations I have had in a long time. She was laughing and sharing her deeper understanding of the world and her appreciation of the wonderful opportunity this turn of events had given her.
Of course, the cancer wasn’t a gift she wanted, but when she got it, she accepted it as a gift. Prior to the diagnosis, she had been working herself into the ground and she had been longing to take some time off to reflect. She said the cancer had given her that opportunity.
Looking back, she didn’t know how she had let work take over her life. After reflecting, she saw how much more important it was for her to have fun, to do work that was meaningful and enjoyable, and to have time to spend with her children. Those are her 2022 goals.
It takes a rare person to have the strength to see the positive in a health crisis. She is such a rarity. I invite you to take her story as a gift to think deeply about what your priorities are.
As you reflect on how you want to be, how you want to feel, and what you want to be doing over the next year, consider the big picture. What brings you energy, joy, and fulfillment? What can you do at work to fill you, not deplete you? As a leader or co-worker, what can you do to help others feel energized and fulfilled? As a friend or family member, what can you do to deepen those relationships, to feel connected, and to help them feel connected to you?
In addition to feeling good, taking care of your health and well-being may help you avert health crises and build up your stores for when you do face unfortunate circumstances. Before the calendar turns to 2022, create an opportunity to reflect and decide how you want to spend the next year. If you want help, call me. Helping others have better lives is one of the things that fulfills me.
I wish you happy holidays and a happy, healthy, fulfilling new year. And, in the spirit of gift giving, join me in giving a donation to a cancer charity or any charity of your choice to help make this world a better place.
Here are some ideas:
Cancer Research Institute to support immunotherapy research on all cancers
Clearity Foundation to support women seeking treatment for ovarian cancer
Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring hope and joy to children with critical illness