Merry Christmas! You don’t hear people say, “Merry Christmas” too often anymore. These two simple words that open the door to a message of unending joy and hope is growing silent.
It would be rare to hear anything other than “Happy Holidays” anywhere you go these days. Where did “Merry Christmas” go?
I wrapped a couple Christmas presents this week. It is the season we hope to give and receive great gifts. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Here is a tougher question. Do you still have it? Or have all the “must have,” “just gotta have” desires that ruled that particular season faded to a faint memory?
We all carry a question around with us every day. It’s a persistent question that doesn’t have a singular answer. We may not verbalize this question, but it always presents itself anew each and every day. Am I making an impact?
Who do any of us know, including ourselves, that doesn’t want what we do to matter? We can’t suppress our desire to make a difference because it is embedded in our DNA.
Do you ever think about what it truly means to be all in? We all have had a time in our life where we believed with our whole heart and every fiber of being that we were all in—fully committed.
But have you ever been committed to the point that it could cost you your life? Now “all in” takes on a whole new meaning. We might certainly not hesitate to lay down our life for the sake of our spouse or one of our children. But that would certainly establish the “all in” boundary for most of us.
If you could be granted one natural gift what would you choose? What if the choice was between intelligence and wisdom? Being smart is commonly identified as being a key to success. But is smart overrated?
As a kid were you frequently if ever praised for being wise? I am pretty sure if my parents would have said, “Oh, you are so wise,” I was being called out and being discouraged from whatever “not so smart” remark I had just made.
It all began with a hug. A hug is ageless and communicates like few things can. Do you realize that when we are young we get used to hearing people tell us we need more experience. After gaining the experience and learning the tough lessons that come with that experience it is not unusual to be told your time has passed. The fact is neither is true.
The truth is no one has your unique place in the world to positively impact the people you love, teams you lead and the causes that stir your heart. The venue may change, your audience might be different but creating and sustaining impact has nothing to do with whether we are young or old.
It was a test—an experiment. What would he do with $100? The man was standing on the median of a busy intersection holding a small cardboard sign—“HOMELESS please help” scratched out with a black marker. Life is all about impact and a lesson was about to unfold.
What do you do when you see someone holding a sign asking for help? I’ve driven by men, woman and children holding these signs. Haven’t we all wondered if they are really homeless and hungry. What do they do with the money? I don’t want to be cynical, but I’ve handed out care packages and drove by the next day to find laying on the ground or in the bushes and seen young boys being trained by their father to panhandle. Cynicism can cripple impact.
I want to make Christmas count. Looking at all the preparation that goes into Christmas, we all want Christmas to count.
Are you ready? To make Christmas count we have to get ready. We scurry around to put the finishing touches on our Christmas and holiday preparations—a little shopping and meal preparation. Maybe gathering in the kitchen for holiday baking. All to deliver the what we think will be the perfect celebration.
This year will be no different—there is plenty of preparation yet to be done. But this year is different—recent events gave me reason to pause. I paused to consider if I was doing my job—really doing my job. When I share with you why I am asking this question you’ll understand why I am writing today.
It is powerful, impactful and life changing. We are drawn to focus on it once a year, but rarely reap its full potential because we get absorbed in daily routine and don’t sustain it. It doesn’t cost anything to acquire, but is priceless when it is shared.
On a crisp fall day, in 1863, in Northern Pennsylvania, a boy was selling goods door-to-door so he could pay his way through school. After nearly a full day of work he was getting hungry. Reaching into his pocket he found only a single dime. As he approached the next house, he decided he would ask for some food.
Have you ever thought of quitting your job, abandoning a dream, or giving up on a relationship?
Have you walked away from something you once declared was important, and later come to realize you were defeated by your own doubt, fear, or discouragement?
At some point, haven’t we all been overwhelmed with doubt, fear, or discouragement in the pursuit of great visions, aspiring dreams, and important goals. It is silly and irrational to think we won’t experience these feelings.