Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thankfulness & Savoring: 2015

Below is a blog from Thanksgiving 2012 in which I discuss the power of savoring each moment, and being thankful for it.  I mention having a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my Dad and savoring our time together -- because "at 87+ who knows how much longer I will have time with him."

Dad died last August 30 and I often think of this special Thanksgiving with him.

Slow down and savor your good times with your loved ones.  The memories will last a lifetime.

Happy Thanksgiving.

You probably don’t have time to read this because you are ON THE GO!

Same here.  In fact, I didn’t have time to write this because I am ON THE GO!

But, if you take a couple of minutes to read this it just might improve your quality of life.

I have been reading some of the positive psychology books recently, two in particular by Martin Seligman.  One is Learned Optimism, which I recommend.  The other is Authentic Happiness, which – if you like the first one, check it out as well.

The positive psychology movement is targeted at showing us how we can take the good things in our lives and make them even better – or “to make normal life even more fulfilling” versus fixing what is wrong with us.

Here are a few takeaways from the research.

*Optimistic people are more successful and have happier lives.  And you can actually learn to be more optimistic.  Really.   Check out the book.

*People who regularly take the time to be thankful for what they have in their lives are happier – more fulfilled.

*And finally, people who take the time to slow down and “savor” what is good in their lives are also happier and more fulfilled.

I understand those last two ideas, but it is hard for me to put them into practice because I am always ON THE GO!

However, this past Thanksgiving morning I decided that I should “slow down” a bit and try to be extra thankful – and to savor the day.  This turned out to be a very cool experiment.

*I was thankful for the beautiful day I had during my four hour drive to see my Dad.  I savored the beauty of the sunny fall sky.

*I tried to make every minute with my Dad really count – savoring the moments.  He’s 87+ so who knows how much longer I will have time with him.  I am so thankful for him.

*During our Thanksgiving meal at one of his favorite restaurants, I decided to slow down and really savor the Lobster Bisque.  I actually noticed that they had put a lobster shaped cracker on top.  Mighty tasty and nice presentation.

*I savored our conversation.  I really tried to listen carefully to Dad and was really appreciating what an amazing man he is.  I tried to focus on him rather than all of the other millions of things running through my mind (what will the next blog be about?).

*It was a very fulfilling day – I think I will always remember it.

Okay.  Thanksgiving is over, but I am trying to take the lesson I learned that day and apply it in at least some small ways every day.  Like you, I am ON THE GO!  But life is a little sweeter when we slow down a bit, recognize what we are thankful for, and savor the good things we have in our lives.

Happy Thankful Savoring to you.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rob,

    First and foremost, my condolences on your dad. May he rest in peace and may you also have peace and consolation from all the good memories you have of him. Having just spent time with my 85-year old dad, I totally appreciate the timely message to savor every moment with him (and with my 81-year old mom).

    Secondly, I read “Learned Optimism” a few years ago and also highly recommend it. My wife could tell I needed to read it because at one point I was describing the book to her and inadvertently referred to it as “Learned Pessimism”. I guess I was describing my own mental state at the time! We still laugh about the mental slip to this day.

    Finally, each year my family chooses a “word of the year” to reflect on, one whose meaning and essence we try to incorporate into our lives. We’ll discuss it around the dinner table and refer to it in life’s circumstances when appropriate. Our Word for 2014 was “Gratitude”.

    Needless to say, I enjoyed your blog!

    Best wishes. Hope to see you at a Smith event in the not too distant future.

    Eugene de Ribeaux
    Robert H. Smith Executive MBA
    Cohort EMBA8