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Reap Joy from this Thanks – Giving Holiday

Reap Joy from this Thanks – Giving Holiday

Today is Thanksgiving for the United States of America, and that includes us here in my home of Hawaii as the 50th State of the union. We’ve only been part of America since 1959, yet according to the kūpuna here (our elders) we’ve celebrated this very American holiday for much longer; we Hawaiians are quick to jump into most new excuses for celebration! Thanksgiving is but one example for us; we have such a melting pot of cultures here in our islands we celebrate holidays thought of as European, Asian, African, Canadian, Australian — you name it. People in Hawaii love food and drink, and we love to party.

As you read this, I can guarantee you that if I’m awake right now, I’m in a party and I’m snacking. Food, and lots of it, is always the common denominator for holidays celebrated here. With the blessings of nearly always pleasant weather, we’re big on outdoor picnics and barbecues, even for the Thanksgiving turkey, for we were cooking food in the imu (underground oven) surrounded by ti leaf and intensely heated rocks long before stoves and ovens were even invented.

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With the day of the holiday itself so completely concentrated on the preparation of food and simply having a good time with friends and family, there’s usually not much done the day before the holiday either — that ends up to be the time you do anything else associated with the reason for the holiday in the first place (or you shop for the food).

So yesterday, I spent nearly my entire day writing thank you cards and notes, both electronic ones and hand-written ones. I made some phone calls, but they were almost all about the same singular thing: Saying thank you, and taking full advantage of the fact that Thanksgiving was forcing the issue with me. I say mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian) quite a bit, but I realize I will never ever be able to say it as much as people should hear it from me. I have an awful lot to be grateful for, and living with an attitude of gratitude is good for me in so many ways.

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A friend in Europe wrote back to me, “Thank you for the card Rosa, it was nice of you to think of me too although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.” Well, today, you can give thanks no matter where you are; Drop the capital T if you must, and just think of it as thanks – giving day. Use this as your excuse to party hearty in the pure joy of appreciating all you have, and all who are a part of your life. Say “thank you” whether the word for you is Talofa (Samoan) Salamat (Filipino) Muito obrigado (Portuguese) Danke (German) or something else. (For more ways to say thank you in other languages, click in here.)

There is something about that sentiment, thank you, that people love hearing; saying it softens your tone and gives a fullness and richness to your voice. I have never heard someone say thank you genuinely and from the heart and have it sound anything but wonderful.

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Mahalo nui loa; thank you very much for reading today. I fully realize how much in this life can vie for your attentions, and I sincerely do appreciate that you have shared this brief moment with me. Now, are you hungry?

Rosa Say, author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog.

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Related Article References: 1. Write Your Joy. 2. Be Grateful and Be Happy.
Previous Thursday Column: How to Drive a Customer Crazy.

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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