Happy Thanksgiving

Commitment to taking personal responsibility for your success is one of the keys to career and life success that is part of my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS, and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. 

If you want to succeed, you must commit to three things.  First, you must take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You need to be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, you must set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

And you need to be grateful.  It’s Thanksgiving Day in the USA.  Today, I’d like to post the column I wrote for PM 360 Magazine this month.  It’s about the things for which I am grateful this Thanksgiving.

It’s November already; time for Thanksgiving.  For a lot of us thanksgiving is a long weekend where we get to share a big meal with friends and family, watch football – or depending on your taste, the Macy’s Parade, and ease into the holiday season.  However, it’s also a day for giving thanks for the blessings in our life.  This has been a pretty tough 15 months, and I know that many people are thinking that they don’t have a lot to be thankful for right now, so I’ve decided to share the things for which I’m thankful this year.

In no particular order, here’s a list of things for which I’m thankful this year. 

I’m thankful…

  • That I have Cathy, my loving and supportive wife and partner.  She truly is the wind beneath my wings.
  • That my mother finally found peace this year after suffering for many years with an incurable and progressive disease.
  • That my dad is hanging in there and is dealing better with his loss and grief every day.
  • For the opportunity to serve others and do a job that I love – and help people succeed as I do it.
  • For all of my clients who put their faith and trust in me.
  • For the opportunity to write this column every month.
  • That I am cancer free for over 10 years.
  • For my cancer experience.  It helped me clarify what’s important in my life and gave me the humility to realize that what’s important is not what happens to me, how I react to what happens to me is what’s important in this life.
  • That I get unsolicited thank you emails from people who read my blog – like this one: “Bud, Thanks for the reminder, I am going through a difficult time and you’ve reinforced what I NEED to be doing!!!”  Or this one: “Bud, Thank you for your encouragement and your strength! It is inspiring.  Your message has come to me on a day when I really needed it. As you know, I too am a cancer survivor and I sometimes forget to make the most of each day!”
  • For the little setbacks and bumps in the road that make me work harder and become a better person and professional.
  • For my large network of professional colleagues.
  • For all of the people who help make my business go: Peggy Murrah, Bobbi Benson, Catherine Gonzalez, Tarek Chacra, Ryan Summers, Stephanie Frank.
  • For all of the plays George Bernard Shaw and August Wilson wrote.
  • For all of the movies Martin Scorcese has directed.
  • For all of the books Robert Parker, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Ed McBain, Walter Mosley, Lee Childs, Sue Grafton, Studs Terkel, Tony Hillerman John Grisham, Lisa Scottoline, Sara Paretsky, Nick Hornby, Robin Cook, Michael Connolly, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, David Halbertstam, and Lawrence Block have written.
  • For the writers and directors I’ve yet to discover.
  • For independent film makers the world over.
  • For Thomas Edison for inventing moving pictures.

That’s a list of some of the things for which I’m thankful this Thanksgiving.  What about you?  If you take the time to list the things for which you’re thankful, I bet you’ll find that while this may not be the best of times, it’s also not the worst of times.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  Bring it to work with you every day.  You’ll enjoy your work more.  You’ll be a better colleague.  And you’ll become a better product manager.  Think about it.  It’s only common sense.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are committed to taking personal responsibility for creating the successful life and career that they want and deserve.  Personal responsibility begins with a sense of gratitude for what you already have.  When you begin with an attitude of gratitude, it’s easier to focus on the positives in your life and build on them.  Make a list of the things for which you’re grateful this Thanksgiving.  Us it to propel you to more and better things in the new year.  Happy Thanksgiving!

That’s my take on the importance of gratitude.  What’s yours?  As always, I’m thankful that you take the time to read what I write.  Your thoughts and comments help build my attitude of gratitude. 


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