Five Gifts You Don’t Want to Live Without

The National Retail Federation estimates more than 164 million people plan to shop during Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday! (In years past, we have spent an average of $423 each for a total of $59.1 billion.)

thanksgiving shopping pic

How long do you think those purchases will last? Toys–last maybe 30 days; clothes–one season; electronic gadgets—approximately one to three years.

One leader hoped for gifts that brought a greater sense of lasting satisfaction to our lives. Here are the five gifts he knew we could not really live without:

Work that matters, growing character and satisfying relationships. The leader used a metaphor to describe these as “good fruit of every kind”. Satisfying and productive work matters to your well being, to others and makes a difference in the world.  Growth in our character means we are becoming the kind of people we truly desire to be. Healthy relationships with our spouses, family, and team members brings deep satisfaction to our lives. To produce good fruit in these important areas of your life we may need to prune, fertilize, pull some weeds, dig or protect from harmful intruders, etc. What do you need to do to get that slight edge for a fruitful yield this year?

Knowing God better.  Leaders and students I have engaged around the world from many different cultures say they desire to know God better. Perhaps this describes you as well. No matter where you are in your journey, the next step is up to you this year. Do you want to know God personally?  Are you beginning with God? Do you want to develop a more solid foundation? Desire to train and grow? There are many resources for you wherever you are in your journey.

Endurance and patience.  Life is full of setbacks and obstacles. Sometimes I need patience when others grate on my nerves; other times I need patience in the midst of trying circumstances. We all need endurance, and that often requires harnessing the power of rest or including a better rhythm of rest in your life.

A life filled with joy. A Google search for joy during the holiday, revealed this on the first link:  “Feeling down during the holidays can be tough, especially since you seem so out of step with the world. Everyone else seems to be beaming, ruddy-cheeked, bursting with holiday spirit. You’re feeling wretched and exhausted. But here’s something to cheer you up the next time you’re stuck in a room of revelers at a holiday party: Plenty of them are probably unhappy, too.” ( The article normalizes hard times, but somehow just knowing that others are miserable does not cheer me up.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have not only holidays but a life characterized by joy?  What will that take for you?

A thankful heart.  The scientific research on the transforming power of gratitude is fascinating: A thankful heart changes us, transforms our relationships and helps us be more productive at work. You will also boost your resilience with gratitude.

What would your life be like with more of these gifts?  The leader who wanted these for his people was Paul, the Apostle. He described them here: (Colossians 1:9-12).

Which one of the above gifts will help you really live this year? What do you need to do now to take a first step?

(Note: This post was updated and revised from a previously published post entitled “5 Great Gifts”.)

Other posts you might enjoy:

Posted in Character Development, Emotional Well Being, Health and Fitness, Live Well, Love Deeply, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments


2525329726_4bc68892c1_oNational Medal of Honor Day on March 25 is dedicated to all Medal of Honor recipients.

National Day Calendar says this:

“Created in 1861, the Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor. It is awarded only to US military personnel, by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.”

The Medal of Honor has been awarded to 3,493 of the country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen.. There are currently 79 living Medal of Honor recipients and 19 recipients have received two Medals.

According to The Veterans Administration blog, the average age of recipients at the time of the Medal of Honor action:

  • All services: 26 years old
  • U.S. Army recipients: 25 years old
  • U.S. Air Force recipients: 33 years old
  • U.S. Coast Guard recipients: 23 years old
  • U.S. Navy recipients: 29 years old
  • U.S. Army Air Corps: 27 years old
  • U.S. Marine Corps: 25 years old

Play with more data yourself at the Medal of Honor dashboard.

Let’s remember these brave individuals who performed selfless, personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty

And, let us also be inspired by their examples to show courage by going above and beyond what might be expected of us in our every day lives.


Other posts you might enjoy:


Photo Credit

Posted in Lead Courageously | 2 Comments

Seven Benefits of Saying “No”


Do you ever have a hard time saying “No”.  I do. I fear missing out on an opportunity or disappointing people. However, saying “No” does not have to be a negative. There are many positive reasons to use that short two letter word.

  1. Saying “No” now allows me to say “YES” to something better later. Good is often the enemy of the best.
  2. Saying “No” allows someone else to say “Yes”. Teammates are able to experience developmental opportunities when I say no. This requires humility and awareness that I may not be the best person for the job. It requires that I know my own strengths and those of my teammates.
  3. Saying “No” is a reminder that I am not indispensable.
  4. Saying “No” is a “Yes” to a more healthy lifestyle. It keeps me from the stress of over commitment or ever extending myself.
  5. Saying “No” is saying “Yes” to the power of being more in control of my life.
  6. Saying “No” is saying “Yes” to new opportunities I might not have known existed. Once I am more available, I  find other opportunities more in line with my passions and gifting.
  7. Saying “No” gives me time to do whatever I have put on the back burner. (Writing that book, blogging, train for a 5K, give attention to a relationship or project that needs my energy this month, etc.

What helps you say “No”?

Other articles you might enjoy:

Photo credit: kitface via / CC BY-NC-SA


Posted in Emotional Well Being, Lead Courageously, Live Well | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Make Gratitude About Yourself

In a earlier post on “Boost Your Resilience with Gratitude”, I shared a tip from HBR Management Tip of the Day. While research shows the transforming power gratitude in our personal lives, our relationships and our organizations, gratitude is not all about us.

Heidi Grant Halvorson has a helpful and practical tip to not make gratitude about us. This tip appeared in HBR Management Tip of the Day. You can subscribe here to get their daily tips.

gratitude not about you.png

Adapted from “Stop Making Gratitude All About You,” by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Follow Heidi Grant Halvorson on Twitter here.

If you enjoyed this, here are other articles you might like:




Posted in Emotional Well Being, Leave a Legacy, Love Deeply | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Boost Your Resilience with Gratutide

What if you could decrease anxiety, reduce symptoms of illness while improving the quality of your sleep and building emotional resilience?

According to some studies, gratitude can help.  I had been thinking about starting a Gratitude Journal, and this tip provided the final encouragement to give me lift. At night before I go to sleep, my goal is to write down three things I am grateful for. And it literally takes just a few minutes. But, be warned: You may not be able to stop at just three items!

Here is the very practical and easy to do tip for you that I learned from HBR Management Tip of the Day. You can subscribe here to get their daily tips.


Adapted from “How to Evaluate, Manage, and Strengthen Your Resilience,”  by David Kopans

Other articles you might enjoy:

Posted in Emotional Well Being, Live Well | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments